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What Does It Mean To Be “Normal”

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At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matthew 18:1-5

Normal depends on the context in which it is being used. Normal birth weight is supposed to be 6-8 pounds, but some of us are more or less. I was 3 pounds, 10 ounces at birth. Normal means playing with other kids which I did. Being an 70’s-80’s kid, I watched Black Sheep Squadron (I’m the Black Sheep of my family), Charlie’s Angels, The Dukes of Hazzard, etc…

I loved my G.I. Joes, Transformers, Thundercats, etc…   Yes I want my MTV. Still do 🙂

But you have to understand unlike “normal” kids, I was born hearing impaired and so I was inclined to miss things.            I also have a mind that isn’t content to just do one thing all the time.  There would be times I would adruptly break off whatever I was doing and wander off. Maybe it was to go climb trees. Maybe it was to explore in the barn or woods.  I would make mud puddles. I loved drawing castles, building snow forts and tree houses. Most people fear snakes because of what they read in Genesis.  I do not. I feel at home around animals.  I relate to children. I would not last long on an assembly line because it would be too predictable.  I want to get to know adults better, but I don’t relate to them as much because my adult life hasn’t meshed squarely as most adults would.

I have had a deep love for the past and future almost since I was born. Part of the interest came from watching Black Sheep Squadron or listening to my grandfather’s experiences as a medic in World War II. I would go on many family vacations or school trips to Mount Vernon, Williamsburg, Philadelphia, etc… I felt at home. I was also immersed in Nikola Tesla, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc…  When I was at the beach, I would pick up a single grain of sand and theorize that what if this beach represented the galaxy and this single grain represented a star? To read two decades later that scientists were estimating there could be hundreds of billions of galaxies didn’t surprise me at all. Plus to think that humans didn’t create any of it clearly goes to show that there is something much greater at work.

I played t-ball, basketball, baseball, and even went out for football my sophomore year. But even though I would give good effort, I wasn’t going to make the starting lineup. Too small, not talented enough, whatever. Short on size and talent, long on heart. I did normal things like graduate from high school, college, had career plans that ultimately didn’t work out, work this job and that job. I never married, don’t have kids, never owned my own house. I didn’t date in high school (too shy around girls). I also figured girls would prefer taller boys with more achievements where I would have been happy just to make it on the team.

Now I’m in my mid 30’s amongst 20 somethings working on a new career goal. I was basically the socially awkward kid who was an adventurer, astronaut, athlete, coach, cook, explorer, evangelist, historian, teacher, etc… I wanted to be all these things and more. I’m not an expert, specialist or great at any one thing. I’m all over the map. Even in my 30’s, I’m still developing, growing, learning.  Aren’t we all?

But I’m also seeing that especially in this real world, there is corruption, persecution, tyranny, the list goes on and on. I’m still trying to figure out how I fit in this world in this physical sense, but spiritually I belong elsewhere. In order to not give into the ways of the world, I still have a longing for the innocence of my childhood? Don’t we all? When I was a child, one strange thing (according to other people’s perspective) is to would pick the marshmallows out of my Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry or even Lucky Charms and would lay them on a napkin, eat the cereal first (sometimes with milk and sometimes without). After eating, I would then gobble up the marshmallows and eat them by the handful. I don’t have a rational explanation for it. I was following my heart.

I gather that people think I exhibit odd behaviors or have trouble figuring me out. Well guess what? I don’t have an engineered or scientific explanation for it either. I was a voracious reader even as a child, could type fast, and could memorize facts and figures. I found history fascinating when most kids found it boring or intimidating.  I am also an outdoors person, have a deep love for old movies and the process of making movies, music, and photography. I wanted to be Daniel Boone, Alfred Hitchcock and Captain Kirk.  I am not so easily defined into one category. I’m all over the place.

So in a nutshell this is my life so far.  I’m trying to remain true to myself and remain obedient to God. But I’m also trying to relate to other people with whom I may not have some of the common experiences. But surely we can find someway to relate even if we don’t line up nice and neat on everything. In the long run, we are all children of God. Now if only we could all remain humble.

Written by chrisforliberty

January 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Posted in General

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