It's still raining here in Knoxville. But, today's the day. Today, I'm going to run (OK...WALK around the INDOOR track at church), lift weights (everybody tells me I've GOT to do that if I want to get back any muscle tone--never mind that I never had much in the first place), get 2 years worth of pictures developed from 3 digital cameras (that's what I hate about digitial cameras), buy (healthy) groceries (if I can even afford any after getting 2 years worth of digital pictures developed), straighten up the house, get started on those online PowerPoint and Excel courses, and finally make the call about volunteering to be a tutor.
But first, I think I'll put in a little more time on this thing called "posting." It's so much more fun than any of that stuff above.
Over Christmas, I broke a promise to myself. I had promised myself that I wouldn't buy any more books until I had read the half-read, third-read, unread stack that I already own. But, I couldn't help myself. (OK, I could, but I chose not to.) I bought myself yet another daily-devotional-type book. (To my credit, I meant to buy it for my brother-in-law, Shawn, whose name I drew for Christmas.) But, as I was wrapping it, I made the mistake of flipping through it, and had to put up the paper, tape and scissors until I could go buy him another one. I tried to get "honey" to give it to me for Christmas so that I wouldn't REALLY break my promise to myself. But, he wouldn't fall for it.
As I was sitting in my chair early this morning with all these daily devotional books piled around me, it occurred to me that if I had just received and then lived out the wisdom their Scripture offerings and other words have given me for all the years I've been reading them, I would....Well, I probably wouldn't be sitting here typing on my new blog. I'd be out making a difference in this upside-down kingdom.
What keeps me here? In this house? Reading my pile of devotionals? Fear? Of what? Failure? Success? Criticism? Praise? Or is this where I'm supposed to be? Is this "January stuckness" I feel a kind of obedient (although restless) waiting?
Over Christmas, someone who I love dearly but struggle with deeply said to me, "I just want to be NORMAL!" (I put that word in ALL CAPS because she said it in ALL CAPS.) In a rare moment of clarity, I asked her, "What does NORMAL look like to you?" She couldn't answer.
As I've thought back on that conversation (more times than is healthy), I've realized that NORMAL is pretty much what I want too. The irony is that I can't define it either, or at least my definition changes depending on whether I've opened my spirit and mind to let all those beautifully written words from Scripture and from that pile of devotional books really sink in.
Without letting them, I guess I define NORMAL as finishing all the things on that long to-do-list at the top of this post. AND, gaining everyone's approval (dare I say...praise) in the process.
But, as the title of this little blog reminds me, it's an upside-down Kingdom. What does NORMAL look like here? Is there any such word in the "dictionary" of this upside-down, shadowland Kingdom?