What’s Normal?

Last week I had a blood test. I phoned for the results yesterday. ‘Let me just find your notes.’ I waited. ‘You’re normal,’ I was told. My wife, Rachel, laughed. I think she has a different definition of normal.

My dictionary defines ‘normal’: ‘conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected’.

I had coffee with Bruce this morning. It’s colder today and raining. We watched a group of about 20 people swimming in the sea. We discussed local people who swim in the sea through the cold winter. Is that ‘normal’?

Bruce spent some years living on the Isle of Man. We talked about the annual TT motor-cycle races… those who have died and been badly injured… those who risk their lives each year… Is that ‘normal’?

In recent years there’s been Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic… We’re facing a tough winter with the cost of living crisis and continuing strike action… There’s a new Prime Minister… After years of the stability with Queen Elizabeth there’s now King Charles…

In a world that’s constantly changing… what’s a ‘normal’ person or a ‘normal’ life?

Musing… Jesus… His birth, life and death… mission, actions, attitudes and values weren’t ‘normal’. He didn’t conform to an expected standard; he wasn’t usual, typical, or expected…

The people that Jesus formed friendships with, helped and valued… the sick, the judged and the outsiders who were included and welcomed weren’t ‘normal’…

People who follow Jesus today challenge ‘normal’ standards of self-centredness, materialism, prejudice and being comfortable…  

Vincent Van Gogh said: ‘Normality is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk but no flowers grow there.’ I celebrate the creative spirits, free thinkers who don’t accept a normal world as it is, but imagine the non-normal world as it could be.

Musing… I’m grateful that my blood test came back normal… I accept that in a changing world life is unlikely ever to be normal… I pray that the way I live my life will be far from normal!

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