What Is Normal?

Thursday, October 15, 2020
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord I'm Coming Home"1 (Lyrics)

A few days ago, I entered the elevator in my building with another resident. Only two people are allowed at a time so that distancing can be maintained.

This lady and her husband moved in about the same time as I did, and we became friends. Her husband died a few months later, but the friendship has remained.

We were both wearing masks, but Norma wistfully asked when I thought that things would return to normal.

I asked her, "What is normal?"

I assumed that she might say, "When we can remove our masks, share meals, give one another a hug, or at least greet one another with a friendly handshake."

Surprisingly, she said she thought that it would be "normal" when more than two would be allowed to occupy the elevator.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, several residents would normally be on the elevator, and it was always a happy time to share information.

Our nine-story building has two relatively small elevators. One of my granddaughters, who lives in a much higher building, told me that their elevators are quite large, but only five were allowed on at a time — one in the centre and one in each of the four corners, so that physical distancing can be maintained.

It made me recall a song by Ina Mae Duley Ogdon:

    Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
    Do not wait to shed your light afar,
    To the many duties ever near you now be true,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
    Brighten the corner where you are!

    Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
    Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
    Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

As I thought more about Norma's question, I researched dictionary definitions of "normal". One is "conforming to a standard".

With the current pandemic affecting so many aspects of our life, I realized that it is more important than ever that each of us has a solid standard by which our actions are guided.

The Bible is full of standard-setting directions, but one of my favourites is the one stated by Micah centuries ago:

Micah 6:8 – He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NIV)

Regardless of how upsetting that we may find the current situation, God's directions given through Micah give a standard to which we would do well to conform.

Prayer: Dear God, thank You for the directions that You give through the Bible. Help us to conform to the standards that You have set out. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Amen Vincent.

    Love the song, Vince. Be safe.

    Dear Vincent,
    How true, thanks for the thought.

    Thanks, Vincent, for sharing this devotional with us. Oh, Normal would be Heaven! Blessings.

    Thank you, Vincent. Who would have thought that little song would be appropriate in this season?

    My husband used to teach special education mentally and ones damaged by abuse or an accident he said there is no such a thing as normal only what is normal for you.

    AMEN!!!! Thank you for sharing this! (and I remember that song from my Sunday school days.) We will definitely be using this one. I certainly pray COVID will be a thing of the past in 12 months!

    Hi Vincent,
    Thank you for this devotional on basing our “normal” by God’s standards, especially in these unprecedented times.

    Hello Vince,
    Thank you for today’s devotional and reminding us the importance of conforming to God’s word.

    Thank you, Vincent, for this devotion. I’ve been in need of a boost. Tonight, I prayed for help. Then I read your devotion. I looked up the lyricist’s name and found the song. I listened to many artists sing this bouncy little song, and my heart is uplifted and I’m ready to “Brighten The Corner” in many places tomorrow.

    Thanks for your e-mail.
    My condolences in the loss of your son-in-law. My younger a number of years ago from cancer, leaving three children behind. To lose an adult child is particularly stressful and we need all the support God gives us.
    May you find peace in Him.

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