Friday, March 25, 2011
A "New Normal"
entered to win a copy of A Still and Quiet Soul: Embracing Contentment. Drawing March 31
When Hurricane Ike hit South Texas, many homes were damaged. Our daughter’s home also took a beating, and when the wind and rain ceased, our family took pictures for insurance purposes and cut and lifted out the huge pine tree from the middle of their collapsed roof. Once the blue tarp was in place, our daughter and her husband began to make plans for a New Normal. Over a lifetime, many circumstances will call one into reshaping, remaking, or rebuilding.
“New Normal” was coined by Roger McNamee, a technology investor, in January of 2003, states “Fast Company Magazine.” He shared that tagline to describe how the failing economy called for a new way to conduct the old business of investing. The term has caught on and is now used to describe a number of life-changes and the necessity of doing life in a different way.
For instance, if someone in your immediate family dies that causes a change in your family dynamics. You experience a New Normal. If you lose a high salaried position with a Fortune 500 Company, then the unemployment line may become part of your New Normal. If a devastating illness invades your body, then you will begin to live out a New Normal. This list could go on and on.
Our Index Card Scripture for week twelve comes from the book of Nehemiah, and Both Ezra and Nehemiah give details of the rebuilding of the walls and gates of Jerusalem. Why were they broken? The Israelites had forsaken God and his laws, and he had allowed a foreign king to invade their homeland and carry them away into captivity. The temple in Jerusalem was ravaged, the city gates burned, and the stone walls broken down.
The people moved from their promised land to a land foreign in culture, language, and terrain. They moved from blessed to beat down. Instead of their lives of freedom under God’s tutelage, they became slaves to Babylonian kings. Many of the young men were made eunuchs. Men, women, and children, who survived the initial war and capture, became slaves.
Sometimes a New Normal comes about because of good things. A newly wed couple will naturally have a different life than they lived as a single person. When a phone call arrives letting you know that you landed a better job, that’s when another path opens. If you finally qualify to own a home instead of leasing, your mobile family can expect a more settled life. What about new faith in Christ? What about baptism into him? He promises to make things brand new through his divine gifts – new hearts beating in tune to God’s over-the-top love.
Nehemiah served as cupbearer to foreign King Artaxerxes, and when Nehemiah heard about the broken city of Jerusalem, his sad countenance came to the attention of the king. The king knew that Nehemiah wasn’t ill, and surmised, “This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” God moved the king to magnificent generosity to fund the rebuilding of Jerusalem and to allow his trusted servant to assist in the make-over project.
Nehemiah moved into a New Normal. Think back over your life and those times when you had no choice but to travel a different route. Perhaps you are in the middle of a New Normal. Maybe you are ready for the servant Jesus to create a new heart within you. When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he faced opposition, but let his words encourage and make you victorious.
Index Card Scripture for Week Twelve: “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding” (Nehemiah 2:20).