Monday, August 19, 2013

Normal or Nuts

While watching a news show earlier today, the anchors had people call or write in to discuss if an activity someone was doing was quirky or if their behavior was considered normal.  The segment was called "Normal or Nuts" .  Once the question was posed, a doctor would respond with an answer.  One discussion was about someone who had an aversion to velvet.  The Dr. confirmed what most of you already have guessed. This behavior is nuts!   The person had a sensory related issue that was abnormal.

Another reference talked about a 9 year old girl who was still sleeping with stuffed animals at night while acting older than her age during the day.  The medical expert said, believe it or not, this one is fairly normal.

The topic, though, that piqued my attention was called "Lawn Lunacy".  The caller wanted to know if his neighbor was crazy or ok because the neighbor's lawn was always perfectly manicured.  If a petal fell to the ground, the woman would pick it up within a few hours so that nothing ever stayed on the grass. This man had even seen her shake a bush to get hanging petals to fall prematurely so she could pick them up.  Anything on the grass made the lawn look defective.  No leaves or petals on the grass meant all was well with her world.

As the reporter was talking, I was thinking, "None of us like it when something makes us look less than perfect.  However, in God's kingdom and economy, we understand, God isn't concerned with the outward appearance. None of us are perfect so why do we waste energy trying to appear anything other than what we are?  Doesn't everybody know anyway?

Dr. Ablow went on to explain, by making everything look perfect on the surface this woman was covering up a way deeper problem which would eventually erupt.  Keeping the lawn spotless wasn't fixing what was troubling her, she had a disorder that no leaf blower could blow away.  She was strangled by something bothering her within and was trying to keep the outward appearance of everything being well.

I wonder how many times I have appeared this way to others.  All looks fine on the outside but on the inside, there's a petal blowing, not on my lawn but in my head.

Do you have any areas that look like this woman?  It's all good on the surface but beneath the appearance there is a hurricane force wind coming and the leaves will soon be scattering?

This lawn keeper woman reminds me of the Pharisees in the Bible.  The Pharisees were a religious society of their time who were devoted to God but became so committed to following all the rules of the law (and the ones they instituted) that they seemed to have forgotten Jesus was in their midst working miracles and worried more about how they looked than what He was doing among them.  Instead of enjoying His presence, the joy was sucked out by their heavy burdens of appearance.  She, too, like them, was trying to follow the letter of the law, her own lawn lunacy standards!  What a burden to carry by running after every petal or rules that are impossible to follow!
As Christians, we want to follow Him because we have a heart that loves Him, not because its our duty or we want people to think we have it all together and we look good on the outside.  That's not normal, that's nuts!  We don't need a doctor to tell us that.

Had this woman simply enjoyed taking care of the lawn and basked in enjoying it's beauty, she wouldn't have been consumed with maintaining it to the point of obsessive compulsiveness.  What Jesus wants for us, is not a rule abiding relationship based on appearance but one designed for mutual pleasure.

Today, my friends, enjoy the love of a Father who desires you above all else just the way you are, leaves and all!  After all, He created you that way.  He isn't tainted by the world's standards of what's normal or nuts, or by rules and regulations that can't be met.   We meet every standard because of who we are in Him!