July 1, 2013

Montana Mission Reflection: A New Normal

I spend the time of June 22nd to 30th, 2013 on a intergenerational mission trip with Thrivent Builds with Habitat For Humanity in Montana. Here is a reflection on the trip. I will be posting more reflections to come as I continue to process the time there and what God did among us. Hope you enjoy:

The Montana Missions trip made me think about the definition of “normal.” Whether we realize it or not, we do not control as much of our “normal” as we might hope. Instead, normal controls us. Normal be comes this goal, ideal, or reality we live out on a day to day basis. We are unknowingly participating in our distraction and ultimate destruction, as if we were driving with our eyes closed towards a brick wall.

Unless we are pushed by something, we will continue towards our current trajectory, good or bad. I am convinced that we are all objects and that God is the force that desires to push us towards a new trajectory. Unlike a inanimate object, once pushed, we are left with a decision: create a new normal or continue within the norms we find ourselves in.

Creating a new normal is not easy. A wise man once said to me, “Creating a new normal takes practice.”

For example, at the beginning of my week in Montana, I had no idea how to cut out siding to fit around windows, doors, and wiring. Yet, because I was pushed by my encounter with AJ (the owner of the house we were building) to create a new normal where I could do what I needed to do to help redeem AJ and his family from their housing situation, with God’s help, I shifted my normal.

God encounters us daily, in his word, his people and through his Spirit. For me, my normal routine  and the expectation of others get in the way of a God who desires to move me towards something new. Maybe for you its fear, what others think of you, the loss of a dream, or the death of your current normal. As for me, I no longer want to be in the way of God’s movement, whatever that might be.

This trip helped me refuse to believe the lie that normal cannot be altered at all. For the redemption of others and myself, I believe in the power of a God that longs to reshape normal—causing objects to like us to be moved from their trajectory towards a new normal.

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