Normal? What Is That?

It's A Normal World Or Is It?

by Lura Langenback

© 9/10/04

In these days of terrorism and natural disasters, we yearn for something normal. We hope that today the news will have good things to say but in reality that is not going to happen. There are simply too many "juicy stories" out there for the media to grab hold of, too many terrorists wanting their day in the spotlight, too many natural disasters to report. But then, the media would not want a "normal" day, would it? That doesn't bring viewers, listeners or readers. And that is all about money. So, in the eyes of the media, they hope there is no such thing as a normal day.

But what is normal these days? Is there such a thing? Unlikely. I started thinking about the word "normal" and what it means now. That brought me to the time I was growing up in the 50's and 60's. Looking back, so many things have changed. Some for the good but much of it is not. Then, the other day, I saw a movie about a guy who lived in the 1890's being transported to the year 2000 by a time machine. Yes, it was fiction, but what he realized was that people in the year 2000 were what he called "desensitized" to so many things. With that, I began to wonder....just how desensitized are we? What is it that we are willing to call "normal"? Let me share a little of that with you now.

Today, it is normal for us to watch television with our children and enjoy it or let them watch alone because we know when the really "bad stuff" is on. Either we just tell them not to watch that or we don't feel that any of the shows are "that bad" anyway. It's television, after all, not some "R" or "XXX" rated movie. The type of shows that are on now that are accepted by the general public include reality shows where the participants try to find that "special someone" while "trying out" the other members of the opposite sex in very intimate settings where it is obvious what they will be doing next, shows set in places where the participants have to vie for the top spot by lying, cheating and doing whatever it takes to win because the prize is a lot of money, shows where the contestants try to win a recording contract while some guy tears them down verbally with humiliating and hatefilled words not to mention the ones that require fear or to do gross things to win. The idea is to win the contest at any cost....ANY COST.

Then there are those shows where the father is a total moron, the mother is a freak or a nutcase, the children know best (even the youngest) and prove it often or where the kids simply are the authority in the house and they get what they want, they argue with the parents and win. We see shows that have not only a lot of violence but partial nudity, shows with curse words and words that we used to call "street or dock" language.

New shows for the season consist of a wife-swap game where the mom of each house goes to another house to live for a time. The idea, apparently, is to find out how much someone is needed at home. How many of us think that whole concept is a bad idea? How about the ones where the whole family consists of slobby people? Or the one with what the previews show to be a television version of a cross between the "Stepford Wives" and "Peyton Place"?

These are primetime television shows that we consider acceptable for the most part. We mourn the loss of our actors like we mourn a family member because they come into our homes each week as if they lived there comfortably. The kids are taught that they can watch television anytime they want. They are taught that the TV is the babysitter anyway. Sort of a pacifier for older kids. Parents teach the kids that TV can be more important than they are if a certain show is on and the dad or mom simply doesn't want to miss it. Sporting events, talk shows, reality shows, that special "family" show all take precedent over some need the child may have. They are taught that TV is or can be the heart of the family, that if it is turned off, a disaster has occurred.

Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture? Normal appears to be a family, IF they are together at all, sitting in front of what we used to call the "boob tube"(a more correct name than we imagined). In fact, commercials depict that very thing.

Oh yes, the word normal. What does that have to do with television? At this point in time, television, along with movies, have become the prime culprits in desensitizing us to the reality of our lives. And what is that reality? Ah yes, here come the Bible thumpers, right? To be perfectly honest, I probably am a Bible thumper if the definition is that I am going to tell you about the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has done for you. I am that if the definition is that I will tell you that you are a sinner, something that should not be a surprise to you anyway. Yet, I would not be doing my duty and showing my compassion for you if I didn't do those things simply because someone decided to label me with some worldly label that sounds negative. The truth is that being a Bible thumper isn't so bad if I love you enough to tell you the truth in order to save your life, spiritual life, not necessarily your physical life.

The absolute truth is that you are going to live forever......somewhere. It will either be in heaven with the Lord God or in the lake of fire that God prepared for the devil and his followers. That place was never meant for the children of God. By the way, this is the truth whether you believe it or not. Part of the desensitizing process is to teach you not to believe the Truth. The Word of God IS the Truth. Jesus IS the Truth.

So, if you have stayed with me this far, you must want to know more about the Lord Jesus. He died for you on a cruel cross on Calvary hill so that you would not have to pay for the sins you have committed. Yes, it is true! He took on all of the sins, sicknesses and diseases that belong to this world simply because He loves you that much. But you have a responsibility too. You will need to tell Him that you acknowledge you are a sinner and ask forgiveness for those sins. Is that simple or what? He forgives each and every sin you have committed, washes them away and forgets that they existed. Then ask Him into your life and heart. As soon as you do that, He comes to live with you.

The Lord said in His scripture that if you ask, you receive, if you seek, you will find and if you knock, He will answer you and come in to be with you always. What a blessing of God that is!! Take the time now to let your Lord know you love Him! The benefits are out of this world!