Breaking norm. That has been my life. I wouldn't even know where to begin to explain this pattern. As a Christian, breaking norm ought to be the very definition of our lives.
I choose to break norm not because I want attention, rather, because I don't want the ruts of what 'everyone else is doing'. The most wonderful part of breaking norm? My kids have learned to do it too.
I see it when my daughter's peers attempt to lure her with "... but if you don't do it to, you will be left out...you will look different...." and its various forms. She shrugs and honestly replies, "I don't care, I'm use to being different." She likes different too and the ruts she carefully avoided.
I see it when my son shares Christ, witnessing at a playground, anti-God peers walking away while only one or two stay and listen... he lends his heart to the two without a care for the taunts of the wanderers. He delights in the rut-less path.
When my oldest hits college head-on and peers discuss booze and lifestyles contrary to his rearing, he breaks norm with his polite decline yet devoted friendship in spite. They seem to like him all the more for it... he avoids the ruts and finds smooth ground instead.
When my baby, not a baby anymore, helps in the nursery on a chaotic night, wild children bouncing everywhere and the nursery leader looks to her, the pillar of peace in a normally chaotic room and draws her strength... ruts are long gone and a heart to help prevails in the tall grasses of life.
We are the difference makers. Parents... moms.... the old adage comes to mind "The hand the rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." We are raising the future. And while there is a world of issues, brokenness and way-ward worries... problems we could never hope to fix in one lifetime... there is also a hope in the Call to make a difference with those God has given us. The requirement: faith, trust.. that is it.
We, the difference makers, we are perfectly imperfect. Abraham = perfectly imperfect, yet God "counted it to him as righteousness" because he believed, he trusted. David = perfectly imperfect, he managed to break every commandment and upon realizing, he repented and devoted and God counted him righteous for his faith, his trust. Many men and woman of Bible history were perfectly imperfect, redeemed by grace alone... the only one perfect was Jesus Christ... the one in whom our faith and trust rest.
So I break norm, every day of my life, when I choose Christ as my savior.
I break norm, every day, when I place my children and my husband in a place worthy of my investment no matter how bedraggled I get... no matter how many more times I have to explain or try... I don't give up because breaking norm, I make a difference.
Every time I stand my ground on faith, my kids see. Every time I say yes to right and no to wrong, my kids see. Every time I let God work on me and through me, my kids see. And even though I don't always see the difference in them... my faith, my trust, springs hope and I know... someday I will see as they break norm too.
I pray you find the strength and courage and faith and trust to BREAK NORM in your own life. To stand for truth when others tell you sit. To stand for life when others breath death. And to know you are never alone, for God is your strength... to know that when you step out of the ruts to break the norm... you make a difference!
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them,
for it is the LORD your God who goes with you.
He will not leave you or forsake you.
My mom use to firmly believe:
Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson