Woody Allen is quoted as saying, “I’m not as normal as I seem.” If I make that thought apply to me I have to say, “I’m more normal than I seem.” People often attribute virtues to me that I don’t possess. For example, I’m not nearly as peaceful as I seem. Only people who haven’t been on the receiving end of one of my icy stares would say I’m kind. I can be kind. I can be peaceful. I can be thoughtful. But not all the time.
Every day I say and do things I shouldn’t. Every day I don’t do and say things I should. I would throw my hands up in despair and think ‘what’s the use of trying?’ except that I want to keep trying.
I read a Christian testimony by a man who said that many people considered him a hypocrite. He didn’t blame them. He admitted being unlovable. He made this point – if only they’d known me before I became a Christian, they’d know what a saint I am now.
James writes a little tidbit about Elijah that gives normal folks hope.
Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again. (5:16 The Message)
Elijah, the great miracle-working prophet, normal like us? Nomal isn’t an excuse to live carelessly but encouragement to keep pursuing goodness.