I am so normal I am eccentric, and I am so eccentric I am normal. If a person is really eccentric, then they probably think they are normal and everyone else is eccentric. I am eccentric because I follow the teachings of a man, who is called the Son of God, who was personally present on earth two thousand or so years ago, who could raise the dead and make the blind see, forgive sins, hey this bloke even turned water into wine!!! My kind of bloke!!! Yes, that makes me an eccentric; but I think that I am normal. I think all those people who pretend to be something they are not, or say things they don’t really believe in, or live lives they don’t really want to live, they are the eccentric ones, not me. Eccentricity and normality then are all just points of view or perspective. One person’s eccentricity is another person’s normality, and one person’s normality can be another person’s eccentricity. To the dyed-in-the-wool atheist, belief in God can seem utterly weird, strange, even eccentric, and to the Christian, not believing in a loving Creator can also seem strange, even eccentric.
As a Christian, I have experienced many things in my life that those who are not Christians won’t have done. Let me make one thing clear; I say I am a Christian because I have a relationship with Jesus and I work on that relationship every day. In many respects there is nothing remarkable about me, and yet God called in the wilderness, from a background that was not in any way Christian or religious, just ordinary. But when I say ordinary, we are all ordinary in some ways, and we are all extraordinary in other ways. When God has spoke to me, not in my head as voices nor popping His head out of the clouds and saying ‘hello’, but through the Bible, or to my heart, or when reading something or even through other people, I knew then He existed; He revealed Himself to me, and I believe simply because I have experienced Him personally in my life, not because I am religious or because a vicar or priest told me what to believe, but because He pushed His way into my life; simple as that!
We are all eccentric to someone, and we can all appear normal to another person; it’s all perspective really. One person’s weird is someone else’s normal. And if we are surrounded by people who dress and think and act like us, we are all normal to each other, even if everyone else thinks we’re a bunch of weirdos! So, it’s all perspective. Christians were seen as weird in Rome, which was pagan with many gods, a god for this and a god for that, and this eventually helped get them persecuted and even killed in various ways. Believing in a God of forgiveness, a God who preaches love your enemy, a God who tells you to turn the other cheek; are you weird, or what?!
So, weird or normal depends on your point of view. I don’t know about you, but I often have abstract thoughts that make sense and don’t make sense at the same time (like Bob Dylan’s lyrics!), but if I tried to explain these thoughts and feelings to someone, I would definitely sound strange and yet I am generally a rational person not really given to flights of fancy; not always anyway. What I understand from this, is that we human beings are fearfully and wonderfully made, we experience things intellectually and emotionally that we cannot put into words, nor adequately understand or often really make sense of. There is more to us than meets the eye, a whole lot more. To the atheist, it’s all blind chance that we are what we are; to the Christian, we are specifically created by God and there is a spiritual dimension to humanity that atheists just cannot believe because they don’t believe in God. Weird or normal? You decide.
God appointed a people who would serve Him, worship Him and ultimately be blessed by Him, providing they were obedient to Him. The Israelites rebelled again and again, so much so you begin to wonder why God picked them in the first place! Where they weird for continually disobeying God, or was this normal, a rite of passage for all those called by God? Who can say? Did they really understand at first at first who was calling them, and why? I didn’t when I was called, I didn’t really have a clue. Was I weird not to understand or was I normal? I wasn’t versed in the Bible and don’t come from a Christian background or family, or any kind of Christian community, so how could I have known? Weird, or normal? You decide.
When anything new comes along, to shake up all the old ways and old traditions, some people see it as a threat and others see it as something wonderful. To some, Christianity was eccentric, to others it was normal. When Elvis burst onto the scene all those years ago, and Rock and Roll with him, some people no doubt thought the end of the world as they knew it was happening right in front of their eyes, whilst others thought it was the greatest and most exciting thing they’d ever seen. Some thought Elvis, Rock and Roll and everything it all stood for as aberrant, bizarre and weird, whilst others in no uncertain terms saw it as normal and just a natural expression of the burgeoning youth and teenage culture that was really starting in America at that time. America, the country that gave the world youth culture and popular culture is also the most religious country in the wealthy Western world; two things that at first glance might appear contradictory and opposites that are at best uneasy with each other. To those Americans who are not religious, I think they perceive those who are to be a little weird. To those Americans who are religious, however that is manifested, those who aren’t religious appear weird. Each certainly thinks they are normal. But, whose right? As a Christian I feel that I can like all kinds of music and enjoy popular culture, and still be a Christian who serves the Lord on a daily basis. I know some Christians think this is weird, and know other Christians think it’s normal. Weird? Normal? I really don’t care.