photo © 2010 Jeffrey | more info (via: Wylio)It happened. A friend and I were talking, about our children. We agreed that some of the things that our kids do are things we would have never considered doing. We talked about how things were back in our day. We are shocked, not just at our own children, but in the then generally acceptable behavior of all children. We were shocked because it never would have been that way in our day.
Our day, our childhood, is the normative experience by which we were judging the children of today. Of course the kids are different today. The world is a constantly changing and evolving place. The children are reacting to the world around them, including parental expectations. They are a product of the culture.
We all, to some extent, decide what is normative based on our experience. We judge the situations we see and experience based on what we know and experience. Yet, what happens when we experience a new thing? How do we evaluate a situation if we have never encountered anything like it? How do we evaluate a person who is unique and unlike anyone we have ever met before?
When people met Jesus, back in his days on earth, they had never experienced anything quite like him. In many of his encounters with people, the people struggle to evaluate and accept Jesus because he is so far removed from the normative experience of their life before meeting Jesus. He was unlike anyone else. Some rejected him because he was so different. Others were able to move beyond their own ideas and assumptions in order to experience a new thing, a new relationship, and a new way of living.
If we are able to be open to the possibilities that there is something more than our previous experiences, then we may find we experience the presence of God. Let us be open the possibility that there is a new normal for this new world. Let us be open to new experiences.