“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” Morticia Addams
I live in a small town in Minnesota. It was one of the first towns settled here, because it was located on The Mississippi and the Rum Rivers and supported an ever booming lumber industry. Over the years, my town of Anoka, MN has earned a rather dismal reputation. We are the Halloween Capitol of the world. We are also a city of transient people. We happen to live in the center of town amongst some of those early homes that were originally settled here. Our home was built in 1875. It was destroyed by a tornado in 1949 and restored at that time. Some of the original structure remains. There are ghosts supposedly stirring among many buildings in our community, but our house has shown no evidence of the super natural. Over the five years that we’ve lived here, we’ve seen many, many changes. Neighbors come and go. I often wonder about the people that inhabited our home over the years and how their “normal” changed over almost a hundred and fifty years.
Certainly we’ve been exposed to a great number of inventions that made life a lot easier. Manual labor has been replaced by machines and physically we aren’t as active as our predecessors. They ate from the bounty of their fields, gardens and livestock. We shop at fancy super markets and have a world full of extraordinary foods at our fingertips. Life didn’t last as long in those days. I guess people just wore out after time. Today we age well into the seventies and beyond, because of medical advances.
The biggest changes I’ve seen in my seventy nine years have to do with moral issues and things having to do with family relationships. In my neighborhood alone, there is evidence of drug addiction, alcoholism, homelessness, divided families and loneliness. In years gone by, we knew our neighbors and were able to reach out to them in some way. Today, we have built barricades, added fences, security cameras and alarms systems for our protection. We often live in fear of the next crime occurring in our backyard.
Yesterday, a police chase led to a serious accident and the pursuit of an armed individual. This was at around one o’clock in the afternoon. There were many emergency vehicles and obvious injury involved. This happened less than a block from our home. This weekend there were more than eleven shootings in Minneapolis. Time isn’t the only thing that changes people. In just the last 20 years, we experienced a terrorist attacked on our nation – saw political leaders rise and fall and be crucified by a press that seemed to be bent on innuendo rather than fact. We saw changes in what was “proper” or “politically correct.” Bullies were denounced by bullies. A cancel culture decided it was better to rid ourselves of our history. An anything goes attitude sprang out of an enabled population and then came COVID19.
I wish I knew what the answers were to all our current problems. I do know that we’ve turned our back on God and tried to solve things on our own. I can only pray that God will intervene and hear the prayers of His people. He has chosen us to be His people. All we have to do is say “yes” and follow Him. Too easy maybe for some. Yet I haven’t seen a better option yet.