Are you considered a normal tax paying American citizen? What does that even mean, “normal”? Am I normal or are all the people around me normal and I’m the crazy lunatic? Worldly views of our ability to carry on the normal behaviors that are portrayed by others doesn’t always translate into normalcy.
If you ask those that I interact with on a regular basis whether or not Nathan Rainey is a normal U.S. Citizen, I would hope that the answer would be no.
Some of the things that would be considered odd by others that I feel are completely normal include:
• Turn the stereo music in my vehicle down at the ATM machine. What is the point? I mean I can understand total concentration on the PIN number related to the account or silence to recognize the voice of an armed assailant trying to take my hard-working wages. The machine isn’t giving step by step oral instructions on the process of withdrawing money.
• Take a look one more time in the pantry or the refrigerator. Could you imagine something different appearing in the pantry between the 14th and the 15th time of seeking out something to eat within the past half hour? I think I may have a heart attack from shock. All these years, the practice hasn’t worked and now all of a sudden there it is, a brand-new box of Cheez-It’s appearing out of nowhere.
• Protection from germs in public restrooms. Step one is to enter the bathroom by using your shoulder, elbow to push the door open. Step two is to handle the business at hand. Step three is to release the proper amount of paper towels from the dispenser (enough to roll a small cottage in the country on homecoming night may suffice). Step three is to turn the water on. Step four, SOAP. Step five-wash hands. Step six is to dry hands properly. Step seven is to turn the water off with the help of the paper towels measuring half of a regulation football field. Step eight is to open the door using the same paper or your shirt sleeve to keep from touching the door handle.
• Rock star in the car. It may not be karaoke night at your favorite local hot spot on a Saturday night or a competitive game of Guitar Hero, but your neighbor at the busy red light in down town could not tell the difference. As I’m belting out the words to “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston in front of the neighborhood market I realize that maybe the car full of teenagers next to me do not fully understand the significance of this tune. I mean it was every couples’ “SONG” in the nineties.
• Mixing clothing brands. If some name brand clothing company decided to sponsor a high school softball coach in an attempt to further their retail sales, they wouldn’t have to worry about me cheating on their company. I mean who doesn’t know that if you wear Under Armour ankle socks that your entire wardrobe must consist of their logo. I change out my UA phone case when I wear Nike clothes. In Leviticus 19, the bible discusses not wearing clothing woven of two types of material. I took the hint.
Ecclesiastes 8:15 discusses enjoyment of life. It is recommended that a person eat and drink and be glad. This will accompany him in his toil all the days of the life that God has granted them under the sun.
These unique behaviors that I call life do not necessarily translate into happiness. However, habits formed even as “off the wall” as they may seem create patterns and my children will reflect these actions. Recently, my four-year-old flushed the toilet in a public restroom without guidance with the bottom of his short sleeve shirt and refused to touch the door knob as we exited. Without hesitation he remarked, “there is no telling what kind of germs are floating around this place.” Behavior is oftentimes inherited from our environment. Racism, addiction, and being a Christ fearing follower all can be directly related to the strange or normal habits observed from the time of birth.