But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. (Luke 5:16 NLT)
So, I'm finding my last few days to be a little strange. Right now, for example, I'm writing down thoughts and it's 2 a.m. This isn't the normal pattern for me. But then again, my "normal" pattern hasn't been very normal lately.
Prior to Christmas, I found myself battling some version of the flu virus that has been going around in our area. Mine was the kind that knocked the energy out of your body, left you aching for 5 days, then finished up with some bronchial issues for another week or so. I would feel "special" if I didn't know so many other people who fought very similar symptoms.
Christmas weekend, my fever broke and strength returned, so I was able to participate in most of our Christmas activities - although sometimes hidden in a camera booth or purposefully avoiding people so as not to contaminate them with my germs.
During this time, my daughters both came home from college. Both of them have guys they are dating here in town, so the return of our two girls actually brought more two more into our home on a regular basis. I loved having them all here. "Normal," however, just got "busier than normal."
With the age of our children, their guys up here, and work/school schedules as they were; travelling to Cincinnati for the Christmas holiday simply didn't make sense this year. So, we didn't. Our moms, however, were willing to travel up to spend some time with us. So they did. That brought the total to 9 people (and a dog) coming and going from our house all day long. We loved it. "Normal," however, just went out the window.
Over the course of the next couple weeks, people began going back to school and home. The last one just left town this past Sunday. Monday, everything could get back to "normal." But it didn't.
I found myself feeling strange with the lack of activity. I also started thinking back over the events of the past month. I realized how much I enjoyed spending time with family. I also realized how much time I've been spending in prayer. The added people, activity, and focus on Christ really got me talking to God more often than "normal." I found myself thanking Him. I found myself asking Him for wisdom. I asked Him to control my tongue and open my ears so I would listen more than I would speak. I found myself relying on Him much more than "normal."
On Monday, I didn't want to let go of that pattern. I found my day craving time with my Lord and best friend, even though many of the others had left to continue their lives. I prayed more than "normal." It was good. The day was productive. Meetings still occurred. Things still got done. I enjoyed it more than "normal," though.
Jesus, we are told, often withdrew to spend time in prayer. I wonder if that was why. I wonder if it was because he knew His calling was simply not "normal." In any case, I find myself in good company. I'm glad he prayed often, too. Who knows. This just may become my new "normal." I'd be just fine with that.