Guys, if there's ever been a word that DOESN'T describe me, it's radical. Well, besides the whole moving-into-a-house-currently-occupied-by-drug-dealers-in-the-inner-city. But seriously, I'm such a rule-follower, it's ridiculous. I remember breaking out in hives all the time when Adam and I first started dating because he wanted to do all sorts of crazy things. And by crazy I mean, not really crazy at all, just not within my confines of "normal" behavior. And by hives I mean I complained a lot and refused to let Adam have any fun.
Anyhow, I mentioned last week that I was going to participate in the Radical Read-along over at Marla's blog. And I'm a day late to the party, but couldn't help wanting to join in anyways. I read Radical at the beginning of the summer before camp started, and it totally rocked my world in a lot of ways, so I'm excited to go back through it and pick it apart . . .
Yesterday, in the midst of the craziness of a day full of pointless errands, cleaning up after Jayci, visiting new parents in the hospital, eating Chick-fil-a . . . I took a few minutes to sit outside, soak up the sun, and re-read chapter one. And the words seared through my heart in a familiar way. I felt a slight stirring in the deepest recesses of my soul. I felt it then, and I feel it now. Because YES we are being obedient (and some would say "radical") by following Jesus into the inner city. But what am I ACTUALLY giving up? I'm willing to trust God for Jayci's safety in the city, as long as He lets me keep her. I'm willing to trust God for providing a house, for growing our ministry, for paying our bills . . . but only if it means I will still have a place to lay my head. Never mind that Jesus himself had "no place to lay his head."
David (clearly we're on a first-name basis by this point) asserts that "our meaning is found in community and our life is found in giving ourselves for the sake of others in the church, among the lost, and among the poor." What is it going to look like for me to live in community, in "giving myself" for the sake of others? I think giving myself up is going to mean taking more risks. Talking to people when I'd rather be quiet. Sharing my meal when I just want my space. Serving Adam and Jayci when I'd rather lay on the couch and watch HGTV (let's be honest, I can't remember the last time I did that - and I'm dying to do it again someday).
In all seriousness, I know that Jesus took time for Himself sometimes, He retreated to be alone. To pray. To commune with His Father. But beneath all of that, behind everything He did, was an underlying obedience, a radical abandonment to the things of the Father. I don't want Jesus to be like me: selfish, tired, harried, discouraged, distracted . . . Instead, I want to be more like Him.
So the question, beneath it all, comes down to this: do I BELIEVE in the deepest part of me that He is worth abandoning EVERYTHING for? Do you?
"You know that in the end, you are not really giving away anything at all. Instead you are gaining. Yes, you are abandoning everything you have, but you are also gaining more than you could have in any other way. So with joy - with joy! -You sell it all, you abandon it all. Why? Because you have found something worth losing everything else for." - David Platt, Radical