Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Radical Like That

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


  1. Becca,
    Hi! I'm Jen..fellow Radical reader! Loved your thoughts. I think what you mentioned hit me the most too. To know that our greatest reward and the only one that really matters in being stored up for us in Heaven. This book is going to rock my world...I'm scared to start Chapter 2!

  2. Several friends are reading this now - I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    And we're so Wonder Twins - when I met my husband, I was the biggest stick in the mud sort of person - Clearly he's been good for me.

  3. i too am learning about how to live in community. today i was arguing with God. He said to ask a single mom if she wanted to come grocery shopping with me. i didn't want to because i'm too tired and grumpy to listen to someone else talk. clearly, i have far to go.
    thanks for writing. i'm excited to find someone else experimenting with living in community too!

  4. It is all about remembering that despite what our human minds see we are missing out on/giving up/losing... really, like he said, its so worth it, because what Jesus has is FAR better! Our little pea brains just have a hard time seeing it! :)

  5. Thanks for visiting and I really appreciated your comment. We have some similar DNA when it comes to risk taking : ) My husband says I have had to be carried kicking and screaming to anything fun or slightly adventurous only to discover I actually liked whatever it was. This included moving to a foreign country where God did so much in my life and the lives of my husband and children too. And I hate to think I could have missed it. Its a lesson I'm carrying forward as I read the book.

    I love what you wrote regarding Radical...I too feel like I have a lot of 'Yes, but...'in my life. I'm twice your age but still a work in progress!

  6. Oh, girl I am there with you. My hubby and I read Radical last spring and we did radically change our lives by entering ministry to teen moms (I was one) and have one and her sweet baby living with us now. But, just reading chapter one again I am already being convicted about new things...great post and I look forward to being on this journey with you!

  7. "Nothing is lacking where everything is given." Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

    I've been pondering this for a while now.


  8. Gosh, that question kicks my booty. I so want to say yes, but it's so easy to say yes when I don't really know what it means for me.
    And I secretly want to move to your neighborhood :)

  9. Hi Becca,

    Thanks for your encouraging comments on my blog! You sound pretty darn radical to me already :) I'm sorry to say that if I am really being brutally honest, I would have to say I believe it with my mind but the truth has not yet seared my heart. That is to say, that if I had to choose between radical abandonment and my comfortable life right now- I'd probably choose my comfortable life. But that is what this journey is about, right?

  10. I've loved following along on your journey for a few months now, Becca, and I LOVE this post. Thank you!!

  11. Becca! I'm in! I'll re-read this with you. It rocked my world, too.


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