I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work. Living a ‘normal’ life that is, one a bit more conventional, a bit less close to the edge of things. A life where one takes no creative risk, and where one seeks to quieten the passions of your life to make them more palatable to the onlooker.
Nice house, holidays, disposable income, respectable occupation, toning down the radical call to discipleship to make it palatable to 21st century sensibilities, somehow placating those who can justify sitting passively in a pew as discipleship. What a load of tosh. What makes us think that a life following Jesus of Nazareth looks like a picket fence and a MPV in the driveway? What makes us think that church is a Sunday show that simply tides us over until we’re zapped away to heaven?
It has been an insightful experiment. I’m convinced more than ever that the world will never be changed by a passive, low-impact expression of the body of Christ…and yet, it is often the only vision that people have ever been sold.
We’re into Holy Week now, the week where the Son of God demonstrates the full, ridiculous, suffering, loving, outrageous love for humanity. If God had waited another 2000 years to send his Messiah, I still think he’d had sent a homeless, counter-cultural upstart that you couldn’t help but love or hate. I think he’d still have come asking people to leave their nets, cast aside the 9 til 5.
‘Oh, but we can’t all follow Jesus like that’…really? What makes us any different? What changes his mission now that wasn’t applicable then? The call to discipleship is our very first vocation…to hear, take up the cross and follow, investing our lives in the unveiling of his Kingdom instead of building our own.
Our lives should be captivated by the question ‘what would the Kingdom look like in this situation?’ If God’s Kingdom was come on earth as it was in heaven, how would that change our priorities? And yet, we’re called to pray for that and live it.
I can’t get it out of my mind the height from which I’ve fallen, that’s how I feel about my life at the moment…but not in a ‘beat yourself up’ kind of way. I’ve learned the lesson that dwelling on things does no good. The only thing to do is to step up and ‘do the things that you did at first’…rekindle our first love, fan into flame the passion no matter the cost. I don’t view that as brave, just necessary. It is the irresistible call to follow. If it doesn’t hurt a good bit, I’m not sure how close it is to the original call.