[As I sit here trying to type out my thoughts, I wonder if I can manage to do it without it sounding like bragging. Because it's not. Sometimes it seems a little difficult to convey tone and what I think sounds like merely a description of my admittedly unusual life, can come across as, "Hey! Look at what I am doing! Yeah me!" This is NOT what I am intending.]
Since I have written on my thoughts about the new radicals a couple of times, I won't rehash that all. (But if you missed them, here are the links: Radical? and You want Radical?) I think that I have finally figured out exactly what bothers me just a bit about it all, and that would be that it all boils down to what the cause of being radical is. Is it something that we put on ourselves to show our devotion to God or is it something that God does to us when we devote ourselves to Him? I am quite sure that it is the second choice and that too often we do the first instead. In some ways it is easier. It is easier because it leaves us in control.
When we are in control we can choose the way in which we are 'radical'. It allows us to keep things neat and tidy, to avoid discomfort, to make ourselves look more important than we are by choosing public ways of being 'radical'. We can look good and appear devoted and still be hesitant to turn the reins of our lives over to Jesus.
And Jesus will always surprise us. Following Jesus means that you will be radical, because He is. And it will never be in the way you imagined because in following Jesus, He will change you into the person who can do the crazy things that He calls you to do. In some ways you will look at where you started and where you are now and realize that you couldn't have come up with this on your own. But in other ways, you will look at yourself and realize that this is what you are supposed to be doing and deep, deep down you realize that you knew it all along... even it at some points in your life you didn't think it sounded terribly appealing.
The key to being really radical is to let go of what you think radical looks like, what life should look like, what everyone else expects, and do what you are being called to do. Listen to that still, small voice. What is it nudging you to do? It can be small. Did the idea come into your mind to phone someone or invite them over? You could very well be answering someone's plea for companionship and not even know it. Do you hear the need of someone needing a place to live for a while? Did you briefly think, 'I need to do this' before rationality took over and you told yourself all the reasons why you couldn't? Being radical is listening to those yearnings of the soul that we are so good are rationalizing out of existence.
I have not yet perfected this. There are plenty of times that I look back and wonder what great and wonderful thing would have happened if I had listened to that small voice instead of the louder one that told me why I couldn't do something. I expect I missed some pretty cool stuff. I don't like those feelings of regret, so am trying more and more to stop and listen and act. Even if it seems crazy. Radical, even.
This is all I'll do to hound you about voting... I'll just put the link on the bottom of each post as a reminder. That's not too obnoxious is it? And I hear from several people that you can opt out of the whole registering process.
And here I am reminding you to pray for Brandi again. Oh, how I can't wait until I can tell you that you won't be seeing her picture again because she has a family. But, she still waits.