Radically Normal

Andrew Byers has a timely article on Relevant about our desire for a “radical” life that too often can be more about escapism than passionately following Christ. In an age where we have holes in our gospel, we chase daylight and are radical together it is important to remember that among the calls for dropping everything to “make a difference” we are first called to live well in response to the gospel where we are now. For some of us that means the normal job among the normal people being a light to them in our normality (which is completely different from their normality because we have Christ.)

Byers says some good things for us to think about.

“As a former college student and a current college pastor, I know it is so difficult for a young person to see how doing their accounting project will glorify God. It is hard to see how finishing the research paper on 18th century art forms can contribute to God’s Kingdom work.  Aren’t people dying out there from lack of clean water?  Aren’t the lost dying without the Gospel?

“Yes, but an untested 20-something without the work ethic required for completing the annoying accounting project or the boring research paper will likely be of little help in dire situations overseas. Those assignments can actually be effective training for the arduous labors of missional service. “What ever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23). Remember how Jesus calls us to faithfulness in the small things (Matthew 25:14-30).

“Aching for yonder shores and longingly scanning the distant horizon may well be God’s call on our lives. But it also may be our impatience with the monotonous minutiae of the daily grind. Escapism is not fulfilling the great commission.

“Regardless of our location, abroad or at home, all ministry is inescapably local. Every worker in a global context must embrace the monotonous minutiae of a new daily grind after the plane lands—figuring out the postal service, dealing with the cell phone company, conjugating verbs in the slow and tedious study of the language. If we cannot be faithful to do our statistics homework, then we may lack the strength of character required for dealing with the meticulous annoyances of a more radical life beyond the romanticized horizon.”

Read the whole article on Relevant.

One Comment

  1. This has been such a big lesson the Lord has been teaching me recently. Since accepting Christ, my most earnest and daily prayer has been for Him to reveal what His will is for my life. I was so zealous and told the Lord, “Whatever you want, I will do!” I assumed that He would push me into some kind of ministry. Maybe He would ask me to quit my job and go to seminary or move across the globe.

    But instead He taught me to find rest in Jesus. He taught me to enjoy Him in the present and not worry about what is to come. He will take care of it, and has a plan for me far better than I can conjure. He told me to just live life loving Him with all my heart, soul, and mind. He then told me to love my neighbors. I love because He loved me first. He also told me I already knew what His will was for my life. My will is to be joyful always, pray continuously, and give thanks in all circumstances. It is so simple, and Jesus is so simply beautiful. We are the ones that make things complicated.

    I don’t need a position in the church to do the Lord’s work and I don’t need to be across the globe. There is nothing wrong with those things, but maybe that isn’t God’s specific plan for me. I can do work here, and have the Spirit within me. I can find the Lord in every moment . In all honesty, finding Him in the smallest things has surprisingly been even more amazing than the strong convictions I had in the beginning. Although those convictions were incredibly important and powerful, I had forgotten that God is part of every single little aspect of my life. I essentially limited His involvement in the way I saw fit. But He is an active and personal God that cares so deeply about even the silly, minimal, and monotonous things in life. I cannot even fathom a better God than Him.

    Thanks for this post, Jonathan. For a moment I forgot that my radically normal life IS indeed His will because I’ve been crucified with Christ, and yet I live in Him.

    Reply

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