I'm thinking of Bethany. At least, I think that was her name, she came with her brother to my school last fall, they held signs on the quad and tried to talk to people about Jesus. She accused me of following the ways of the world; she said I had bought into the lie that I needed to go to college, and that this was purely self-serving. My conversation with her challenged me to learn Scripture better, and reaffirmed for me my dedication to serving my campus in Jesus's name, but now I'm wondering again . . .
It's almost as though there is an invisible line. Either you are a radical or you are not. Either you are imbued with purpose or you are living after a lie. You are either sold out and on fire, or you're complacent and lukewarm. I'm picturing hundreds of thousands of legitimately God-fearing people who have been swindled by a picture of the gospel that is underachieving. There has been a call for the church to rise out of its anemia into a true and passionate rededication to
But I wonder if this fervor isn't itself a kind of lie. A false dichotomy. I watched this video by Eric Ludy, and I wondered if it was really God's plan for the Western church to invade Africa and give every orphan a family. Maybe I'm the one with the false dichotomy.
It's just that, I worry if I'm deluding myself with my weekend outreach and my handful of Bible studies and my tortured forays into spiritual understanding. I have heard over and over that the Gospel is revolutionary, it is unsafe, it is crazy. But I live in a world that is more ordered than that. I'm no John the Baptist. There's nothing counter-cultural about shouting the name of Jesus from a street-corner . . . it's just weird. My version of "living for Him", though challenging for me, seems too tame compared to the rhetoric of the greats. I'm thinking of what I read in Crazy Love this week: "I think sometimes we assume that if we are nice, people will know that we are Christians and want to know more about Jesus. But it really does work that way. I know a lot of people who don't know Christ and are really nice people. There has to be more to our faith than friendliness, politeness, and even kindness."
I'm almost desperate to become a missionary, to be neck-deep in ministry so that I never run the risk of losing sight of the Kingdom. Though, I mean, of course we always run that risk, no matter where we are. It's the human condition, inescapable. Which is why God fortifies us to be vigilant.
But still! If it's that difficult to keep my heart on God's work in some such missions scenario, how much more difficult is it to fight the temptation of "adequacy" when I am in my comfortable middle class existence.
I don't even know what it is I am confused about anymore.
It is not that I think my world is perfect, it is that I am content to face the problems of my world, and not the problems of THE world. Oh God, my God, what is it You want from me?