You would think a generation raised watching Wizard of Oz would be more familiar with the concept of being content with where you are. And yet, as I look around at my peers I find over and over again in them, and in myself, a desire for the extreme.
Browse through Amazon and you will see book after book with extreme titles.
The Radical Question
The Explicit Gospel
Risk is Right
The Insanity of Obedience
Even the books about “contentment” and “intentional living” and “simplicity” seem like they are trying to tell us how to be content with where we are. And yet they all spend a whole lot of time talking about the writer’s accomplishments, her speaking engagements, and her blog readership.
I understand. I do. We were raised in the suburbs in evangelical churches where mediocrity and apathy were rampant. In an attempt to challenge us and motivate us were fed a steady diet of youth camps and conferences that called us to the mission field and exhorted us in our rolls as ambassadors and champions for Christ. We were called to be Jesus Freaks and change the world. We went to Christian colleges and spent our weekends study theology and doing VBS with kids in low income housing.
If you were a college female in the early 2000s, chances are you wanted to do mission work in an inner city, work with teen moms, or start a magazine for teenage girls helping them “find their identity in Christ”. We went to small groups and talked about our passions and somewhere along the way we may have met a young man who was just as "radical" as we were.
We graduated, we got married, we got jobs “for now” to pay of student loans and wait for God to call us where He “really” wanted us. And we woke up five years later with two or three kids thinking that it would have been easier to follow Christ being a missionary in the 10-40 window then is raising a family in the suburbs on one income.
We fantasied about sacrificing for God but somehow this isn’t what we had in mind. When we thought about changing diapers day in and day out to further the kingdom it was in an orphanage in Uganda, not a two bedroom apartment in Virginia. When we dreamed about sharing the gospel with young minds it was during VBS in Mexico not in a minivan driving to the grocery store.
Chances are I will never know what it is like to be a missionary in another country or to raise my own support so I further the Kingdom in an inner city. But, I do know that the life I am living now takes a lot of courage and grace and commitment. To wake up every day and do the same thing, with little thanks; it may not be glamorous but it is the work put before me. I may not be saving orphans off of the street or writing for an audience of thousands, but I am providing safety and security to three little girls who depend on me to live this life with as much passion as I claimed to have in college.
What if, the most radical thing I do is wake up and be fully committed to whatever task is in front of me?