From my journal dated May 29, 2009
I have 3 insights from today. God perhaps has given them to me.
1) People need Jesus. We are Jesus.
2) The pursuit of the American dream leads away from Jesus.
3) My family is me. We are one. We are a body.
Our lives can usually be characterized by unperceivable change. Like the hour hand on the clock, you don’t see it move when you look at it but only when you look back at it. Sometimes, though, the change is so rapid, you do notice it. When I wrote those 3 things I was at the beginning of a perceivable change in my life. It’s what ultimately got me writing on this blog and has set me on a path I hope my family and I never depart from. In a phrase, I would say this shift awakened me to the Kingdom of God. It was about me (and consequently, my family) realizing our primary identity as a citizens in a Kingdom where Jesus is in charge. It was also the realization that I have no individual identity apart from my family. My wife and I are one. Our kids are one with us. There is no more me, only we. So at risk of non-comformity, I’ve made these things known to you – in the hopes that my journey for truth will inspire others to follow hard after Jesus.
If you’re not looking for it, you probably haven’t seen it. Well, I’ve been looking for it and I’ve noticed there are others awakening to the reality of God’s Kingdom. I’ve had friends sharing their thoughts and recent life stories that mirrors my own. I’m seeing books emerge that cause us to test what we call our Christian faith against the Bible. I’m seeing churches making changes in how they do things (including our own) in order to guard against conforming to the patterns of the world. It’s kind of like what we say about natural disasters: Are there more of them or are we just more aware of them because we have more access to media?
At any rate, I’ve been into some of these books. I made it through Irresistable Revolution, Crazy Love, among some other lesser known titles, and now my wife and I are part way through the book, Radical: Taking your faith back from the American Dream by David Platt. Radical is essentially a book about my above #2. I’m reading it and hearing echoes of my own thoughts and convictions. God’s Spirit is moving among the believers within our culture. I really hope we are at the beginning of another great awakening. (David Platt has quickly impressed me by his boldness and life of action. Check out what he’s leading his faith community to with the Radical Experiement) I will predictably say, the book is really good. There is one phrase that has begun (began?) to haunt me: “…Not how much can I spare, but how much will it take.” What if we measured our giving not by how much we’ll have left, but if the need was met?
When I thought about those 3 things above, I had in mind that I wrote them only a few months ago. When I looked them up I couldn’t believe I wrote that more than a year ago. You don’t know how far you’ve gone until you stop and look back and see how far back your starting point is. At the same time, I feel my family has merely inched forward a few small bits. But it’s phrases like the one in the previous paragraph that work like the gravity moving a glacier.
Thank you, readers, for being my audience. Journaling this adventure for others has been a critical part of the journey!