I’ve been told I’m “radical”… Sometimes the word used is “brave” or “faithful” or – yes – “crazy”… In whatever form, whatever words it comes in, “radical” would sum up what the person talking to me means.
I don’t say this because I believe the people who tell me that. No offence to them, I know they mean it nicely… but I often wonder what they expect from someone to whom they assign that label.
Yes, I live in a country different from the one which my passport comes from. Yes, I live here because this is where God’s called me to live.
I also spend a significant chunk of time cleaning a forever-dirty house, doing laundry, washing dishes and sleeping. It took me two days to get a working internet system back. I’m fairly faithful with my Hindi study, but last week I spent a whole afternoon watching movies instead of doing my homework. Do I get to keep the label “radical” if I say those movies were Hindi movies and still beneficial to my language learning?
I do try to disciple people and tell them about Jesus… but I do it less clearly and efficiently than I could if I still lived in America. Often, the call to disciple others only brings out the selfish, control-freak in me. Am I still radical if most days I’d rather sleep in than get up early to prepare for the day’s Bible study?
My vague discomfort with being labeled “radical” got shaped out into words and stories when I read Skye Jethani’s two excellent blogs which you should check out here – parts one and two. Basically, he says, the ability to live a radical life doesn’t depend on work or location. We can live – or fail to live – a radical life no matter our job description or address.
I say my friend who’s started included snatches of Scripture or God’s truth as a “thought for the day” with his morning report to the CEOs and other staff at his job is radical.
My friend who’s been taking on the mentoring of young teenage girls with serious issues at her church is radical.
The moms & dads trying to guide their children through life’s craziness in a Biblical, godly way are radical.
In short, I agree with Jethani that: “Some may be butchers, and others lawyers, and some [God] will even call to be suburban moms. And all of their work will be holy, good, and, if rooted in communion with God, truly radical”.
So whatever your address and job today, I challenge you to be radical.