Due to the recommendation from two trusted friends on opposite sides of the country, I have begun reading David Platt's 'Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream'. At the gym yesterday, I couldn't put it down. I ended up reading for an hour and a half (which is long considering my attention span with books), sweating away on the elliptical. The cover of the book has a pic of a house turned upside down. Needless to say, I am excited when I pick up any book like this. I am so frequently turned off by the American way of doing things. Cameron, as well, makes comments about just moving to a foreign country where a simple way of life and true relationship-based living are learned.
Consider for a moment a rural, agricultural village with no running water, where livelihood is based on crop. No one person can make it without the help of their neighbor. It's not like here, where we leave our homes ALONE in the morning, work all day (ignoring people as much as possible), come home to park our car in the garage (shutting the door behind us), and plug away at catching up on 'the news' all evening like a couch potato. Now, that doesn't look like my life at all, but I'm making a choice every day NOT to choose that. And I know certain other individuals who differ terribly. It makes me sad for their lives. Especially for those calling themselves believers in the living God and followers of Jesus Christ. This is NOT what we were called to: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)
At least I believe that means not leading a standstill American 'dream'. An excerpt from 'Radical':
"As I stood on that mountain, God gripped my heart and flooded my mind with two resounding words, 'Wake up.' Wake up and realize that there are infinitely more important things in your life than football and 401(k). Wake up and realize there are real battles to be fought, so different from the superficial, meaningless 'battles' you focus on. Wake up to the countless multitudes who are currently destined for a Christless eternity. The price of our nondiscipleship is high for those without Christ. It is high also for the poor of this world. Consider the cost when Christians ignore Jesus' commands to sell their possessions and give to the poor and instead choose to spend their resources on better comforts, nicer cars, and more stuff. Consider the cost when these Christians gather in churches and choose to spend millions of dollars on nice buildings to drive up to, cushioned chairs to sit in, and endless programs to enjoy for themselves. Consider the cost for the starving multitudes who sit outside the gate of contemporary Christian affluence."
I see myself being guilty of many of these things. I pray I will never sit here and say that I have arrived and point my finger at others to judge. No, I am guilty. But I want God to change my heart, to shape me into His image, to see others as they were created (not what they have created themselves to be). I want to be a world-changer, to stand up against 'the norms' of the church, to be bold when I see something that must change. Someday, I want to teach our children to boldly defy compliance. I want our children to grow in Christ, to laugh and love with all their hearts, to give everything for the sake of Christ. It must start with me.