Friday, January 31, 2020

Out of Your Mind

This one's a hard one for me. I'm going to confess that right up front. It's one of those things that I'm still searching for the balance on because I'm a person driven by fiery passion and an inspired vision and eyes that see God's design/intention for everything.

Then Paul says, "So if we were crazy, it was for God. If we are sane, it is for you" (2 Corinthians 5:13). And he's got me.

God does have all of these wild and crazy ideas that require us to step out of our comfort zones. Not once does God ever tell anyone that what He wants for them is the status quo. He never says He wants you to just live a quiet life, go to church on Sundays, stay in your lane, and die. God's always calling us to crazy adventures, and the life of faith that we seek requires us to be a little crazy ourselves. Okay, sometimes out of our mind crazy.

But the persons around us don't really keep up with that. You start talking about the things God's made you passionate about, you start talking out of the fire that He's lit in your soul, and this world can hardly handle you. I know. I get it all the time. What the world needs is someone who is down-to-earth, authentic, feet-on-the-ground. The persons around you need to know that you share the same space with them, that you're right here with them. That their experience in the flesh is your experience in the flesh. They need you to be grounded. On holy ground if you must, but just don't go crazy, okay?

It's a tough balance to strike. On the one hand, we want to be the kind of people of faith who do the crazy things God calls us to. We want to leave everything and go to the land that He will show us. We want to build an ark. We want to pick up our Cross.

At the same time, we want to be the kind of people of faith that other persons can relate to. We want to be the Christians whose kids play soccer with the other kids, who go to the grocery on Saturdays, who put their pants on one leg at a time.

We want to be crazy, but can't we be cool about it?

That's what Paul's getting at. That's the balance that we're all seeking.

Paul was a passionate man. He was a guy on fire for Jesus and this whole new Way that was taking off. He cared deeply about persons, cared deeply about the faith. He also didn't want to alienate anyone. So he'd go wild off the rails and then he'd have to pull himself back. He'd preach fire, but then he'd preach grace. He'd plead with the people, but then he'd identify with them. And what he's basically saying here is, "If you think you've lost me, that I've gone off the deep end, it's because God's got his hooks in me for something, but if you're with me and I'm making sense, it's because I've remembered to focus on you."

I'm crazy for God, but sane for you. I let myself run wild with the vision that He's given me, but I tone it down so I don't lose you.

It's an important reminder for us. Okay, at least for me. Not everyone can keep up with our passion, and why should they? God hasn't given everyone the eyes He's given us. He hasn't asked of everyone what He's asked of us. Only Noah built the ark. Only Moses stood at the burning bush. But it's important that when God sparks something in us, we get fired up. We have to learn to balance the fire that He's fueling and the authentic, relatable expression of that. We have to learn to remember to focus on persons when they need us to be there. We have to dream loud and walk quietly, if it even seems like such a thing is possible. We have to be in this world, but not of this world. Crazy for God and sane for His people.

It's a tough one for me. I suspect I'm not alone. What I also suspect, however, is that the default for most of us is toward sanity, not toward craziness. Most of us, having to choose between the two, think it more important to be proper in this world. (My problem is just the opposite. I can't let go of my crazy for God for anything!) But Paul says it's not about choosing one or the other. It's about finding that balance so that we can say, along with him,

If I'm crazy, it's for God. If I'm sane, it's for you. 

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