Thursday, May 20, 2010

The What Am I Supposed to Do With That? Book Club OR Called to look like an idiot

For those of you who don’t know, writing this blog is not my day job. I know this must come as a shock. Actually, my day job is to be a professional nerd. I’m a librarian. Bun and horn-rimmed glasses not included… yet. It goes without saying that I am also a reader. Don’t hang up yet – I’m getting to something. Occasionally in my personal reading I come across a few books that shake up my thinking and I have started calling them my “What am I supposed to do with this?!” book club. It started with Sarah Cunningham’s Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generation. That one I read on accident – or so I say. Following that came a Francis Chan’s Crazy Love which I have now read several times and recommend it to innocent bystanders at random. It’s a job hazard, really. Most recently, a guy named Shane Claiborne and a girl named Jen Hatmaker are doing their best to mess with me. That’s what I call it when writers make me question things I’ve never thought to question or maybe never wanted to because it meant I might have to do something different. And let’s face it… who in this world wants to be different?

Jen Hatmaker spoke at a Women’s Conference I went to with some people last month. She talked about being interrupted. Since I usually seem to exist in a semi-interrupted state, this held particular interest for me. In her talk, she touched on some things that the Holy Spirit had already begun to stir in me. So, I did what any good bibliophile would do – I bought her book. Oddly enough, it’s called Interrupted. From her book, I found out about Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution. I said all of this to get to my point. I’m big on providing background.

In his book, Claiborne talks about all kind of earth flipping things but what stands out to me the most tonight is who it is that God calls and what it does for your social status when He does give you the shout out. Prepare for an earth shattering statement (be thankful I warned you… nobody warned me): We are not called to be cool. Take a moment there and let that soak in.

Think about our heroes of faith for a moment will you and I will show you why instead, culturally, we very well can end up looking like lunatics. Moses: murderer turned leader who is told by God in the presence of his whole culture to first strike a rock with a stick and bring forth water and then the second time around he is told (and disobeys) to speak to the rock to have water. No cool points there. (Sure, God gets cool points, but Moses could have looked like a real nut) Then we have King David: He danced before the Lord in worship which did not please his wife. He even said that he would gladly look like a fool before His God. Imagine that! Moving on to Noah: Here’s a guy who built a cruise ship on land. No further explanation necessary on that one. Speed down to the NT and we have a whole host of brothers and sisters who spent time in a dungeon and died for this gospel of ours. I’m sure the Apostle Paul was somewhat of a black sheep in his family. I could go on and on.

You see, God doesn’t call us to be cool. He doesn’t call us to do the things that make sense to our culture. He doesn’t call us to fit in. He doesn’t call us to do what seems normal or look out for our own interests. Not at all.

Instead, He calls us to something much better. He calls us to bring glory to His name in the way that we trust Him and honor Him with our lives.

And that’s as far as I've gotten tonight. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all of this.