In 2011 a friend recommended a book for me to read: Radical by David Platt. I purchased the book and started reading it. I may have gotten through the second chapter. Probably not. I truly believe some books we are ready for while others we are not. I was not ready for this book in 2011.
I still may not be.
I finished reading Radical a couple of weeks ago and decided to do the challenge laid out in chapter 9.
The challenge is:
For one year:
1. Pray for the entire world
2. Read through the entire Bible
3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose
4. Spend your time in another context
5. Commit your life to a multiplying community
I presented this challenge to some family and friends and they are completing the challenge with me.
I have found it very interesting how the Bible speaking about – we can’t all be hands or feet or the head – is showing through in this challenge.
A few people have said: I’ll do all but #2. Or all but #… Oddly enough, when I first considered doing this challenge I said I’ll do all but #3 and #4. Yet some of my family said – oh #3 and #4 are easy, I’ll do those.
Some really are the hands and some really are the feet.
I had no idea how #3 would play out for me. I thought of this plan and that plan, but I had not come up with any solid ideas.
But then this… this is how #3 is starting for me:
Yesterday I went to the grocery store. 2 of them. I didn’t worry about how I would pay. Truly – I didn’t even think about it. On my way to store #2, I saw a man holding a sign:
I will work for food. I have 2 kids.
My heart breaks every time I see someone holding one of those signs. But then the cold side of my heart starts saying things like:
1. Are they just scam artists?
2. Why don’t they just get a job?
3. Do they really have kids?
4. I don’t have any work for them to do – I can’t help them.
5. What are they going to spend the money on? Alcohol? cigarettes?
6. Will I be in danger if I try to give them something?
7. Will BP be in danger?
and the list goes on and on.
But yesterday… I forgot all about the man as I did my shopping. We left the store and I passed him again on the way home. No one was helping him. BP started asking for nummies (M&Ms). I kept thinking about how to help the man. We drove home.
All the way home.
BP asked again for nummies and I agree to go back to the store. Driving there I told myself if I saw the man again I would buy a grocery store gift card and give it to him.
He was still there.
BP and I went in, we found her nummies, I found a gift card and all those questions and fears crept back into my head.
We left the store, I timed the light just right and I was able to give the man the gift card.
I felt nothing. I was expecting this rush of YAY, I did it. Or Boo – I just wasted X amount of dollars. But I felt nothing. No emotion at all. It was weird. I’m glad I helped him, but to feel nothing was odd.
I thought about it last night, I thought about it today – and then I realized. I felt nothing because to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit should not be some big pinnacle point. It should be usual. Something we do on a daily basis. To obey should be normal.
I felt nothing because it shouldn’t be a plateau moment either. It shouldn’t be a: oh, crap I gave money away… What am I going to do now – moment. It should be normal to give. It should be normal to help. We SHOULD have no emotional attachment to our money. We should give freely in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading. But it isn’t normal. Maybe I don’t want to be normal, maybe I want to be obedient.
Maybe this Radical Challenge thing isn’t so much about big moments in our life this year, but little every day moments that mean we are obeying and following what God has told us to do.
1 Corinthians 12:20-22