Recently, I have had a lot of "How strange it is..." moments.
For instance, the one or two evenings that I actually sat down to watch historic Olympic moments, I was struck by how strange it is that from the comfort of my own living-room I can watch with perfect clarity and superb sound the happenings in Torino, Italy. This is amazing.
Another for instance, I was driving my newly refurbished Blazer, and pondered what a marvelous and strange thing a car really is. I cannot comprehend the mind that can figure out how to make a series of nuts and bolts work in such a fashion. I can comprehend how someone could come up with such a thing, but to actually make that thought into reality...astounding! Or for that matter, the computer, the internet, the refrigerator, every modern convenience.
A final for instance, last Sunday I was sitting in worship at PUMP enjoying a great sermon on Moses and all his unheroic like heroism, when the thought struck me of how strange it is that I worship in a two-story house crammed full of people in Portland, Oregon. How strange it is that a 23-year-old (almost 24, three cheers for my birthday this month!), white, single female from Lubbock, Texas found her way to Portland and has worshipped for the last two years with an urban church intent on shaping children into disciples of Christ.
This can't be the norm. In fact, I'm almost positive that it is not the norm. Yet the longer I live here, and even as I look toward heading to Colorado, I am growing more convinced that being a disciple of Jesus--being His student, His apprentice--requires a little, possibly a lot, of strangeness.
Jesus was not the norm throughout His life here. For some He was a breath of fresh air--the chance to live in freedom. For others His strangeness offended their way of life, which was totally unacceptable. Yet in all of His strangeness Jesus knew what was most important--to know God and be known by Him.
So maybe living life a little bit strange in an effort to remember what is most important is well worth it. It means having a Kingdom heart and a Kingdom life. It means putting new wine--apprenticeship to the strangeness of Christ--in new wineskins--a Kingdom reality lived out here and now. (Matt. 9:16-17) It means not loving my father or mother more, my son or daughter more, or any other thing more than I love Jesus. It means taking up a cross with full knowledge that the privelege of the prize--adoption by God--is greater than any pain I might endure. It means that whatever momentary pleasures offered by earthly life--physical, financial, or other--can be lost in order to live the fullness of a Kingdom life here and now. (Matt. 10:37-39)
Hmmm, maybe it is worth it to be a little bit strange...