So much of what Christ did ran against tradition and cultural acceptance. He touched diseased people, He ate dinner with prostitutes and thieves, and He refused to conform to societal norms. Somehow we seem to have lost this part of His message. Instead we have become a people obsessed with living in a manner consistent with everyone else. We drive the same cars, wear the same clothes and talk in the same manner as those who do not know Christ. Most of us live in comfortable houses in safe neighborhoods, surrounded by people who are just like us. Arguments are made about living among those who need Jesus and in identifying with them. We use this for justification of living a life that looks no different from our neighbors. Where is the desire to follow Jesus? Where is the passion to walk along the trail that He blazed before us? We are not different; we are not living any differently than the rest of the world, and we are certainly not living the countercultural lifestyle of Jesus Christ.
Where did we lose our way and veer from the path that leads to life? When did we decide that it was simply okay to be “normal”? Jesus wasn’t normal! He lived His entire life in service to others. He endured torture and agony, the likes of which most of us will never have to endure. We are a people consumed with temporal pleasures in lieu of eternal joy. Where is the logic in this? Do we realize what we risk by refusing to live the way Jesus lived? We call ourselves followers of Jesus then continue to live our self-centered and consumptive lifestyles.
Look outside your door; take a look at the evening news. Children are starving all around us. Desperate mothers sell their own dignity because it is the only way they can afford to buy food for their children. Mentally challenged individuals struggle to find a place to sleep and a way to survive in a world that grows increasingly intolerant and brutal. Normal people shake their heads at the tragedy of it all. Jesus did not react as normal people do. He reached out, He lifted people up, and He restored hope. He roamed homeless for over three years so He would be unencumbered by the things of this world in order that He would be free to serve anyone and in any place that He saw fit. Jesus wasn’t normal. He was abnormal in every way and we are called to live a life of this same abnormality.
How are you doing? Are you living a normal life? Are you keeping up with the Jones’ while turning away from the homeless? Do you see the sick and dying all around you? Do you tend to the needs of your neighbor and serve others at every opportunity? Are you leading a normal life or a life that is defiantly weird, a life of total abnormality in terms of love and service? I’ve seen and lived what normal is; I don’t want to be there. I want to live a life of fire and passion for the One who created me, loved me and saved me. I want to demonstrate His love to everyone I meet. I want to serve anyone who is in need. I don’t want to look away or be so consumed with myself that I cannot see beyond it. I don’t want to walk on any path except that which Christ walks before me. I simply cannot, I unequivocally refuse, to live my life for any purpose but to follow Him. I don’t want to be normal.