I have been living (not just visiting) but LIVING in South Africa (another continent, hemisphere, time zone) for the last three weeks now. I have a residence where I receive mail and pay rent so it’s official. From the time I arrived over three weeks ago, I have yet had a lot of time to actually reflect on the seriousness of what I had actually done. However, on the 18+ hour flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Port Elizabeth, South Africa I had a “come to Jesus” moment which caused me to really feel the brunt of what I was doing with my life. So after unsuccessfully trying to find a “comfortable” position in a full flight sitting in the last row, cramped and squished to rest my exhausted body, I surrendered to the need to pour out my heart. Here is what came out…
“I don’t know if what I’m doing is brave or crazy. As I sit here thousands and thousands of feet in the air, thousands and thousands of miles away from all that I know for sure and is comfortable I can’t help to think I may be closer to crazy than brave. What would you call a person that willingly gave up a great job with potential for growth, an opportunity to be self-sufficient and financially secure at a very young age, a brand new car that is paid for (as my dad likes to remind me), great friends and family that love and support me to move to a place of unknowns and isolation? Trade in all of that goodness and privilege for uncertainties and basically start from scratch by myself in a foreign land. Would you say that person is brave? I guess on some level bravery and crazy walk together.
People have told me, “It’s amazing what you’re doing!” “Inspiring.” and yes even “Brave!”
But the funny thing is no one said I was crazy. (At least not to me face) But I have come to the realization as I sit a world away from my comfort that indeed I am crazy.
I have to be. What I’m doing is utterly crazy in every way, but I think I may be in good company. I’m sure the people we study and draw inspiration from in the Bible and throughout history that gave up the easy, expected life to follow the will of God were called crazy. But I think when you are willing to give everything up or even some things up that is not easy by any means. Sacrifice is never welcomed but at times necessary doesn’t make it the first choice. Craziness is a part of that decision.
If you really think about it faith is a crazy idea. ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’ Hebrews 11:1. That’s basically saying that I should believe in something that I want with all of me, but there is no shred of evidence that it even exists anywhere or anyway on this Earth. Faith is putting stock into something or someone that may or may not come through, that has no record of ever being successful or a benefit. Many people would call that a huge gamble, and say that anyone is ‘crazy’ to take on that gamble.
Weren’t the disciples crazy for leaving everything they ever knew? Leave jobs they were really good at which afforded them a good life. Were they crazy to give all that up to follow this stranger into a lifetime of uncertainties, discomfort, sacrifice, and possible danger. I’m sure many people during their time called them crazy!
So I guess during my almost 18 hours of being in thin air (which could be considered crazy), I’ve learned that anytime a person goes against the norm of society and what’s expected of them to willingly choose a life of uncertainty for the cause of Christ is a little bit ‘cray cray’! But I’d rather be out on the water walking with Jesus (doing the imaginable and impossible) than stuck in a boat only wishing…”
Excuse my semi-conscious, delirious thoughts at God-knows what time in the morning somewhere over Africa. But as I read them in the light of day, in a more conscious and coherent state I see God was speaking to me even then. He showed me and is still showing me that yes faith is a crazy notion. The world would agree that believing in something that you’ve never seen is crazy, but then God reminded me that I’m not living for the world’s diagnoses of my mental stability. I run hard after Him and His approval. In order to throw caution out the window and follow God with utter abandonment and complete surrender may cause some mental lapses, but I guess that just makes me that much closer to my Jesus. So do something CRAZY today! Take a faith-risk, follow the voice of God and completely surrender all of the known and comfortable for some “God territory”. Yes it may be crazy but…Jesus is more than worth it!