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What’s wrong with being normal? And what is normal anyway?

I love reading and hearing about how people live their lives as they attempt to follow Jesus. I get inspired, uplifted, convicted, motivated and encouraged. Those people who share their ideas and actions challenge me to think and to grow.

But then, sometimes when I read too much about what other people are thinking, I get tired. I begin to feel dissatisfied and restless.

I just read a blog written by a woman who doesn’t want to be “normal”. I liked her blog because it showed a real example of living in the tension. Having your stuff and following Jesus. You can read it here and form your own opinions.

Even though I liked her blog, reading about her desires to be more “sold out” and “surrendered” to God started to make me feel tired.

Sort of the same feeling I get when David Platt tells me how to be “Radical”, Shane Claiborne tells me how to be “Revolutionary”, Francis Chan talks to me about “Crazy Love”, Erwin McManus takes me down the “Barbarian Way” and Tullian Tchividjian tells me how to be “Unfashionable”. Yeah, I love all those books. I love their thinking. I love that their writing and their lives are all sold out, surrendered and way out there for Jesus.

Yeah, I want to be like that too. When I first became a follower of Christ, I told my friend, who was largely responsible for dragging me into the Kingdom, that I wanted to be a radical Christian. I didn’t want to be a namby-pamby pew sitter. I wanted to go all out for Christ. I still do.

But now and then, I wonder. What is wrong with being normal? Why does normal have a stigma attached to it? Why do we glamorize “surrendered, radical” lives? Why do we agonize if we feel we aren’t measuring up to being “sold out”? Do we really understand what Jesus meant when he said follow me?

Do we just have so much stuff here in America that we feel like we have to get rid of it to be sold out? Do we believe we aren’t radical enough if we have a regular paying job instead of a helping-the poor-ministry job? Do we really believe that focusing on our kids and spending most of our time and energy on raising them well is not surrendered enough?

It seems as though a publishing/speaking industry has grown up around those buzzwords like “radical” and “revolutionary” and “unfashionable” and we all want to get on the bandwagon. Or at least talk about getting on the bandwagon.

And honestly, all those buzzwords did originally come from Jesus and the life he modeled for us.

There is, however, another thing that Jesus modeled for us and that is maturity. Yes, maturity. That is one of Scripture’s buzzwords. Somehow maturity just doesn’t sound as glamorous as radical or revolutionary. But when I think about it, maturity is the natural course of life. It’s normal.

So, I have come to realize that as long as I continue to follow Jesus, I am going to be living in that tension of how to be radical, revolutionary and unfashionable as I grow and become more mature. And I guess that is just normal.

What are your thoughts?