“You’re crazy enough to change the world.”
Those were prophetic words spoken to me by an elder who wasn’t happy with me. Trust me, he didn’t mean that as a compliment. He said that because I was royally screwing up his country club. His nice little church who loved their closed circle of friends and hid behind and glass walled lie of, “We just want to protect our kids from the world” had been exposed to the realities of some radical transformation that can occur when you challenge students to read God’s Word uninterpretted.
“What does a plain reading of this tell you to do?”
As I taught middle school and high school students how to do that in a Christian school and the church that hosted it, kids started asking questions that freaked their parents out. And those freaked out parents called the elders. And the elders told me to stop teaching like that.
Before you can change the world, you better change your block
This has been a turn in my understanding of that phrase, of late. I can point to specific things that happen in my world and say, “Yes, I had a hand in impacting that. Those things have changed because of my being here.”
But my conviction is becoming that none of that matters if I don’t love my neighbors enough to help them discover the truths that those middle school and high school students discovered way back when. If I don’t love my neighbors enough to royally mess up their lives by introducing Jesus’ insurrection of the heart, I say I love my neighbors but I really don’t.
That’s my terrestrial calling. I can think and dream in planetary terms. But in reality? My calling is really, really local.