The English language is a pretty challenging language to speak and/or write. I mean, I just used the word “pretty” in the previous sentence and it had nothing to do with the physical appearance of anything. “Express” could mean “to say or explain” or could just mean “fast.” “Box” could mean “a container” or “to have a fist fight.” Heck, “mean” even has different meanings. I’m so thankful that I didn’t have to learn English as a second language.
We use words so frequently, interchangeably, and without discretion, that often times they lose their impact or their meaning. Take the word “crazy” for example; I can use that word to describe my day or to define how my kids act on occasion. “Awesome” can be used to describe a time of prayer, a sunset, or the taste of a favorite meal. And I won’t even get into how over-used the word “love” is.
The words “crazy” and “awesome” came to mind for me because just yesterday I was thinking about the past 12 years or so and these two words are synonymous with my life. 11 years ago my family and friends all thought I was crazy when I married a woman I had known for a little less than 6 months. What I knew about Amy could have fit on the palm of my hand, but I knew I loved her, she and I both loved God, and that was enough. People thought Amy and I were crazy when we decided Amy wouldn’t work after we had our first-born, Zoe. Family and friends would ask, “How are you going to make it on one income?” “Sacrifice” was our answer at that time. We felt it was important for the well-being of our children, so we did it. Family and friends thought we were crazy when we moved to Troy, Missouri because we didn’t know anybody out here and it was further away from my job. But we felt God was leading us here so we obeyed. People in and around our lives thought home-schooling our children was crazy. But we believed this is what God wants for our family; to raise our children instilling in them a strong faith in Jesus Christ and appreciation for God’s word and will for their lives. Friends and family, my wife included, thought I was crazy when I told them God was speaking to me that I would be a Pastor. That calling on my life would lead me to quit my job with no guarantee of income ever. And wouldn’t you know it, people thought we were crazy.
So, what do family and friends say now after seeing how everything is working out? The same thing Amy and I say…“Awesome”. Okay, so some may say it’s just luck or good fortune, but I disagree. Luck would imply things happen by chance or at random with no real meaning, purpose, or design. When I reflect on where I came from to where I am now there is no room for luck. The fact that my wife and I are still HAPPILY married is because of God. How we’ve been able to “make it” on one income all these years is because of God. The fact that we have more friends and “family” in Troy through Journey Church than either of us ever had previously is because of God. The fact that our children are excelling academically and growing spiritually is because of God. I am able to help pastor a church, influence the lives of students, minister to the homeless here and half way across the country, preach the Gospel to inmates in prison, share my testimony with young men getting another chance at an alternative school, celebrate victories, mourn tragedies, see healing, forgiveness, the chains of addiction come off, all because of God and it is AWESOME. He is AWESOME!
When people look at our lives as Christians, maybe they should think we’re a little crazy because our lives are not supposed to look like the rest of the world. When we serve a crazy-awesome God, maybe those are the words that should describe our life as well.