If you’ve been walking through this Release series with us, I’m going to guess that you’re not looking at your relationship with God the same anymore. And what’s crazy and awesome about that, is that you’ve probably begun to experience some changes in yourself. Something changes in you when you truly begin to follow Christ.
You become a little …weird.
Yup, I said it. You’ve been trying to ignore it, but your coworkers are looking at you differently, so is your family – people are noticing. You’re different. And you’re kind of weird.
It’s okay, you’re not the first to experience this. Here’s a small example of how that’s played out for me.
A couple months ago I went on a contemplative retreat with some of our staff up in Connecticut on a lake. We had a period of about 4 hours one day where we were encouraged to go off on our own outside and allow for time and silence to listen to God.
I’m an introverted person, so I should have been excited about some time alone, right?
Apparently not that day. For some reason, I couldn’t sit still. I tried reading my Bible, reading the Bible study they gave us, just sitting and listening – nothing. I could. Not. Sit. STILL. And the interesting part was I felt like God wasn’t saying that it was wrong, he just wasn’t going to give me the answer about it. I was getting the silent treatment – great.
After about an hour of moving around to different sitting spots I finally gave up and decided I was straight up going to climb a tree. Yup. I was so frustrated I started just talking to God out loud as I climbed this big ol’ pine tree. I talked about the difficulty of getting up to the next branch, about the pine cones that were poking me and about how much more I could see at each level I reached. I just was completely honest about what I was experiencing and the frustrations I had. I was totally open to whatever he had to say. If God wasn’t going to talk to me, I was certainly going to talk to Him, even if it was just about this tree.
Pretty soon I started feeling like this tree climb was more than just a distraction. It ended up turning into this beautiful conversation with God about doing scary things, taking risks and not being afraid to fail. God used the tree climb to work through some stuff I was wrestling with.
And that is totally WEIRD. What “normal” adult goes out and talks to an invisible God while climbing a pine tree in the middle of the day?! I’m pretty sure most people would say that is NOT normal.
But I think that’s kind of the point. Once we really let go of whatever is holding us back from a conversation with, and an experience of God, there’s a good chance that what we do, say, or experience is going to be weird in the eyes of the world. In the words of Pastor Craig Groschel, “Normal may not be good when it comes to God.”
God doesn’t call us to be “normal,” he just calls us to follow Him. His word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight,” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV). Even when it doesn’t even make sense and our own understanding of what He asks fails us, He promises us a better life if we follow Him. That’s bound to result in some life decisions, big or small, that sound completely ridiculous at first. And that’s actually good.
I’ll leave you with a quote from a worship leader who I once found extremely weird (now I think she’s pretty cool). Kim Walker Smith was once leading the song “How He Loves” when she paused to address the crowd.
“…There are some of you here that have not encountered the love of God. And tonight God wants to encounter you; and wants you to encounter His love, His amazing love. Without it, these are just songs, these are just words, these are just instruments; without the love of God, it’s just like we’re up here making noise. But the love of God changes us, and we’re never the same, we’re never the same after we encounter the love of God.”
And it’s true. I don’t think I would have climbed that tree if I weren’t so desperate to experience God, or if I weren’t so hungry for His presence. I wasn’t the same because of my relationship with Christ, and it caused me to act a little weird. But I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Our weirdness may be hard to understand, but don’t shove it down. God may need that extra bit of weird to get through to you.