Lately I've been reading and re-reading 1 John. I can't get enough. In some way, it seems as thought the Holy Apostle is writing those words to me personally.
In the second chapter, I read: "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever." 1 John 2: 15-17
I struggle with this "loving the world" thing. I'm rather materialistic in the sort of way that people who don't have a lot of nice shiny stuff are materialistic: Envy, desire, self pity, being satisfied or dis-satisfied with stuff...you know the drill. I see what someone else has, or something on an advertisement, and I compare myself or my life or my stuff. This is sinful, destructive, and must end. So I confess it and ask for more of God's grace.
But I also struggle to accept the immense ordinariness of my little life. Gone are the days when I think or hope I will do radical and amazing and noticeable things in the Kingdom of God. Yeah, I prayed that prayer, and asked for that. Instead I got a body that doesn't work quite right and a house full of special needs kids.
Outwardly my life is glorious neither in a worldly sense, nor in a "lets be radical in the Kingdom of God" sense (in the ways that are currently cool to be K.o.G. radical...pick your circle. I just don't quite measure up to anyone's outward standards under any circumstance.)
But what of the inner circumstances of the heart? What if radical is a heart so given over to love of the Father that the love of the world is just not there? Can an ordinary life be lived in a radical way and remain hidden and rather outwardly ordinary, not because those things are being overtly pursued, but because one is a human being living on planet earth?
I have a long way to go, and much to repent of. In better moments I can sense that the veil is so very very thin, and if we could but see, then so much of what we do, think and say would fall away and those things which are eternal would shine so brightly that choosing the One Who Is Life would become a no-brainer.