Monday, February 13, 2006
I just want to clarify my last post. I didn't mean to come across so condescendingly towards suburbanites, nor did I mean to suggest that I have it all figured out already and that my goal is just to make everyone more like me. Not by any means! There are certain things that I have learned to value, things that I think resonate with God's kingdom values (things like joy and compassion, justice and mercy, celebration and service, simplicity and sacrifice, generosity, community, wholehearted acceptance and love, prophetic challenge, etc...); and these are values that I want to share with others. However, I have to be honest, even in my own life so many of these values are still just words. I'm still trying to figure out how to live these out. I guess that's why I sometimes think it'd be easier to be in a community like Shane's Simple Way. It'd be easier if I was just surrounded by people who are already living it and can show me how. It's a lot scarier to think about trying to figure it out on my own (granted, with the help of fellow travelers - thank God for our Vision Team! - but not necessarily with anyone who has any more practice at it than I do).

And again, I do love and value the people I meet here in the suburbs. I don't mean to paint with too broad a brush. I find them to be good people, people who are friendly and who do care about others. And after all, I'm one of them too. Except for a few years in rural Michigan, I have lived most of my life in the suburbs. It's more the overarching culture of suburban America that I'm trying to resist. It's the culture of consumerism that we all find ourselves caught up in that I want to help people overcome. And again, I'm still trying to figure this out myself. I live in a nice house and drive an SUV and don't often find myself among the poor, so I can't claim to be any kind of radical disciple myself either. But I want to change. I want to embrace the fuller, simpler, and more joyful kind of life that Shane describes in his book. And as I change I want to try and invite as many others as I can to come along with me for the journey. So I guess that's why I said in my last post that no matter how hard it is, I'm committed to the transformation of the people and the community that I'm in. I can't look at it as merely my own personal transformation. That would be selfish. This new kind of life is something that is meant to be shared.

Anyhow, I apologize for any misunderstandings or hints of arrogance in my last post. I'm still just one poor pilgrim trying to find his way along the road.


posted by Mike Clawson at 11:36 PM | Permalink |


At 2/14/2006 02:12:00 AM, Blogger Charlotte Wyncoop

Isn't it a grass is greener on the other side sort of thing? Haiti lacks basic necessities and yet they have more joy in life than we do. We exist within a culture of dissatisfaction - more money, more toys, different job, different life...

If we serve a infinitely loving God, his purpose is best served by what we do today, this hour, this minute. He knows the plans he has for us, plans to bring us a hope and a future, according to his purposes...By that I mean that I appreciate the fact you are here doing what you are doing. Matt and I asked God for you guys, so, not to put the pressure on or anything, but you are direct answers to prayer.:)

I do believe that we are spiritual beings on a human journey. If so, then our outer trappings differ, but the inner struggle is the same. I don't imagine people caught up in impoverished neighborhoods, somehow have different inner problems.

It may be easier to see their exterior needs, but perhaps it would be easier to be distracted by them as well.


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