I’ve just spent 26 days living out of a suitcase, on mission with Jesus and three Orchard: Africa staff. We’ve learnt, we’ve taught. In the dark of the night we were surrounded by lions roaring, in the light of the day we watched African children laugh and young adults from the USA cry. Our team of four communicated well, communicated poorly, made room for one another, stumbled over each other, saw breathtaking sunsets, celebrated mother’s day and two birthdays and lived life together. We lived raw and open to the Spirit of God and amazing things happened.
I love my job. I love my job because it’s not a job. It’s a life lived walking next to Jesus, following where he leads. It’s being on mission with Jesus. This is what I call “living raw”.
Living raw does not just happen. It’s intentional. It’s choosing to go on an adventure. To slightly misquote from C.S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, of course it isn’t safe, but it is good.
There are some vital elements to this missional “raw” living:
- Being willing to give up – things like comfort, security and preconceived plans. This does not mean always living uncomfortably and always being on the edge or not having a plan and a purpose. Rather it means being willing to live with what may come – or not come – while on mission with Jesus.
- Being vulnerable – allowing people to see you at your best and at your worst and trusting them to love you anyway. Allowing others to challenge you to be better and being willing to do the same for them.
- Being open to the unpredictable – accepting that being on mission with Jesus includes the unpredictable and being willing to make the necessary adjustments at a moment’s notice.
- Being grateful – living a life of “I get to …” rather than “I have to …”. When you “get to” do stuff, you always end up finding buried treasure.
I’ve made the transition from living a prepackaged life to living raw. I’ve been honored to watch this process in the life of others and it is an awesome thing to witness. Today I saw etched on the wrist of a dear friend his declaration to the world that he is on mission with Jesus. He’s living raw. It is inspiring stuff.
Are you living life raw and on mission with Jesus? Does it matter? To whom? Your comments are welcome.