Another Pathetically Middle-class Dilemma
I’ve noticed that I’ve been blogging a lot, but there’s so much going through my head I need to try to process it.
I’ve got several emotions going on at once. I still am excited about this Christian community concept. It’s more than just “cool” in order to live close to other committed brothers & sisters. This sort of community can really break down faith barriers, especially when we’re willing to reorient our lives around a different vision. And I think that as a small community, we have a much better chance at reaching out to the surrounding neighborhood. Being a light to the world…this is, I believe, at the core of what it means to be a Sermont-on-the-Mount people, a new covenant people, a new creation people.
On the other hand, yet another opportunity has been placed before us, and this one better than the last…it is a more stable opportunity and requiring significantly less risk and stress, a chance to buy a fairly nice home at a drastically reduced price. It is in a “good” neighborhood, it is in the same general locale as our church, it is plenty big to raise a family, and big enough to entertain people. This area is not as expensive as the previous neighborhood, but it is not cheap. I couldn’t imagine how many of my Christian brothers & sisters would be able to move into the area. But, again, this is another opportunity, thrown right into my lap. Is it a blessing from Yahweh-Jireh God? Or a test of faith?
Unless you buy into this Christian community thing, I don’t think you can really understand that struggle that’s going on in my heart and my mind.
I still feel that this is a relatively pathetic struggle, though. Frankly, I would be embarrassed to share that this is even a struggle to a homeless man that I was buying lunch for, to a fatherless child who is trying to figure out how to become a man, to an immigrant that is facing the threat of deportation.
Still, this is a decision that is before me and my wife. I can’t deny that it is for us to make. And I think that living in the suburbs, as a Christian, presents more subtle challenges. In our suburbs, we are without the eyesores of poverty, prostitution, drug use, gang involvement, etc. They are all there, for sure, but they are hidden. People move into the suburbs to get away from that urban mess. And so, I think that, as a Christian, we need to be more intentional, more thoughtful, more willing to be challenged, in terms of what sort of lifestyle we assume. I think that a godly Jesus-honoring Christian can certainly live in safe, well-appointed, affluent neighborhoods; but I do not think that he will have done so without renewing his mind, challenging his dreams, and submitting to the will of God Almighty.
I am tempted to just go through the right avenues in order rid myself of guilt. But I know that I need to truly submit, from the deepest strongholds of my heart, to the wonderful will of God.
May your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.