Challenging Normalcy: Shifting Conversations From Trivial To Meaningful

Eight of us huddled around a table at a local Burmese restaurant in Mandalay, Myanmar. It had been a long day of travel, exploring temples, local shops, a monastery, and the beautiful Mandalay Bay with a solid group of friends.

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We were all exhausted, and I distinctly remember it being a hot night. There was a single fan in the room, and we all interjected on how to position is best to reach all of us. We made it work, but we were so hungry that we didn’t care too much anyway.

We all ate together as they brought out the main dishes and placed them on the Lazy Susan one by one. We reminisced on the amazing day we just had and laughed at how excited we were to sleep our hearts out that night.

While we were re-living the day and stuffing our faces with the tasty Burmese food, our group leader asked us a question.

“If you could be great at one thing, what would it be?”

One by one, each person around the table began to list some skill they wish they could perfect. One girl said she wished she could sing. Another confessed her desire to be good at gymnastics.

Every one of us said some sort of physical skill that we wished we had.

And as I sat there listening to the one thing that people wish they could be good at, I leaned back and thought to myself, “Why do people always answer this question is such a shallow way?”

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Why is it  something so trivial that comes to our minds when asked what we want to be great at?

So I asked myself again, “If I could be great at one thing, just one thing, what would it be?”

And putting all physical skills and material desires aside, I immediately answered: “Making people feel known.”

When we sit back and reflect, when we walk away from the shallow waters and open ourselves up to the deep wells we are called into, we are able to answer even the simple questions in a profound and honest way.

It takes going a step further, allowing ourselves to look at life a level deeper and really live from the core of who we are and what we love.

It is this stepping back and going a bit deeper that enables us to live out the embodied love of Jesus that we carry.

It is so easy to go along with what the rest of the world is saying, to get caught in the normal answers of life and remain stuck in a stagnant faith. It’s easy to sit back and not be the weird one who brings up the serious life conversations that need to be had. It’s easy to fit in and it feels like people like us better when we don’t disrupt the normal patterns of life.

But easy isn’t useful. Easy doesn’t grow us or push others to be better. It doesn’t bring the life-giving conversations that fill hearts and awaken spirits, and it sure as heck doesn’t do much to point people to Jesus.

When we step out of our comfort zones and decide to dig deeper, to not only ask difficult and important questions, but also answer the seemingly trivial questions with a profound answer, we create a wave in the static pace of this universe.

Power lies within the everyday conversations, the seemingly insignificant moments of life.

Let us be bold Christians whose words are transformed by the renewing of our Spirits. We will not sit back with the rest of the crowd and talk frivolously about things that have no standing in our lives. Instead, we will awaken the hearts of those around us by breaking normalcy and pursuing transformation, pursuing boldness.

Today’s society thrives on shallow conversations and surface-level questions and answers. What if we uprooted the entire way we view and uphold conversation in our lives? What if we spoke so differently than those around us that people actually started opening up, getting into the real conversations of life, and learning about this Jesus who compels us to live, and speak, differently than the world.

What if we were the revival?

What if a generation came to know Jesus by the way we disrupt shallow conversations and delve a little deeper? Let’s be the revival.

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