“I am not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.” – Fritz Perls
One of my heroes is a guy named Erwin McManus. He’s not a rock star, famous actor, world-renowned scientist, demi-god, or former president. He’s a pastor and author. I know, this is where some of you roll your eyes. Yet, he’s not what you think. Trust me.
When I was 18, a friend of mine told me about Erwin’s book called “Chasing Daylight”. I had never heard of this guy, but I loved reading, so why not? I devoured the pages, soaking in a perspective that I always knew inside my soul, yet I hadn’t seen it lived out in traditional church settings.
Mosaic – the church where Erwin serves as the Lead Pastor – is located in Los Angeles, is filled with a diverse community, and focuses heavily on the artistic soul God has placed within each one of us.
When I moved to LA, I already knew which community with which I would connect. At the time, Mosaic held their “gatherings” at a local night club called the Mayan. Friday and Saturday, the club was filled with people seeking escape in temporary pleasures. Sunday? Well, it was church! Haha! What a weird, yet beautiful scene it was…Oh! And there were thousands of little god-like carvings all over the walls…Worshipping the God of Jesus in a building filled with gods who were empty and lifeless.
The theology was sound. The doctrine was solid. The focus was on Christ. Yet, Erwin was considered an outsider – a rebel against the modern institution of mega church buildings, middle class congregations, and traditional worship. Nothing wrong with those things, as I had grown up in such an environment. Yet, I had always felt that the church was out of touch with modern culture and the world within which we live.
Erwin wasn’t meeting the expectations of the Christian community. He was an outcast in a world of conformity.
He didn’t let that change the call God had placed on his life.
I rarely go on and on about an individual, but this guy has had a radical impact on my life. He’s not perfect, he’s got his flaws (I’m sure), and he hasn’t always made the best leadership decisions, but he exhibits a heart that longs for the heart of Jesus.
We live in a world that places great expectations on who we “should be” in their eyes, yet we often miss the person God has called us to become in the process.
What if you were called to be different? So your entire family work in respectable business careers, yet you feel called to be a missionary in a third world country. So what? God hasn’t called you to conform; He’s called you to serve Him in your own journey.
What are you feeling called to do by God, yet you’re afraid that you won’t meet other’s expectations?
Just like Jesus, just like Erwin, I want to live a life that is lived within God’s call on my life, not the call of another.