The Miracle of Madness
“They say we have gone all out of our mind. If madness nurtures such lucidity, God, make us mad…” –Kobena Eyi Acquah (In the Navel of the Soul)
Mad: extremely foolish or unwise; imprudent; irrational
This is the definition of madness I have chosen to go with for the sake of this post.
Has someone ever considered your actions extremely foolish, unwise, imprudent or irrational? Have you ever been thought of as mad?
Jesus was once thought of as mad.
‘Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”’ (Mark 3:20,21)
‘Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”’ (John 10:20)
So if they said this about Jesus, surely they would say the same about us.
I have done many foolish things in my life. This post is not about that. I have done many “foolish” things in my obedience to God, or my faith in God’s leading. This post is about that.
God’s commands do not always make sense in the natural realm. And by that I mean, when we employ a set of limited laws to understand God’s created universe, we would always fall short of the greatness and magnitude of His design.
How on earth does it make sense for God to save the world by coming as a man and dying a shameful death and then rising up again? How on earth is weakness in the kingdom of God, strength? How on earth is it better to give than to receive?
It’s so upside down that we don’t – can’t – seem to understand it, this wisdom of God.
Why was Jesus going about the towns and villages, greatly inconveniencing himself for something no one could see or touch? He had to be out of his mind, at least that’s what people thought.
How about us, and how about now? When we choose madness – the madness of being counter cultural, of taking a lowly position, of self sacrifice – over the things that make sense? What’s so great about appearing sane that we would choose it over the radicalism of the glory we have been called to?
I used to be very bold about how different and counter cultural I was… until I learnt suffering. It was then I understood the power of this world. It weighed me down big time, and it has many times since.
It’s hard, painful, nearly impossible, even, to resist the norm, and the voice of the mob and the voice of “sanity”. It is a sacrifice to let go of that image of sanity, and rightness, and make senseness, and all these things we strive for. “Don’t embarrass us. Make us proud.” “Don’t do that, everyone would think you ignorant.” “That’s dumb, why would you want to give your wealth away?” “I understand you’re trying to do good, but must you associate with them?”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Take heart! Be encouraged! Cheer up! Don’t worry.
Jesus knows we need these words now as much as ever.
Something wonderful happens, when we take insane steps and stand out from the world in the authority of Jesus Name. We say, Lord, we choose you over and above everything.
They may say we have gone out of our minds. God, if this is madness, then give us more of it!