I’m attracted to causes.
In my life so far I’ve tried to advance many noble ideas (at least ones I though noble at the time). From ‘Bring Dr Pepper to Australia’ to action to help the victims of the Rwandan crisis, from recycling to dispensational theology . . . there’s quite a variety of causes–some of which I am not as proud as others.
So when I started discovering the Emergent Conversation about 4 years ago, I was attracted to this way of alternative, missional, incarnational living. But even more than this, I was attracted because of the revolutionary undertones of being part of a subversive subculture in Evangelical Christianity. I had long ago become weary of the pervading culture–of cliched theology, shallow worship, and simple answers offered to profound questions. I was hungry for something different, fresh, radical. And yes, there was an element of wanting to be an agent of subversion and change in my small patch of the world.
Looking back, I can see how this part of the revolution was the strongest drawcard to me. There’s a sense of danger, mystery, adventure in being a revolutionary. And I can’t think of a better cause to join than one that will involves following Jesus andoing life his way.
Shane Claiborne in his book ‘The Irresistible Revolution’ paints a picture of what following Jesus may look like as it becomes a way of life. After sharing what his view of this revolutionary life entails, Shane gives a poignant quote from Emma Goldman: ‘If I can’t dance, then it’s not my revolution.’ Dancing is the picture of a life that is enraptured, joyous, free. When I have a cause to give me purpose and meaning, and when I can see how my revolt is changing even the smallest part of my universe, I dance. I rejoice. I am excited!
But what happens when the revolution is over? What happens when the cause becomes the normal way of life, when the marginal becomes the mainstream? What happens when the conversation starts blossoming in the places I have prayed and longed for it to grow these past several years?
I suppose this is why the phrase ‘Viva la revolution’ is such a heartfleft battle-cry of many. ‘Long live the revolution!’ May the cause continue to inspire. May the subversion prosper. May this state of being excited for the cause never end.
Because, down deep inside, I don’t want the revolution to end. I want to keep on dancing.