It strikes me that the curse of our time is moderation. We’re instructed to practice moderation in all things. We close conversations by saying, “Don’t work too hard,” “Take it easy,” “Don’t go overboard,” “Don’t commit too soon,” “Keep your options open,” or some other banality. We’re cautioned not to stand out in order to avoid being labeled as one of those extremists. If you want to get elected, you are supposed to be a moderate, a centrist, or an uncommitted, convictionless, middle-of-the-road-type-candidate so that you do not offend the wrong people.
I am struck by how this approach collides headlong with the apostle Paul’s approach to spiritual growth where he states, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13b-14). In talking about straining forward and pressing on towards spiritual maturity, Paul uses a word that pictures a sprinter leaning forward with every fiber and twitching muscle to break the tape at the finish line and win the race.
When was the last time someone encouraged you to go for it, to commit yourself totally, to burn your bridges and not look back, to expend all your energy and resources, or to pour your heart into becoming more like Jesus Christ?
Where’s a passionate fanatic when you need one?