The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are
mad to live,
mad to talk,
mad to be saved…
I love that quote from On the Road. I believe it says more than we are perhaps able or willing to hear. Because I feel each of us has a bit of madness inside of us, if only we could acknowledge it. It lurks, I think, in the restlessness of your soul and desperateness of your heart. There is something within us that craves release and longs to be unleashed. We each possess a mad passion that beckons us. It begs us to listen. It wants to be set free; it wants to set you free.
But we hold back. There is a fear in us that whispers caution and dislikes risk. We live safe lives, staying with the familiar and the comfortable. We have put ourselves in a box, telling ourselves we can be content with the limitations, the restrictions. We can make it work, even if it’s not what we long for. We’ve sacrificed ourselves to what we think we should want, instead of pursuing what we know we need. Somewhere along the way, the box became normal. And why would we ever want to question what’s normal?
I think all of us secretly, or perhaps not so secretly hates normal. We hate being stifled by something that only breeds discontent and unhappiness. We aren’t ever satisfied by normal, because if we’re honest, there is absolutely nothing special about normal. It is plain, staid, obvious, predictable, and always ordinary.
But you – you were made for extraordinary things.
There is nothing plain about you. You are wonderfully exquisite – a beautiful, unique, awe-inspiring creation of God. You are lovely, in body and in spirit. Within you is a loving heart and brilliant mind and passionate soul. There is no other like you and never will be. You can become anything you choose.
You weren’t meant to be confined to a cramped box that takes your passion and creativity and threatens to diminish it.
I think you were meant to live a bit adventurously, a bit madly, and a bit bravely.
Each of us has a mad spark of passion dwelling inside of us. A burning desire to go out into the world and to live life intentionally – no regrets, no second-guessing, no missed opportunities. We long to give in to that madness, that calling. We can feel the longing rushing over our skin and swelling in our heart. There is a need to go and experience, to meet new people, to learn, to share love and grace, to simply absorb everything and revel in the life around us.
We long to go into the world.
We were called to go into the world.
God did not charge us to stay at home. He did not suggest that perhaps the couch and television would substitute for travel on the open road. He blessed us with our dreams, and He gave us the ability to make them come true.
God did not create us to be afraid to step outside the door and do amazing things.
Because I believe that God looks down on the mad ones with favor; He smiles at the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved. That’s how I imagine Jesus lived while on earth, and His apostles after Him – radically and madly sharing salvation with any who would listen. I think that is exactly what God created us to be. And I think we’ve done ourselves a great disservice by trying to deny it.
Maybe we’re meant to embrace the madness instead of trying to subdue it and refine it. Maybe it is as much a part of us as the color of our hair and the way that we talk. Maybe all this time when we thought it was something to be afraid of, in fact it was a gift to be welcomed. Maybe it’s time we looked in the mirror and realized we are far from ordinary, far from normal.
Maybe we’re all a bit mad.
Maybe we’re, like Kerouac said, “desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
Just as God intended.
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