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I’m scared. I always used to tell my players (fyi…I used to be a baseball/football coach) that if they were scared, they should admit it and by admission could begin to face those fears. This week I had to face my fears, and I’m trying to work through it with a little help.

Why am I scared?

We took the family and visited some homes in a neighborhood on the east side of Austin to explore the possibilities of moving there. As we research more about the Mueller development, we’re afraid the cost of housing is going to be much more than we can afford. And, our hearts are warming to a little area between Hwy 290 and Hwy 183 shaped like a pie extending to IH 35. We have some great friends who already live in this area which is a major reason we’re looking to move in the first place, so we can begin “doing life” together. But, this is also an area of “high needs” with a large immigrant population and traditionally lower socio-economics.

If we seriously consider this move, it means a huge change in our lives. My son would have to change schools, and he loves his school. We would leave a really cool house in a great area. Some would consider us odd or strange to move into the inner city when we’ve got it good in the ‘burbs. I could go on and on…

I’m working my way through Shane Claiborne’s “The Irrestible Revolution…Living As An Ordinary Radical” and I do mean working. It is not pleasant, it is not fun, it is challenging and confrontational to my worldview and way of life.

Shane and a group of friends had to decide what to do with their lives after college. “My friends and I had a hunch that there is more to life than what we had been told to pursue….We looked to the early church and to the Scriptures and to the poor to find it.”

And here is what they came up with…

“Poet Henry David Thoreau went to the woods because he wanted to live deliberately, to breathe deeply, and to suck out the marrow of life. We went to the ghetto. We narrowed our vision to this: love God, love people, and follow Jesus. And we began calling our little experiment the Simple Way. In January 1997, six of us moved into a little row house in Kensington, one of Pennsylvania’s poorest neighborhoods….We had no idea what we were getting into. We had no big vision for programs or community development. We wanted only to be passionate lovers of God and people and to take the gospel way of life seriously.”

My first reaction to most of what I’m reading is, “That’s easy…no kids, no responsibilities, no financial obligations. Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing great. You’re doing the best you can. Stay where it’s safe and secure.”

And the Spirit keeps nagging me, keeps prompting me to carefully consider this decision. “Of course you’re scared, you should be. Everything is on the line. But, consider the options not only out of fear, but in light of what I’ve done and will continue to do for you. And, be careful to follow the vocation for which you were made. And consider the future for your family. Do you trust me with the lives of your family?”

We do NOT propose to solve all the issues of that neighborhood. We do NOT propose to be the voice for the voiceless. We do NOT propose to bring our way of life to that area. Instead, we want to explore what it is like to do life in community, to begin to listen to others, and to help when we can.

Claiborne continues, “We are not a voice for the voiceless. The truth is that there is a lot of noise out there drowning out quiet voices, and many people have stopped listening to the cries of their neighbors.”



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