How is your life DIFFERENT because you are a Christian? How is your life better? Or worse? What are you missing out on? Or what have you found that you are now NOT missing out on?
I think about Shane Claiborne. When Shane tells about becoming a Christian, he talks about the BEFORE and the AFTER. Before: he was high school class president and “Mr. Popular.” AFTER: he wasn’t. With Christian friends he was feeding the homeless in the inner city of Philadelphia, and getting arrested for it (Philadelphia actually had a law against doing such a thing). Shane’s life became more complicated—in many ways more difficult—after becoming a follower of Jesus. But he wouldn’t trade his new life for an instant. Shane says “Jesus didn’t come just to teach us about dying, he came to teach us how to live.”
Jesus tells a story about this. “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46).
I’ll never forget a “Go and Serve” trip with the Grosse Pointe Memorial youth group to Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. It’s a Presbyterian camp and conference center where Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted there in the high desert, and it’s a working ranch. We were there to serve. So one day we found ourselves in the hot sun, standing in the back of a big truck, and the truck was full of manure! We were supposed to shovel it into the fields.
Believe it or not, we had the time of our lives! We were singing, and joking, and working hard. It might not be appropriate to say, but we were turning to one another, shovels in hand, “You’re looking a lot like a politician right now…”
I marveled. These youth and adult advisors never imagined that they would be doing such a thing. And enjoying it! But Jesus had led them here, and Jesus gave them the gift of this extraordinary community of people committed to following Jesus together, and wherever they were, THIS was really living!
Have you been surprised, finding yourself doing something you never imagined you would be doing, and praising God for it? Have you had glimpses of the extraordinary treasure Jesus offers? How has your life been different? How will it be?
 Shane Claiborne is the author of The Irresistible Revolution, The Simple Way: Grand Rapids, 2006.