Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Happy Sword Swallower's Day

Are you ready for the big celebration this weekend? And no I'm not referring to the 20th anniversary of Pokemon. I'm talking about World Sword Swallowers Day. Did you already buy the party hats or is this internationally recognized holiday news to you? I'll admit I was was unaware of the wide world of sword swallowers and their annual celebration honoring their craft. Nor did I know that there is a Sword Swallowers Hall of Fame.
The ancient art of Sword Swallowing began in India. Today it is professionally practiced by less than one hundred gutsy individuals worldwide dedicated to preserving the age-old tradition of opening wide and gulping down a sharp metal sword. When asked, "why do you swallow swords" the swallowers will tell you that they are showmen willing to risk their life for the thrill and awe of overcoming a life-defying feat. Others will admit that they crave attention and swallowing a sword feeds their need to be noticed. One thing every sword swallower tends to agree upon is that the rest of the world thinks their crazy. But by the time they are a card-carrying member of the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI) they are used to the stunned looks and critical remarks. They take the heat for taking down the sword.
To most of the world, less about one-hundred sword-swallowing masters, this "art form" is completely nutty, long past daredevil and into the realm of lunacy. But who am I to judge? After all, according to the world, I'm crazy, too.
And no, not for swallowing swords or any other inanimate, dangerous object. In the eyes of the world I'm crazy for completely submitting to Christ. I'm crazy for surrendering my will and my plans at the foot of the cross. I'm crazy for being completely captivated by the Almighty God.
Not that I mind being called crazy. I expect it. I was warned that the sideways looks and furrowed brows would accompany the questioning. Paul even wrote to the Corinthians to expect on-lookers to question if Christ-followers were out of their minds.
I may be, but I'm still not going to swallow a sword.
The craziness I am prepared to embrace is the kind of crazy that doesn't come with a danger label attached. I'm all in for God's kind of crazy - the crazy of walking by faith and not by sight. Being this kind of crazy doesn't come with a threat of death. It comes with a guarantee of life - eternal, satisfying, everlasting life.
From the world's perspective you'll look crazy for surrendering your life to Christ, too. Maybe not as crazy as a sword swallower, but crazy none-the-less. But just like the sword swallowers, you can embrace your kind of crazy. Celebrate your submission to Christ with praise and worship. Share the joy you've found in surrender and the peace you've experienced through faith in your Savior.
And have a happy sword swallower's day because every kind of crazy can use a little celebration.

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