Positive deviants

August 1, 2006 at 12:14 am Leave a comment

Via the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

John came, baptising in the desert region…John wore clothing made of camels hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. Mark 1:4-6

What sort of person did you go out into the desert to see? Jesus asked the crowds who had swarmed out of the towns and villages to see John the Baptist, A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings palaces.

Jesus question suggests that people like John were not a common sight in Israel. So was it the novelty of his appearance, as much as the power of his message, that brought so many people out, like wasps round a pot of marmalade? Johns destiny drove him to an unusual and austere way of life careless of propriety and stripped of all home comforts.

It has been suggested that John had taken a Naziritic vow. The New Testament does not say this. But his diet is interesting. Nazirites were forbidden to take alcoholic drinks, vinegar and raisins all things that take time to mature. Johns food was locusts and wild honey that could simply be gathered on the hoof, so to speak. He lived off the land, and was independent of the normal processes of provision.

Most of us would shrink from a life like Johns. We go for safe conformity rather than conspicuous originality. We care a lot what people think. We stick to the corporate culture. We may sometimes rationalise this conventionality by arguing that Christians shouldnt be labelled as odd-balls or freaks.

John, however, was one of those people who rise above public opinion. And the essential simplicity of his life set him free to focus on his calling and more clearly listen to God.

An article in the Times of Wednesday July 26, about positive deviants, argues that it is often those who do things differently, who are willing to step out of line, to think outside the box, whose ideas can bring dramatic improvements to organisations or situations. Perhaps more of us might become positive deviants, like John the Baptist, and the rest of us become more willing to learn from the odd-balls and eccentrics.

Helen Parry

  Johns destiny drove him to an unusual way of life
Perhaps more of us might become positive deviants

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Africa, Crime, Culture, Economics, Kenya, Literature, Media, Missions, Religion, Society, World.

Spiritual autobiography Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Kenyan Analyst

Recent Posts

August 2006
S M T W T F S
« Jul   Sep »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Feeds


%d bloggers like this: