Thoughts on Portland's new sticker: Weird Isn’t Working

Weird Isn’t Working
by Jay Messenger
Grace Community Church
Gresham Oregon

“WEIRD ISN’T WORKING” That’s what the bumper sticker said yesterday. When I saw it, I laughed. There’s a non-conformist, I thought to myself. One of my kids, who was riding with me, asked “What does THAT mean, Dad?” I answered “Well, it think it’s in response to the “Keep Portland Weird” bumper stickers you see on other cars.” Then another question–”So what does THAT mean, Dad?” At that point, I had to confess, I wasn’t really sure. So I was intrigued and went to look it up.

I discovered through the miracle of Wikipedia (OK, NOT the best source, but good enough) that this was a “buy local” campaign started by Portland businesses to encourage people to buy…local. OK, fair enough. But I’ve also heard “Keep Portland Weird” as justification for…well…keeping Portland weird. Recycling everything. Driving tons of hybrid cars. Eating Voodoo donuts. Visiting the 24 hr Church of Elvis (seriously?). Riding in the Zoo-Bomb race (death-wish!). Yarn bombing (what is THAT?). You get the idea.

Then I was reminded through Webster’s Dictionary (a MUCH better source) what “weird” really means… “of strange or extraordinary character.” Now that I can work with.

When I go to the Bible (THE VERY BEST SOURCE) I reminded that according to passages like Matthew 5:13-16 we are to be “salt” and “light” and to lives wholly (and holy) for Him. Now that’s unique. That’s extraordinary. It’s also kind of…strange. Even…weird.

When I look at my own life, the lives of other believers, and even our church communities I’m forced to ask myself…are we “weird enough?” In a number of cases, I think we could say (if we’re honest) “weird isn’t working.” Do our lives look distinctively like Jesus’ or do we look pretty much like everyone else? Are we generous? Gracious? Forgiving? Do we live out the Fruit of the Spirit? Are we more loving than we were yesterday? Last week? Last year?

But then I’m reminded of what Jesus promises me (and you!)…the empowerment and presence of the Holy Spirit. HIS Spirit. I CAN do this. Not just because of my own choices, but because of His power, His help, and His blessing. And He WANTS me to succeed. He WANTS to bless me. He WANTS me to be obedient. And in my true self, my heart of hearts, that’s what I want too. And with His help, I WILL become who He is calling me to be.

So, are you WEIRD? Is WEIRD WORKING? If you don’t know, why not ask someone who will give you an honest answer? And then decide what are you going to do about it…! WEIRD WORKS WHEN YOU KNOW AND LOVE JESUS!

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