Uncle Josh: Barbarian

Dear Lewis,

Last night you met your Uncle Josh for the first time. Uncle Josh has been one of my three best friends for more than a decade. We’ve made a lot of music together. We’ve experienced abundance and we’ve been penniless together. Once, we even slept on the sidewalk in front of LAX airport together.

You might be wondering why it took you so long to meet him. Lewis, with more pride in my heart than I can express before my first cup of coffee, you haven’t met Uncle Josh because he’s a Barbarian.

I don’t mean he raids and pillages. I mean he’s uncivilized, undomesticated, and he fights for the heart of his King. Someday you’ll read Erwin McMannus’s The Barbarian Way and all this will make a lot more sense. For now, here’s what you need to know:

“When you join the barbarian tribe, you begin to live your life with your eyes and your heart wide open. When the Spirit of God envelops your soul, your spirit comes alive, and everything changes for you. You are no longer the same. And, to those who cannot see the invisible, to those who refuse to believe it exists, the path you choose, the life you live, may lead them to conclude that you are not simply different but insane. People who are fully alive look out-of-their-minds to those who simply exist.”page 69

For your Uncle Josh, for now, being a Barbarian means playing drums for the band Wang Chung. Don’t worry if you don’t know who they are; most people my age don’t even know who they are.

Josh3A few months before you were born Uncle Josh felt it was time to move back to California and pursue a career as a session drum, or drummer-for-hire. He had no job lined up and no place to live. He didn’t go to California because he heard the sounds of the ocean or about an opportunity to make a lot of money; he heard the voice of God.

Like Abraham, Uncle Josh was given a place and a promise – nothing more. While others would have made excuses and waited until they got everything in order Uncle Josh did things “the Barbarian way.” He felt God calling him to go, so he went. It wasn’t until after he quit his job, after he reserved a moving truck, and after he began saying his goodbyes that he was invited to tour with Wang Chung.

Hebrews 11 says over and over again, “By faith Noah built…by faith Joseph spoke…by faith Abraham obeyed and went…” When the Bible talks about people of faith it’s talking about men and women of action. Your Uncle Josh is a man of real, Biblical faith, a man of action. Hebrews 11:30 says, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.” In the same way: By faith, Uncle Josh began his career as a session drummer, after he “obeyed and went.”

Lewis, follow Uncle Josh’s example. Let faith be what leads you into the unknown, not simply a reaction to it.

I love you, Lewis. Be a man of true faith. Be a Barbarian. Be like Uncle Josh.

– Dad

Is God calling you to live life the Barbarian Way? Has he given you nothing more than a place and a promise?

Share your story and encourage others who might be scared to do things the Barbarian Way by leaving a comment below, or by joining the conversation on Facebook.

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