What’s With the Name (Of This Blog)?

The name of this blog, Reckless Abandon, comes from the quote on the top of the right sidebar of this blog.  The quote comes from a letter that Ed McCully wrote to Jim Elliot on September 22,1950, during his time as a law student and working as a hotel night clerk.

McCully’s statement–that he desired to live a life of reckless abandon for Jesus–exemplifies the driving passion of To Every Tribe.  To be recklessly abandoned for Jesus and the gospel means that we take seriously Jesus’ demands to lay down our lives–figuratively and literally–to spread the message of him and his redeeming message.  It means that no price is too great to risk taking the gospel to the hard-to-reach corners of the globe so that “those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand” (Rom 15:21). 

For Ed McCully, living a life of reckless abandon was a dead-serious matter.  At the time he wrote his letter, it meant leaving law school and dedicating his life to missions.  Eventually it would mean martyrdom. Here’s the larger context of what McCully wrote to Elliot just over five years before dying as a missionary martyr in Ecuador, South America:

Since taking this job things have happened. I’ve been spending my free time studying the Word. Each night the Lord seemed to get hold of me a little more. Night before last I was reading in Nehemiah. I finished the book, and read it through again. Here was a man who left everything as far as position was concerned to go do a job nobody else could handle. And because he went the whole remnant back in Jerusalem got right with the Lord. Obstacles and hindrances fell away and a great work was done. Jim, I couldn’t get away from it. The Lord was dealing with me. On the way home yesterday morning I took a long walk and came to a decision which I know is of the Lord. In all honesty before the Lord I say that no one or nothing beyond Himself and the Word has any bearing upon what I’ve decided to do. I have one desire now–to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy into it.

Ed McCully (left) with Peter Fleming and Jim Elliot

Maybe He’ll send me someplace where the name of Jesus Christ is unknown. Jim, I’m taking the Lord at His word, and I’m trusting Him to prove His Word. It’s kind of like putting all your eggs in one basket, but we’ve already put our trust in Him for salvation, so why not do it as far as our life is concerned? If there’s nothing to this business of eternal life we might as well lose everything in one crack and throw our present life away with out life hereafter. But if there is something to it, then everything else the Lord says must hold true likewise. Pray for me, Jim.

Man, to think the Lord got hold of me just one day before I was to register for school! I’ve got money put away and was all set to go. Today was registration day so I went over to school to let them know why I wouldn’t be back. I really prayed like the apostle asked the Ephesians to pray, that I might ‘open my mouth boldly.’ I talked to all the fellows that I knew well. Then I went in to see a professor I thought a lot about. I told him what I planned to do, and before I left he had tears in his eyes. I went in to see another professor and talked to him. All I got was a cold farewell and a good luck wish.

Well, that’s it. Two days ago I was a law student. Today I’m an untitled nobody. Thanks, Jim, for the intercession on my behalf. Don’t let up. And brother, I’m really praying for you too as you’re making preparation to leave. I only wish I were going with you.

Here at To Every Tribe we’re looking for a whole generation of young Ed McCullys who are so passionate about Jesus that they’re committed to living lives of reckless abandon for him.

Letter to Jim Elliot, September 22,1950, during his time as a law student and working as a hotel night clerk:

Since taking this job things have happened. I’ve been spending my free time studying the Word. Each night the Lord seemed to get hold of me a little more. Night before last I was reading in Nehemiah. I finished the book, and read it through again. Here was a man who left everything as far as poistion was concerned to go do a job nobody else could handle. And because he went the whole remnant back in Jerusalem got right with the Lord. Obstacles and hindrances fell away and a great work was done. Jim, I couldn’t get away from it. The Lord was dealing with me. On the way home yesterday morning I took a long walk and came to a decision which I know is of the Lord. In all honesty before the Lord I say that no one or nothing beyond Himself and the Word has any bearing upon what I’ve decided to do. I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy into it. Maybe He’ll send me someplace where the name of Jesus Christ is unknown. Jim, I’m taking the Lord at His word, and I’m trusting Him to prove His Word. It’s kind of like putting all your eggs in one basket, but we’ve already put our trust in Him for salvation, so why not do it as far as our life is concerned? If there’s nothing to this business of eternal life we might as well lose everything in one crack and throw our present life away with out life hereafter. But if there is something to it, then everything else the Lord says must hold true likewise. Pray for me, Jim.
Man, to think the Lord got hold of me just one day before I was to register for school! I’ve got money put away and was all set to go. Today was registration day so I went over to school to let them know why I wouldn’t be back. I really prayed like the apostle asked the Ephesians to pray, that I might ‘open my mouth boldly.’ I talked to all the fellows that I knew well. Then I went in to see a professor I thought a lot about. I told him what I planned to do, and before I left he had tears in his eyes. I went in to see another professor and talked to him. All I got was a cold farewell and a good luck wish.
Well, that’s it. Two days ago I was a law student. Today I’m an untitled nobody. Thanks, Jim, for the intercession on my behalf. Don’t let up. And brother, I’m really praying for you too as you’re making preparation to leave. I only wish I were going with you.