Redefining Normal: Pranjal Torde
By Brad Miller
Redefining Normal is a new element of World Next Door Magazine. Here, we will introduce you to “normal” Christ-followers around the world who are living incredible lives of faith. Although they may seem audacious, these world-changers show us what it really means to live out the kingdom of God in this world.
I don’t know if there is anything scarier. I think money is perhaps the number one reason people of passion and conviction, moved by God’s workings in the world, hesitate.
So many people I’ve talked to have said, “I would love to get involved, but I need to eat.” or “I want to live a life dedicated to the Kingdom, but I want a family too. And that means I need a job.” Or perhaps the most common, “I have a spouse and children to care for.”
I myself struggled with responding to God’s call. I struggled with the idea of what I would do or how I would live. I still struggle sometimes. I mean, it’s all well and good to spend my early 20s in ministry, but eventually I have to get a “real job”, or at least something with a regular, guaranteed paycheck. Right?
That was before I met Pranjal.
And what I had spent years thinking were perfectly reasonable, logical concerns, suddenly seem so empty. So small.
Pranjal works for Truthseekers. With a trim beard and a penchant for wearing safari hats, he has the bearing of a young pastor. His life story, from single-handedly starting a school to healing the sick, is incredible and I was privileged to sit down and listen to it. But near the end he said something almost offhand that caught my ear.
“I’ve never worried about money… You don’t chase after money, money comes after you.”
I thought this was kind of odd. I mean, I had heard about not worrying about money, but never met someone who believes money just “comes.”
I asked him for more detail. I knew he had a wife and a baby on the way. This is not a time in life when most men are cavalier about their financial status. This is exactly when most men I’ve talked to start buckling down and deciding that money is finally an important part of their lives.
It turns out that not only does Pranjal not worry about money, he doesn’t receive a regular paycheck. In fact, he has no official paycheck. When he needs something, it just comes.
“I needed a bed. It came. I needed a TV. It came. My wife was crushing food by hand. We had no mixer. Someone noticed this and the very next day, we had a mixer.”
I was astounded by this posture, but Pranjal was just getting started.
“Ten days before my wedding I did not have a single penny. I trust money will come.”
And it came. He went on to describe many other incidents, the greatest one was paying for his wife’s exams. They cost $1,000 and he had no idea where he would get the money. Yet he prayed.
“My wife would ask ‘do we have the money?’ I would say ‘Money will come.’”
With growing anxiety, he boarded a train to travel for Truthseekers. On the way he was handed two envelopes, one from his family, one from a friend. He opened them. Combined, they made exactly $1,000.
This trust lets Pranjal live his life in complete freedom. He can travel from village to village and freely proclaim the word of God. He can invest heavily in leaders, spend long hours in paperwork and study, and address all the needs of Truthseekers and God’s work, because he has complete confidence his needs have already been taken care of.
To Pranjal, it is not a question of being reasonable. It is a question of the soul. It is a matter of responding wholeheartedly to where God leads with or without a paycheck, not simply following when the money is sure.
“I cannot sell my inner soul at the cost of earning money,” he told me.
Hearing such faith, such freedom, I felt lighter. I felt excited. I felt liberated by the hope that maybe, just maybe, this can apply to me too. I can stop asking God if or how He will care for me, and delight in the Trust that He will.
Still though, I wondered if my faith was strong enough for such a lifestyle. It seems intimidating – the kind of thing that a spiritual giant would do. Not something that could become my “normal”. But Pranjal had something to say about faith as well.
“Faith is not something we create with power, it’s just someone saying ‘can you stand please?’ and then we stand.”
I want to stand like that. And find the freedom of making Trust my New Normal.