Thursday, February 09, 2006
Go On! Crazy.
My friend Lu wrote a little story about Life Unplugged, wherein she asks "Am I willing to let [Jesus] be enough?" I wrote a quick comment, and then added another about my own questions. Why is living with Jesus worthwhile?
Lu, when she gets going, burns like a torch. She took the question and built a whole story on it.
I met Lu when I was a newbie Temple Slave at Mosaic in Beverly Hills. I'd shown up one day to help set up and as is typical in Mosaic enterprise within a few Sundays I'd found a place within the technical team. Lu did the sound mixing and I fixed what didn't work. Baling wire and worship. We worked hard to get that celebration off each Sunday.
Most people, regardless of what field they're in, repeat what someone else has told them. Lu is one of the few who will go after the truth. The same tendency in me formed the other end of a natural link and we had some enjoyable evenings--too few--of trading stories. She followed her dream to Nashville where everything blew up. I'd made sanguine assumptions about her landing on her feet, which has happened, but the whole thing has been much more of a struggle than I thought it would be.
The core of the story is love. God is makes real friends. In that process we have to learn what's true and what's not, and that, given that we live in a world ruled by lies, is difficult. The image keeps coming to my mind of Aslan having to help Eustace shed his dragon skin in "Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Only Aslan could reach deep enough and take a strong enough grip to pull the scaly old hide of lies off of the pink-skinned boy inside.
The question of "Is it worth it?" is, to me, legitimate. No fancy dancing around the issue will hide the pain of a Christian's life. Because God loves us and wants the best for us we have to face the truth.
Something about truth feels good. A good answer resonates deeply inside. It's hard these days to talk about feeling as the basis of a life, but God did give me emotions and I'm pretty well determined to figure out what the hell to do with them. I kind of wish I'd never started this.
Somewhere out there, though, is an answer for me. It'll be something that makes getting out of bed in the morning something less than the chore it is now. I have no idea what it will be. I'm not sure I'd recognize it if I saw it today. So, life today is a sort of holding pattern. I'm waiting for the good stuff.
Perhaps that's not the way to approach it, though. When I went to Mosaic Beverly Hills that first Sunday I was really looking for people. The God question had been settled for 25 years and I knew that life was up to me.
God is interesting in how he approaches people. Some, he comes to quietly. Others he really puts through the wringer. Me, he met with a brass band, flashing lights, bright eyes and a question: "Remember Me?"
"Well, yeah, but you're not real." I had some time to think about that one. And then he pretty much dared me to come up with the weirdest ideas I could, and then he'd trump them. He brought people into my life who'd done the same thing. Lu was among these.
So, no matter how nutty you think your life with God is, someone out there is even nuttier. Once through the narrow gate there's a wide country to explore. The problem is that it's full of terrifying old monsters and myths. Is it really better out there, or am I better off returning to Egypt? So what if I was a slave. It was at least comprehensible.
God ends up having to make the incomprehensible possible. He has done it before: Paul on the road, and poor confused Ananias called to meet the one he knew was death on Christians. Talk about nutty stories. Being a Christian may never be fun, but it's good.