jesus’ maturity

11 06 2008

Jesus has a different vision of maturity: It is the ability and willingness to be led where you would rather not go

i have thought of myself as being rather mature, rather wise in my ways for my age. of course i would never tell anyone else that i think i am mature and especially more than specific people around me, but we all have the thoughts. we tend to suppress these thoughts because it is prideful to hold such a thought and especially to hold it over others. but what if our idea of this profound maturity wasn’t at all what us “mature” people thought we had cornered the market on?

we believe that maturity is all about having the experience and head knowledge to act a certain way or carry ourselves in a specific manner. maybe, however, Nouwen is on to something in saying that maturity is going where we would rather not go. the notion of maturity is that the person can correctly identify where they should go according to human sense, or the logical choice. such a person chooses to stay at home and work for a few years, to “get some more cash” so that they can get started in life, when they know full well that they should be over in Africa. it’s the guy who decides to stay with his girlfriend for years even though he knows it’s not working out but it’s just safest in the relationship. it’s the pastor who preaches the prosperity gospel or that God just wants the best for you because you are good, in fear that he might damage the moral of his congregants and lose his job.

perhaps maturity is doing what doesn’t make sense, doesn’t seem like the wise option, and isn’t necessarily the popular choice, but a deep connectedness with God to the degree that the individual understands what must be done. perhaps we should stop deferring to our humanity all the time and take a risk, take a chance and trust the heart of God and what he may have in-store where he is leading us. so stop rejecting the prompting and jump at what God is offering, because he wants you to seize your life, not sit back and pretend to be mature.


it’s not about stunting

1 06 2008

Jesus refused to be a stunt man.  He did not come to walk on hot coals, swallow fire, or put his hand in the lion’s mouth to demonstrate that he had something worthwhile to say

i think i’ve made Jesus out to be a glorified stunt man time and time again.  a man that put on acts, jumped from buildings and blew things up to get the attention of those around him.  Jesus has become a glamorous figure who was the awesome man of image in his day, according to our time.  what if Jesus really didn’t do anything that asinine in-front of everyone.

i mean, he healed people and that is crazy in its own right, but more often than not you find him mentioning to the healed person the importance of keeping it quiet and to themselves.  sure, word spread about him and his amazing miracles, but he didn’t have pyrotechnics or anything, didn’t physically move the mountain to get attention or pull the eight of spades out the deck of cards every time, even though he could have.  ultimately his words stood up and he didn’t need to perform tricks or feats to keep the attention because they realized that his words were actually worthwhile.

now what do we learn from that?  maybe our glamorous services, extravagant displays, and eloquent speeches and writing doesn’t really mean that much.  maybe God really isn’t calling for a generation that bows to technology and finds a way to use it all to try to worship him.  maybe he just wants our words.  for us to use our words and his words to show the world of a worthwhile message of love and grace.