I do talk, and sing, and think, about Jesus. A lot. And I worry sometimes that people around me may not understand.
It’s definitely not about being smug or perfect. I’m not entitled to the first and anyone who’s known me for more than a day or two knows I’m not capable of the latter. Yet it’s not a scheme, either. It’s pretty tough to try to live an authentic Christian life as a get rich quick program or a sure winner for a popularity contest. More than likely, especially in these days, trying to follow Christ is not going to get you a seat at the best restaurant in town or an invitation to the right party, or even for that matter the Democrat or Republican party,
Although some may think it so, it’s not an obsession. An obsession has pathology about it and if anything my attachment to Christ has made me less pathological, or at least better able to cope with my pathologies. I don’t need Jesus like a junkie needs a fix. Are there needs in my life that Jesus meets? Yes. Yet my walk with Christ is a communion not an addiction, two friends, as it were, walking together down the road.
And frankly I just find Jesus plain old smart. I look at his teachings, his way of life, and his call on humanity and it seems so wise and good. I imagine what the world would be like if everyone lived as Jesus did and when on those occasions I actually succeed in doing so myself I find a deep rest and sense of being a whole person. If all people are thinking about when they consider Jesus is a way to get “saved” for some future I think they’re missing the great possibilities of life in the present with Jesus. Love God with your whole being. Love your neighbor as yourself. Live at peace, as best you can, with every human being. Don’t be overcome with the desire for wealth but rather share what you have with those who have less. Be captivated by the things that are eternal and be free of the things that never last. Live a moral life, avoiding human excesses like an athlete avoids carrying extra weights during a race. What better life could there be? Even if there were no heaven it would still be a good thing and because there is it’s a taste of that existence here.
Frankly when I see Jesus I want to be like him. It’s not because I hate myself it’s because I see in him the possibility for my best self, my truest humanity. To be a human in this world we need to have teachers and every one of us has them whether we acknowledge them or not. We need a guide to help us in every day of our life and I’m not sure I could find a better teacher than Jesus, or a better example of how to live in this world than him. Of course I don’t always live up to his ideals but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth the effort or that they aren’t good, or right, or true.
We human beings have this amazing power of choice. We’ve been given life and we can choose what we do with it. I like lots of things, gardens, music, sunny days, a good baseball game, the list could go on. And the choices we make will naturally flow out of our life and into the world. I expect Vikings fans (our local football team) to talk about the Vikings. I expect artists to share their art. Grandmas have pictures of their grandchildren. What’s inside comes out. So it is with Jesus and me.
Again it’s not about being smug or perfect. It’s just my thing. It’s one of my joys. It’s a river of happiness that sometimes overflows its banks. You don’t have to listen or even approve. I hope you’re blessed by it, of course, but people are different and you can do what you want. As for me, I’m just going to keep on walking, and seeking, and pushing on through and stay as close to Jesus as I can.