Thursday, November 27, 2014

I Am Not Jesus (Thank, God)

There are a lot of things I don't know about spirituality and God and the meaning of life. Endless questions about what's true, what's real, what's important, and what matters most. We could have lengthy conversations about this week's hot-button "issues" like climate change, the ethics of stem-cell research, abortion, marriage equality, Ferguson, and the like, however, all of these questions would end with me saying, "I just don't know." And that would be true. And valid. And worth something. Maybe worth everything simply because it's the truest thing any of us could ever say, "I don't know."

It's so tempting to see the world in black and white. To pretend that there's one "right" answer or one "right" way to look at something. And this makes me really nervous. Because I think that if you look around this world for just a few minutes, from the peacefulness of this room to the chaos in Gaza, from the joy of new life to the grief of a life ended much too short, you have to admit that there aren't any easy answers to any of this. We are all doing our best in this messy life and that's enough.

I can't tell you the "right" answer to these religious/political "issues."
I can't prove to you the existence of God.
And I don't really want to.
I don't care to.

Here's what's been inspiring me lately: Glennon Doyle Melton. Do you know her? If you don't, you should. She's had a blog for awhile, but most recently she wrote a book called Carry On, Warrior. I like her. She says simple things that matter.

She made these two little video clips that I just love and wanted to share them with you because they emphasize two things I know for sure about God lately:
#1. We have endless opportunities in the digital age to form opinions about issues and then Tweet them with little/no consequences. And while it may look really edgy to judge other people's behavior, it's not my job. I may have an opinion, but God never asked me to judge people. All I gotta do is love 'em. So that's what I'm going to do.
And #2. Grace is not a big deal, it's the deal. It's the best thing Christianity's got going for itself and I think it's been grossly under-emphasized. Preach it, folks. It's a beautiful thing!

Here she talks about judgment and how we try to play Jesus by telling other people to "leave your life of sin." We're not Jesus. We're the ones holding the stones.

And here she opens with a Hafiz poem that I. Just. Love. and talks about how refusing grace is like refusing to dance at a party and picking on other people who are dancing. It's no good.

I get that grace thing. I get how she says, "I am a recovering alcoholic and food addict. Grace is the only buzz I have left and they will take it from my cold, dead hands."

If I believe what the Bible says about being forgiven (period!), then I am shameless. Gone are the days of groveling and moping around in my shame and guilt. That doesn't make me holier, that makes me a bad listener.

So, the best thing I can do is let it go.
To choose self-acceptance instead of self-judgement.
To choose to let myself off the hook instead of being myself to a pulp.
To choose grace.

These things I know for sure.


KendraKay at said...

I'm so glad you found her! Her audacious self-acceptance is a bright light in my life. It still shocks me and makes me smile a new, freer smile!