Jesus is Crazy!

Stone Cross

Sometimes, I think Jesus is summed up best in one word…crazy! If you really watch him, listen to what he teaches and apply it to your life, you might agree with me. This man is nuts! Consider for a second one of his more famous teachings:

“Don’t resist an evil person!

If you are slapped on the right check, turn the other, too.

If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.

If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.

Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”

What was he thinking? Does he really understand what he’s asking us to do? What are the end results of a life like this? Do I really have to allow myself to be beat up to follow Jesus? Do I really have to freely give my stuff away, without resistance — even more — does he really expect me to give more than what they are trying to take from me or to serve more than what is being required by a person in authority over me? Do I really have to live this way?

That’s what’s amazing about the way of Jesus! It doesn’t make any sense from the perspective of self-preservation. But that’s just it. That’s the complete wrong perspective.

Jesus has invited us to follow him, which means that we live life like him. That we watch how he talked…how he interacted with people…how he touched the untouchable…how he loved the disgraced…how he accepted the prostitute…how he forgave those who were intent on killing him. We stand at the shadow of the cross and hear his words echoing, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves take up their cross and follow me.” And from that vantage point, all rebuttals that Jesus was just talking rhetorically disappear.

Here is a radical God that is recklessly demonstrating the depth of love he has for us. It’s a love that transforms us to the very core. So much so, that it becomes who we are. It becomes what we offer.¬†And at this point, we stop asking, “Does he really want me to do this?” and we begin asking, “Who is the next person I can share this with?” And this sharing is so much less about what we say…it’s about who we are. It’s about being willing to die so someone else might live!

Yeah, this is crazy – but what a beautiful way to live!

 

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Mark of a Good Vacation

I never understood this until I hit my mid 30’s. The ability to sit down right in the middle of little kids running around, the TV on or a computer in your lap and just fade away into oblivion! It is a gift saved for those who have traveled a few more miles.

Now, I long for days like this. Peaceful Sunday afternoons. Rainy weekends. Or like our vacation last week, a remote cabin in the mountains of Colorado. To have nothing pressing and the ability to just be – what a gift!

However, this moment was truly something special. I was sitting at the table, playing a game with my mom and my kids and I looked up at my dad and found him in this state. Immediately one word popped into my head… “REALLY?!?”

Really, Dad? You’re that at ease with the world? I get the naps on the couch with golf playing in the background but this?

If you’re not quite with me yet, take a close look at his mouth. Yes, that’s right…it’s a dental floss pick! He’s out cold right in the middle of flossing his teeth!!!

Now to be fair, he did work really hard. He caught a ton of fish and yes, I caught a grand total of – wait for it – 0! But this is the accomplishment I most aspire to. How about you?