To the three people who might read this, hello.
It seems that next to the world under my bed, a blog is the hardest hobby to maintain. But I watched Eat Pray Love tonight, however cheesy you may have deemed it, and was inspired. It’s a new year and a new semester. New new new. There’s something so exciting about new. Territory that has yet to be explored. Life that has yet to be experienced.
Let me preface this by saying that I have written proof that I decided on this long before I watched Julia Roberts tear it up on the world traveler’s market. Somewhere on my crazy list of New Year’s resolutions, there is one that has splintered my mind. It’s so simple and yet so vague and malleable. I want to live. By that, I don’t mean breathing air and digesting food. If that’s all there is to it, then I want out. I want more. I want to feel alive.
Bottom line, the feeling of being alive is what every person really longs for. One could say that all men just want power, money, fame, sex. But if the Bible is correct in telling us that man is born spiritually dead into sin, then it makes perfect sense. What is a dead man’s deepest desire? To feel alive. To be alive. And since sin renders man unacceptable to God, the One who gives life, he is left with no choice than to look for life in what is lesser, broken, dead.
What I’ve discovered, however, is this. I have the ability to be a Christian and still feel dead inside. God taught me something very important during the weeks I was home. I kept asking Him why my life wasn’t good enough for me. He has given me incredible friends, incredible talents, incredible life. So why am I still so desperately hungry for more? He took me to Matthew 10:39.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
A paradox of all paradoxes. The abundant life that Jesus promises is found in a life wholly abandoned to the glorious will of God. That is easier said than done. Sometimes God asks me to do things I don’t want. Sometimes God asks me to give up things that are sadly dear to my heart. But in return, He promises pure, rich, abundant life.
This life isn’t always pretty and clean like we would hope. It’s fun to imagine living in a big city with my hipster jeans and my venti latte and my sleeve of Bible tattoos, being cool and ‘radical’ and comfortable. But look at Jesus’ life. He actually TOUCHED the leper’s skin. He listened to people whose breath smelled absolutely putrid. He hung out with people who cussed and drank and slept in dirt. That is everything that makes me uncomfortable.
I’d love it if God sent me to minister in Suburbia, where everyone has all their teeth, and beautiful oak floors, and a lifestyle and a culture that is exactly like mine. But the truth is that I wouldn’t love it at all. In fact, give it two maybe two weeks, and I would loathe it. Suffering nothing, losing nothing, sacrificing nothing. That is as far away as you can possibly get from really living.
But that’s how I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus lived the greatest life that could ever be lived. He felt deeper, thought higher, laughed harder, and cried greater than any human ever before and ever since. So if anyone asks me why on earth I would want to be like Jesus? It’s simple. He’s where the Life is.
So this New Year, I choose to make every intention to lose everything I think I want, to gain everything I couldn’t even imagine. I choose to die, in order that I may live.