Thursday, April 17, 2014

Astonishingly Crazy

If you could read my mind, you would know that I'm really not a very nice person.

I think I'm right way more than I should; I get irritated and intolerant; I am arrogant; sometimes I am too lazy to give my kids what they need.  Fear keeps me from loving people.  I can revel in seeing someone fail; I am selfish and inflexible; I stress out often and take it out on other people.  Sometimes I shock myself with my lack of love and lack of forgiveness.

Actually, forget about reading my mind; you really just need to talk to my husband or kids.

There was a time in my life when I seriously considered all the major world religions.

But I discovered, that if they were true, I was screwed.  All of them taught that the path to heaven or enlightenment was to be a really good person.

And I knew that I was not a really good person.  Or even a sort of good person.  Sure, I could smile and mind my manners and follow the rules and make people think that I was Such a Nice Girl, but I saw all that was sinister inside me.  And I knew that had the circumstances been right, if I had lived in Germany in the 30's or Rwanda in the 90's, that I would be capable of all that was evil.

I also considered that perhaps there is no heaven or enlightenment, that everything I can touch and see is all there is.  But that is even more terrifying, because then there is no answer for the evil inside me; I would be just a meaningless mixture of chemicals.  It would mean everyone just makes their own rules and there is no true beauty and no true purpose or real soul.

I'm telling you this today because I want you to know why I believe in something as astonishingly crazy as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Of course, there was a time when I researched and I read literally dozens of books on the subject, because I didn't want to believe what I wanted to be true, I wanted to believe what is true.  And now I am convinced that the physical Resurrection of Jesus is one of the most verifiable facts of history, and I believe that it confirms that Jesus' claim to be the Son of God was not just the ravings of a mad man.

But I also believe because I cling to it as a drowning man clings to a life vest, as a man in the desert runs to a spring.  The Resurrection is Life; it is the assurance that despite the wretchedness of my heart, that God accepts me as His own, because the price has been paid.  It is oceans of beautiful, astonishing, immeasurable Grace.  It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with God.

And the Resurrection shows me how all of life makes sense, how I have no need to fear, how it's all One Big Story and I (even I!) get to play a part in it.  It rips apart my selfishness; it motivates me to love other people; it gives me hope and power to change.  To change!

By the grace of God, I would give up everything for it; I would die for it; because I have already gained everything.

This is why I celebrate on Sunday.  This is why I leave this country and these people that I love and move (again) half way around the world.  Because the Resurrection is everything.

Watch this today.  Because it's awesome and I never get tired of it.

Photo credits:  Gil Medina

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