Some Days Following Jesus Feels Flat Irresponsible

Erik Cooper —  March 23, 2011 — Leave a comment

Nothing makes you feel like a loser more than watching golf on TV. Not quite the same as eating Ramen Noodles in your bath robe over Tom & Jerry re-runs at 2:30 in the afternoon. But maybe a close second.

Now that the NFL is on what may become an extra long-term hiatus, my Sunday afternoons include dozing in-and-out of consciousness to the usually Tiger-Woodless final round PGA Tour broadcasts. Golf is a great napping companion, but the commercials are starting to give me some nightmares.

Have you ever stopped to ingest the propaganda put forth during PGA programming? If you’re not careful, you’ll subliminally deduce the rest of the world drives $80,000 cars, sets up million dollar trust funds for their children, and carries large animated numbers around under their arms.

Do you have one of these?

Over the last few years, the trajectory of my life has changed. In my attempt to follow Jesus, I’ve slowly begun making decisions that often run counter to the “American Dream.” Less control. Less security. (And I’m not just talking about money).

But the ingrained expectations of our culture are still very much alive in me.

My choices are beginning to change, but my expected outcomes often remain the same. And some days, the chasm that’s developing between the two buries me in the debris of depression, guilt, and doubt.

I know this in my head:

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? -Matthew 16:24-26 MSG

But my internal impulses still scream:

Control.

Secure.

Demand.

You’re entitled.

Some days following Jesus just feels flat irresponsible. Suffering? Self-sacrifice? No one’s buying Super Bowl ads to promote these values. And so I continue to wrestle with the tension between my cultural expectations and the voice of my Savior. I’d like to tell you He always wins, but we’re honest here.

What about you? Do you feel the tension between following Jesus and your ingrained expectations?

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