I have a buddy who makes a magic elixir. No, seriously. Every time we play golf, he pulls a little bottle of it out of his bag somewhere on the back nine (front nine if he’s having an especially tough day).
I’m not sure how magic it is, because it never seems to improve his game much. I think it just makes him care a little less.
As much as I desperately want Him to be, Jesus is not a magic elixir.
Look, I love the idea of Jesus in my life, it’s this whole following Him thing that really messes with my head.
Jesus said, “come follow me,” and then He went to the cross. Seriously? Can’t we just meet up for coffee a few times a month? You come from heaven and I’ll join you after I hit the gym? It’s just up the street.
Give me a swig of elixir. You know, pray the magic prayer, listen to a few sermons, take a class or two. Fill myself up on some Jesus juice and we’re good to go. Right?
As long as I don’t have to sacrifice my idols. You know, like….
- My way of understanding the world.
- My way of understanding God.
All those things that help me fit God into I am, but aren’t really who He is. I need those. Can I keep those?
Writing this makes me a little nauseous, because I know truly embracing the Gospel means letting Jesus have me at the foundation. Invading the broken places I want to hide. Destroying the things I’ve made in His image. Some days I’m in, some days I’m hedging. I want Him, I’m just not sure I want to follow Him. He says crazy things like….
“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.”
-Luke 9:23-24 MSG
Crap. Are you sure? Ok, I’m in….wait. I don’t know. Do I really have to deal with that? Lay that down? Let Him in there?
Can’t I just have another swig of the magic Jesus elixir and call it a day?