Monday, October 8, 2012

A God of Holy Chaos

     At my family reunion a year and a half ago, I realized that I had the (dis)ability to see life as I wanted to see it, now how it really is.  That's not the kind of person I want to be. I want to be honest about life, no matter how uncomfortable or difficult that honesty is.  
    I read an article in Christianity Today called "Good News: Jesus is Not Nice." It struck a nerve.  The overall article was about how we have tamed Jesus to fit nicely into our notion of what He was like (and perhaps what he will call us to be).  At one point the article noted:
"We can stop pretending God is nice, as if it's his job to make our lives well-adjusted or religious or even spiritual. Jesus did not say he came to give us happiness, only blessedness. He did not promise an easy life, only an abundant one. He doesn't call us to be religious or spiritual, but to love God and love others. We can save ourselves a lot of grief if we recognize that up front. This means at least two things: (1) He's not going to spare us from heartache, suffering, and chaos. (2) He's actually going to bring heartache, suffering, and chaos into our lives sometimes."
     Ah.  I need to hear this message over and over.  I find that I so quickly want my life to manageable and predictable.  I want my wife to read my mind, my kids to always make me proud, my church to hang onto my every word, and my book to instantly click with millions.  I want to eat without consequence, work out without sweating, and sleep without my cat waking me up.  I just want my stupid smart phone to sync properly.  I want my deck roof to build itself, my van tires to not go bald, and my wireless internet to work instantly.
    But none of these things are going to happen. In fact, if the life of Jesus is any indication, I'm not sure He wants them to happen either.  The life that I want is a life in which I never grow up.  The life I want would pamper me, not strengthen me; coddle me, not mature me. It would keep me a child, not make me a man.
     But I don't want to be Peter Pan, stuck in perpetual adolescence, treating all of life as a game when the stakes are so much higher than that.  I want to grow up.  There is an abundant life awaiting me. 


  1. ! You know how to hit a nerve.... the whole blog.....I don't want to not learn and grow..but it is tough!

    It's so unreal to keep remembering that I can't call Sam, just talk..

    1. "It is tough." No argument from me. It's hard to come to grips with the fact that things will never be the same. It's been almost 10 years, and I still have those moments when I kind of shake my head and think, "That can't be right."

  2. Mitchell James LewisNovember 20, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    This reminds me of one of my personal heroes. Job, to understand and accept both good and "bad" from the Lord.

    20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:
    “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.[c]
    The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”
    22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

  3. Here's one of the things I like about Job: He grieved. He tore his robe and shaved his head. And once he acknowledged the turbulent reality of tragedy in life, he found his foundation. His conclusion is challenging, but I'm not sure followers of Christ will find healing and hope without it.