Your own personal Jesus. Thank you Johnny Cash.
Why does Jesus not fit in my box? Why is he not mathematical? These were the questions I asked myself as I ran a half marathon last Sunday.
A half marathon. It is a small feat for many, but for a guy whose last year was spent in the company of Jim Beam, American Spirits, IPA’s, Coffee, and the other folks that hang around with them, this was a big accomplishment. It was an even bigger accomplishment that I finished in a decent time considering I committed to it last minute, and I had one week to train for it.
As I ran I thought of everything I could to keep my mind off of the current stress my body was under. I played seven nation army, the DUBSTEP arrangement, over and over in my head and ran to its beats. I learned the CBA’s backwards. Then I came to lament station, where I stayed till I ended the race. I wasn’t expecting to arrive there, but it’s where (took out “the”) Jesus wanted me to be. I lamented in frustration over my last year. I lamented over friends who have walked away from Jesus because he did not fit the mold they had fashioned in their minds. I lamented over my misplaced frustrations with “my own personal Jesus.” Why he would he let them walk away? I lamented over the death of my friend’s Dad who died of cancer after we prayed for healing. He even went to a “renowned” healing room to receive healing from Jesus, like many others had received. Jesus, was it your desire or plan all along that they would walk through divorce and be fully separated? Why did I spend a year in a relationship to find out the relationship was not supposed to be? Jesus was not fulfilling the conditional paradigm I put him in: “Jesus, If I…. then you must.”
Jesus, why do you not fit in my box, and why are you not mathematical?
Why are you not an equation I can understand nor anticipate the outcome of?
Math has never been my forte. I passed my last math class with a 98%, not because of my intellectual understanding of mathematics, but because of my Sith powers of manipulation. My teacher loved economics and I happened to know enough to carry conversation with her. In return for my listening, I had no problem asking for her help during tests, which usually produced the answer I needed. I would hope I am a better person now. I like my mathematics because if I know how to solve the equation I can produce the answer. I like my Jesus Mathematical. I like to order my Jesus over easy and with a side of something I can anticipate and understand. God bless growing up in America.
Why does Jesus not act the way I have fashioned him to be?
Near the end of the race all my questions were answered. Well, more like redirected. About a month prior some one asked me after hearing some of my frustrations, “Nick, what are you not believing about the gospel?” I wrestled with the question, came up with a quick answer, and then filed it in some obscure location in the back of my mind. During the time it was filed away it underwent a transformation that only became clear to me during my run in the midst the frustration and laments. The question became the answer. All these questions I had were based out of something I did not believe about the gospel. I was not believing Jesus was good. I was not believing he was good because he was not fitting my idea of what good represents. Growing up in America has shaped what good means to me, and good means letting me be an individual who gets what he wants when he does what is required. Jesus should fit the same system, right? I follow him and do as he commands, and he makes my life better. I am a child of my culture and the harsh and beautiful reality is, I am wrong and so are you, and it’s ok. We are wrong together. The reality is Jesus does not work like an equation, nor will he ever fit into any theologian’s box, let alone ours.
Circumstances do not change the character of Jesus. When you lost your Dad to cancer after everyone prayed for him, Jesus is good. When your boyfriend or girlfriend cheated on you, Jesus is good. When you walked through that divorce, Jesus is good. When you were molested as a child by some one you trusted, Jesus is good. When your friend walked away from everything he once believed, Jesus is good. When Jesus does not fit the paradigm we have created, he is still good has been good, and will be good forevermore.
Welcome to the space created to give you the monologue of my life, in hopes it creates a dialogue with yours.