when it comes to stuff that doesn’t really matter, it appears that i have this overly analytical and intuitive mind. i’ve even been accused of being ‘abstract’ during my graduate school experience. some of you who have happened through my blog from time to time have witnessed that and even seemed to enjoy it.
but for me, it’s my own personal hell. that abstraction that possesses me—even about little things—and gets me so tied up in knots sometimes it feels like a straight jacket. it’s predictably amplified with significant things. like Jesus, for example. 😉
deep inside the churning recesses and cobwebs and whirlpools of my mind, i’ve always had this one certain consideration–almost a fear of the truth if i let myself even consider it. with easter on the immediate horizon and with some of the tv programming i’ve been watching lately about the life and times of Jesus (and while professing to be a christian through ALL my wiles), that ol’ bug in my overactive mind jumped back around today.
what if i were a Jew, alive in the time of Jesus?
indeed, what would barry do?
would i have been one to eagerly join the camp of Jesus and his disciples? would i have done that with a whole heart like the bulk of those 12 men? or would i have been a fake…a liar…a devil…like Judas? would i have been the one who witnessed the entire Jesus movement first-hand, and then still deny him three times in the time of his trial?
or further, would i have nursed my belief in the God of a religious society at that time and altogether have rejected Jesus for being the ‘next flash in the pan?’
in the first place, it’s pretty relevant to consider what would it have actually been like to be ME in that culture, in that setting, in that time of uncertainty, although that throws a whole new dynamic spin on a consideration that is already abstract. yeah..that’s probably just too much to evaluate. indeed, these are questions that might not can even have answers. so let’s keep it as simple as possible.
i mean, i guess i’d like to say that i would have eagerly and zealously followed Jesus and to believe that i’d have been one of his most staunch supporters in that day, at all costs. it makes me feel good to think i would have been inclined that way.
but what if i didn’t?
eh. it’s as invaluable to ponder on never-even-purchased milk as it is to cry over it when it’s spilt. questions about some type of personal behavior that might’ve happened embedded within 2,000 years of history are worth pondering, i guess. and there’s no way to know.
but..what about NOW. if Jesus’ birth had happened only a few years after mine and he was enduring the ardor of the original easter weekend right now, just down the street from my house, what would barry do now? what IS barry doing now?
surely the most of us are not fools. Jesus was a mover and shaker, if not the messiah or son of God that He claimed to be. we see that ‘type’ of person come along repeatedly over the course of history. for the record, i happen to believe that Jesus was what He said and did. and that’s easy to say with historical record combined with the esteemed and inspired teaching and preaching of generations of people and with my own spiritual instinct intact. lip service is effortless. but what if the reality were unfolding tonight just like it did for some other real people two millennia ago. they tried to believe he would arise the third day, but on a night like tonight before that had actually happened, did they really believe it or did they let present doubt seep in? would I have?
i’m asking alotta rhetorical questions right now.
but the most important question to myself tonight is this one—and it’s not rhetorical:
if i am a follower of Jesus (which i am–whether it looks like it on my surface or not), and if i believe that we are living in the last days before time ends and Jesus returns (which i do–based on easily discernable evidence predicted in ages past), what will barry do?
will i take the mark? or will i reject it and stay true to what i know to be a higher spiritual reality than the ‘world’ will receive? will i willingly bend down and be beheaded when the new world order begins its executions of those whom won’t subsribe, because i won’t subscribe?
…more questions…and more abstraction…this is deep, huh. abstract thinking’ll do that to ya. especially on ‘easter eve.’ lol
perhaps, for now at least, a conclusion:
here and now, i have to say that i’m quite confident i have my own answers about how my faith will play out in whatever unforseeable future we all face together. when i can’t speak about my past, and when my present casts a shadow or maybe even the wrong impression, my future is really not even up for debate. heck, i realize right now that it never has been, even within my own mind.
when even I have self-speculated about the strength of a faith that i have inked up with my own reckless behavior, i know the truth for myself. and if i accomplished little else for this Easter season, i have conceived once and for all that i’m a Jesus freak. and i’m on the winning side.
when i have questioned myself quite publicly right here in this very blog over the last few minutes about alotta self-weakness….
i would’ve, i somewhat have, and i will continue to attempt to stay true to my faith in Jesus Christ…regardless of the many confusions, distractions, temptations, hardships and contradictions my very lifestyle has presented and will present me in that endeavor.
happy easter to all. and thank you, Jesus.