Declaring Bankruptcy

I heard someone say recently that you have to die to all your made-up ideas about who Jesus is before you get to see Him as he truly is. That pretty much summed up the last nine months of my life, and I'm sure this won't be the last time I go through such a deconstruction. It's been so surreal that I've really struggled with how to describe this part of our journey to our friends. It seemed much simpler when we could rattle off our accomplishments for Jesus and be done with it.

I was thinking this morning that it's as though we had become stock brokers in this strange game called Jesus-as-commodity, only to find out that we were spending our blood, sweat and tears on false currency. Monopoly money. It's like finding youself in a strange pyramid scheme in which you find out the product you're pushing doesn't even exist. And at the end, it was like declaring spiritual bankruptcy.

In the last six years I've encountered Jesus in three places. The first two were on retreats which were led by women who continue to be my friends and pastors, and the third was the Center for Contemplation and Action, the contemplative prayer ministry in town led primarily by Catholics. Not until recent times could I say that I've encountered Jesus in church at all in those six years. In fact, after our recent experience in church service I felt like my life wasn't about anything but strange, made-up ideas about Jesus that were a misrepresentation and distortion at best. Life since then has been a slow recovery. If I'm not a stock broker, what am I? If that was a false economy, a false reality, what is truth? And I was really saved last fall by the postmodern observation that truth is not a set of propositions, but truth is a person. He said, "I am the Truth," not "the four spiritual laws are the truth". So I've spent months starting over, getting reaquainted with the one to whom I was unfaithful.

This is from the gospel of Matthew, seventh chapter:
21 "Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as 'Lord,' but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. 22 On judgment day many will tell me, 'Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' 23 But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.'

The people in my life who have possessed the wisdom to warn me from this path on which I failed to know Him all have lifestyles that more closely resemble Mary's than Martha's. At the end of the day, they have peace and they know Love. Some would say those are worth all the riches in the world.