Thursday 4 October, Saint Francis of Assisi Day (it says) …
“Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit, and without a sense of self-importance.”
Reminds me of someone …
Jesus of Nazareth was a humble little man who astounded and scared the Church by talking the Jewish bible and throwing it in the air – not literally, but by actually highlighting not “how” to be okay with man – but how, why, what, when, where with God AND man. And all with joy, without limit, and without any sense of self-importance.
One gets made a saint, the other King of the Jews.
“During the last years of his relatively short life, he died at 44, Francis was half blind and seriously ill. Two years before his death he received the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ in his hands, feet and side.” The other gets nailed to a cross.
Both become celeb-lifers. One gets his cross in churches, the other gets a saint-day. Celeb-life is in everything.
Why do we like to emulate Christ in others – rather than be Christ in ourself?
Why look for those we can pin “celeb-life” on – and then drool over every last detail?
Is it because we don’t think it possible in ourselves … is it because being that “kind of guy” demands too much “sacrifice” … too much commitment … ?
Or is it because we like our “celeb-lifers” to live life hard and fast and then die young … evermore remembered in our sentimental fish-bowl stuck in a time-warp of our making?
I used to think that I was indwelt when I came to the Lord.
Then I was taught I shouldn’t over-reach myself. That God needs to be worshiped and praised … that he is perfect and I am not … that he is sinless and I am sin-full … that I might get to heaven if I toe the party-line for the rest of my natural … but deffo that is for afters and not for now.
Now is burden and carrying crosses and service. Oh – and remember that God has no reason to save me – he does so because he loves me – even before I was born! Now get back to the duty and obligation and intolerable grind of being grateful.
I am not waiting. I am not grinding. I am not even so very grateful. And as for worship and praise … ? That all binds. But not only binds. That distances me. Like a trophy wife. Like a sugar daddy. Like a relationship of convenience.
I want it all. And I can tell you that I have it all. Every second of every day.
And when I am grumpy he has it all. When I am angry he has me all. When I can’t be bothered he has that all and all again.
Because if all I give is my best – then am I giving anything much at all?
We create “celeb-life” for and around others. Others exactly like us – good and bad – happy and sad – pumped-up and worn-down.
So why do we admire “poor little men”? Why do we like them to die young? Why do we never think we can be them? Why do we never see them as they see them?
Why do we like holding back?