Tuesday, June 28, 2011

pondering young frankenstein: walk this way

Out of sinus medication.
Out of deodorant.
And out of coffee.

It probably comes as no surprise that the third one meant we had to go to the store: RIGHT.NOW.

The girls are at their grandparents.

It would have been easy to leave the boys here (while their dad worked from his home office) and go alone.

It would have been easy to drive there and back: 10 or 15 minutes tops, done.

It would have been easier...

But choice by choice, I found myself doing something I seem to do often, lately. Choosing the insane path.

I asked perfectly content, quiet boys to log off the computer and get dressed.

I left a perfectly functioning car in the garage, and we all strapped on bike helmets.

I left a completely legitimate debit card behind and I grabbed $40 from the cash envelope.

And so a ride that could have been quick, or at least peaceful, was long, hot, and filled with arguing over which path we'd take to get there and which of them got to be in front.

Shopping that could have been made simpler, if I'd been alone, OR if I'd brought the car, OR if I'd said "to hell with the budget", was complicated with requests for items that I neither had cash for nor room in my backpack for.

And yet I chose all this.

Finally, back home again, a chance for peace is offered: "Can we watch TV?"

Again, insanity rules...

"No, you argued on the bike ride. That's not loving each other well. Choose something to do together and do it peacefully for an hour. Do that successfully, then you can watch TV."

And with that I purposefully invited more bickering into my home.


I'm crazy, right? Foolish. This makes NO SENSE.

And for that matter, what on earth does any of this have to do with Young Frankenstein?

Well ... do you remember the part where Frankenstein meets Eyegor? (yes, Eyegor not Igor... watch the movie!) Eyegor says, "Walk this way" and Frankenstein follows. But Eyegor corrects him, saying, "No, walk this way ... this way" implying that he doesn't simply want him to follow where he's going - he wants him to walk the way he's walking (which in the movie happens to be humped over with a cane).

Track with me here: I'm thinking that's the idea behind Jesus's statements about how the way is narrow. About how in fact He IS The Way. About how if we love Him we'll keep His commandments. About how we have to die and be born again and about what it means to believe. I'm thinking Jesus is saying, "Walk this way". Die to yourself, surrender, and be born of the spirit, every single day. Walk like Me.

See, He was pretty foolish. He chose the insane path. The cross is foolishness. And I'm starting to digest the idea that I only believe in Him to the degree that I walk as foolishly, selflessly as He did. Walking His way. That walking in the way of loving God and loving my neighbor, the self-less way, the sacrificial way, the surrendered way, is the only way to eternal life, which is to say, the only way to knowing Him and living me-in-Him-and-Him-in-me here and now. In fact, to the extent that our creeds and confessions and synods take us away from that ... (well, I better save that for another post).

Sweating. Brothers arguing. Young Frankenstein. And what I'm pretty sure amounts to some form of certifiable heresy, depending on who you talk to...

Crazy way to start the day?

I dunno.

Guess that depends on how you look at it. Right now I have a hot cup of coffee. My boys are having fun together. Our bodies are grateful for the exercise, a little less gasoline was burned today, and our budget is in tact. Best of all? It is well with my soul.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!~Hebrews 12:2, The Message

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