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My Life: An Epic Tale

Or not. Been thinking about my life lately and the paths that I’ve taken, the choices I’ve made, and the way I’ve gone about dealing with those choices. When I look at the macro-perspective of my life, the general outline of my story is quite predictable and redundant. The specifics of each situation are different, but generally, this is what has happened since I’ve started following Jesus:

First, I go through a pleasant period of intriguing plot and character development. Then, a moment of obvious foreshadowing about the future plot becoming a larger than life adventure. The plot thickens and the tension builds and builds and builds as we approach the moment the story hits the climax that fundamentally changes the rest of the tale. The climax hits, the character is loaded with impassioned determination. The reader is awed and excited. After this, one of two things happen. Either the climactic event that was sure to be a launching point for a life of absurd awesomeness is not what it turned out to be. Or, there is a near impossible problem to solve right after the climax that has the potential to ruin everything. And though our main character tries to solve it, he fails and everything is ruined. The protagonist shuts down, shrugs off the past, and lives functionally and passively until something else comes up that reminds the main character how boring his life is. Then the story repeats itself.

I default to the boring. My modus operandi is to just not really care that much. I always go back to being complacent with a life that is full of enjoyment and ideas about the way I want to live, but one that is not actually lived that way. There are times when I am fully given over to stopping at nothing to live a life that is epic in scale, but when things go wrong and are not what I imagined they would be, its back to lazy and passive engagement with the world around me. Why is this?

I’m scared of a tragedy. Really, I’m really scared of that. So, when things go wrong and it looks like my heroic narrative is going to become a tragic tale, I give up and sabotage the story. It’s not a tragedy then, its merely a story not worth telling. I’m tired of living out a story that I don’t even want to read. I think I know how to do this. My M.O. must be transformed. I must live as passionately during times of excitement as during times of tragedy. There’s nothing wrong with a tragic story. The book of Mark was a tragedy (not with the added passages, but originally), but the effects of the story are powerful and the effect that the tragedy had on the rest of the world is beautiful. I have to be okay with my life being a tragedy, as long as it is a tragedy worth reading, captivating readers and having a positive effect on them even if the story is a sad one.

What’s your story like? Is it like Jesus’ or Stephen’s or Paul’s or Philip’s? I had an ironic into the night conversation with a friend the other day about this. We were at the same place at the same time, thinking about our lives and those around us. We talked about how we know so few people who live with the same impassioned resolution and uncompromising action that Jesus and some immediately proceeding him did, even though these people claim to believe the same things. We talked mostly about how we ourselves have lived a life of compromises and absurd hypocrisy, though we claim to want to be like Jesus. I think the problem is that the life of Jesus is perceived as idealistic, even though Jesus and many we see in the book of Acts talk and act like Messiah-likeness is normative for his followers. It is not an unobtainable ideal, but the way Jesus expects it to be for someone who has His Spirit. If that’s true, then for the Jesus-follower, our lives should be the most powerful and beautiful stories the world has ever seen. Is yours?

Categories: Miscellaneous
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