Thursday, October 15, 2015

Day 11: RANT: what if we were Jesus-oriented

ours is a performance oriented world.

doing your best is no longer the standard that you live up to.
it used to be. God is happy with our best.
if we give him everything
if we let him work through us
but for everyone else, it isn't enough.
the new standard is everyone else's view of your best, which is labeled "perfect"
in a scrawling, ridiculous, unreal script.

When we step onto the stage of life,
the lights blind us.
we stagger, dazed, confused, disoriented.
until someone pulls the rug out from under us.
and then we know exactly what happened.
our best - our dazed, disoriented best -
that trying in a tough situation
wasn't good enough.
and someone said so.

it doesn't matter that they don't know what it feels like to be you.
they said it. and it hurt.
like stubbing your toe, or hitting your funny bone.
enough to bring tears to your eyes and attempt to curl into the fetal position.
but not enough to kill you.

They say.
its not good enough.
you're not good enough.
work harder.
do better.
because otherwise we will throw you to the crowd
and who knows what they'll do to you...

You wonder why you are even on that stage.
you wonder why you're there.
who put you there.
there's a faint memory of wanting to be on the stage
of wanting to please.
but now it just doesn't seem to matter
it's pointless to try to please someone who can't be pleased.
they'll only make fun of you
as they rip the rug out
once again
and laugh as you fall flat.

So why try?
because suddenly
as you're laying on the floor with a sore bum and
a sore pride
you wonder why their opinion matters
why you ever used their measurement, their standard
in the first place.

We weren't made to be successful.
We were meant to be faithful.
We fail at it; we are faithless
and yet we serve a faithful God
who's standards never change.
who never changes.
who does not judge performances
because they will never be perfect.

our value to him is not what we can do
but the fact that we are us
and nothing can really change that.
the fact that we are a work in progress
a blob of clay
that will be put through formation,
burning heat in the kiln,
drowning in glaze,
and then burnt again.
sometimes we are even shattered and then pieced together again.
but that is what makes us beautiful
we are art.
we are ever changing,
when he is not.
we are us
and he is him.
can we be Jesus-oriented,
rather than performance-oriented,
focusing on the journey rather than the applause?
we serve a God who loves us
because we are messed up.
not because we are perfect.
Why can our value not come from God?
that the value is I am a work in progress.
I'm not perfect.
But I'm better than I was yesterday
and I'll be even better tomorrow.
Why can our value not be based on whether we nailed it
or not.
but on the fact that it's been worse.
why can we not be valuable because we are us?
Why can our value not be because Jesus was nailed?
because our ledger no longer runs red.
because it is as clean as a new driving record.
a blank cd
an empty wall
or a white canvas.
Why can our value be the fact that we have jesus
tattooed across our heart.
not the fact that we fail to have perfect
tattooed on our foreheads?

It seems this is the struggle of our generation.

forever looking to others to define us.
what do you think of me? my writing, my room,
my weird art projects, my future, my strange taste of music, my *insert whatever here*.
we care about what other people think.
But is that right?
what if unimportant opinions are being applied?

what if we applied the opinion that mattered.
the one that shaped us into our very literal best on the standard that mattered.
not the one that didn't but was used anyways.
what if we used correct
rather than incorrect.
and left the rug, the stage
the facial tattoos that were once so critical
because they didn't matter.
and we were jesus-oriented
rather than performance-oriented.
what if.

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