Archives For June 2008

The atttitude of Jesus

Mike —  June 23, 2008 — Leave a comment

I’ve asked my students to write a short essay on living with Jesus’ attitude, so I thought I’d post an example of what I’m looking for (this is on the short side of what’s assigned, but it’s enough to get the idea):

“What does it mean for me to live with the attitude of Jesus?” I suppose it means that as much as possible, my thoughts, feelings, reactions, etc. are His. It means that my perspective on life is seen through His eyes. I can tend to get a little cynical sometimes, my outlook a little bleak. Sometimes I see situations that are obviously messed up and doubt that there’s anything I or anyone else can do to make them better. A lot of people don’t really want to ‘get well’. That can be very discouraging for me.

But when I have the attitude of Jesus, my perspective changes. Flickers of hope begin to melt away my cynicism. I come to understand that my job isn’t to make things better, but to “awaken possibilities” within others – to take a spark of life near enough to them that they will be driven to seek out the Source of that Life.

This means that people are not seeking out me. It’s not relationship with me that they need. They’re looking beyond me, through me, to see the One whose attitude I reflect. And that’s ok. Having Jesus’ attitude means I don’t want their attention to get stuck on me. I want to direct their attention to God, our Father. If that means being ignored and taken for granted, I can live with that. Jesus’ attitude says, “Life is not about me.”

Jesus set aside everything for the sake of others. He humbly laid down His right and privilege in order to serve humanity. If I’m going to have His attitude, I will be willing to do the same.

Summarize…

Mike —  June 11, 2008 — Leave a comment

I got a link to this video in an e-mail from Joe, our children’s pastor. This is a great idea, but more than that – it’s a great statement of what God’s doing in the lives of the church where this was filmed. How would you summarize your self/life in just a few words??? What would be your “cardboard testimony”?

Being Known

Mike —  June 9, 2008 — Leave a comment

I’ve not posted much of anything lately. And the little bit that I have written here recently has been way on the ‘lighter’ side of content ~ I mean, “greener” bombs??? Come on…

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say. I’ve actually had quite a few things that I wanted to write about lately (working with a summer intern, fixing my race car, visiting the art gallery, reading Dostoyevsky, new music, moments with students…). But whenever I begin to actually put the words together, I find myself insanely filtering what I want to say. Then I decide this distilled, nuetralized (or is neutered?) version of what’s on my mind isn’t really worth saying anyway. So I delete it and move on to something else.

(I’m fighting with myself right now even ~ finish the post or filter it then scrap it? I’ll keep going and see what happens…)

I think this may just be a part of my tendency to question everything – especially myself. In that case, I’ll just keep digging for answers, writing and deleting my way along. But it also may be some fear of something outside of me, looking into the part of me I put on display, and deciding they don’t like what they see. When I started this blog, I was feeling pretty secure. I knew if anyone had a problem with what they found here, we could deal with it together. I had a confidence in what I had to say, even when difficult issues led me to say things I knew people didn’t want to hear. I was known. I knew myself and felt like I was on firm enough footing to defend if I needed to.

I feel like all of that is missing now. I’m not known. I don’t want to say what people who don’t know me don’t want to hear. (We’re not very nice to people we don’t know when they say things we don’t want to hear, are we?) I feel like Jeremiah maybe, with a message to deliver that I don’t really want to. But he couldn’t keep it in, and I’m sure I can’t either…

Not that I’m trying to stifle the message of God for the sake of my own security. Or maybe that’s exactly what it is. Maybe I know deep inside that the masses of consumer christians don’t want to hear the call to create and produce something in keeping with the faith they claim. Maybe I know within my soul that the herds will always value conformity above true beauty. Maybe I’ve just been listenning to too much Coldplay…