I've been doing this Donald Miller book marathon in preparation for his coming to Murray. Okay, it's not a marathon or race or anything like that, but before, I'd just read Blue Like Jazz, which I like a lot, so I managed to get my hands on Through Painted Deserts and Searching For God Knows What. I've finished TPD, and I'm on SFGKW now. This one is awesome so far.
He has this thing called the Lifeboat Theory, and I think he's right. He got all hung up on the idea that after the Fall in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve realized they were naked. This is something we just kind of breeze past, but he thinks it's pretty significant. When we are separated from God and him loving us perfectly, we suddenly become very self-conscious. See, A and E (like the cable channel) weren't self-conscious before because they had no reason to be. They were being loved completely and perfectly, and as we know, we find security in that. We feel like we know who we are, and we are okay with who we are. We don't even care about it because we are being loved and that's all that matters. And when we are separated from the love of God, we search frantically to find something to tell us we are okay. And this is when we start looking at everyone else to see if we are okay. Thus begins the trend how we compare ourselves to each other constantly, making sure we are better because it's like this: Imagine we're all in a lifeboat (Titanic-style, if you wish), and it's sinking, too. All we have to do is throw one person off and we won't drown. And we want desperately not to be that person because that would mean we are less valuable. We continually try to prove ourselves as best; that way, we can stay in the boat. This accounts for a lot of the silly things we do, like looking at someone and automatically feeling bitter toward them because they might be considered better that ourselves.
Okay, I realize I did a horrid job of explaining all of that, but Don Miller did it in a very long chapter in his book, whereas I tried to do it in a paragraph. But this is having a serious impact on me. If you stop and look at the things we do, the things we think, this makes so much sense. We are trying as hard as we can to feel like we're okay, and a lot of times, that means that we're making sure we're at least better than other people. And as it turns out, that's all really absurd because we don't have to be. We are trying to fill up a void we can never really fill.
I've grown wary about Jesus, you know. I'm going to be honest. I'm not going to pretend that I'm one of those people who understand faith and find it easy or even logical to tell people (or myself) that Jesus is the answer to all their problems. I know how incredibly weird it is because this Jesus figure seems so ambiguous and vague and like a silly, unbelievable character from a fairy tale. I know. But what I mean when I say I've grown wary about Jesus, I think I mean I've grown wary of the Jesus that he's been made out to be. Not the real guy. He was just some guy who would've hung out with you at the coffee shop or bar and philosophized with you and listened to what you're saying and made you feel loved, like you knew who you were. 'Cause he didn't feel so scared about being okay like we do. 'Cause he wasn't separated from God's love like we are. And all he really wanted to do was share that with us.