Foolish Fridays 2
In the Brennan Manning text, The Importance of Being Foolish, he begins a number of reflections seeking to discern how to think like Jesus. I will be traveling down this road with this text as my guide, and see what can be discovered. I hope you will enjoy the journey.
In the first part of this chapter, Manning recounts the story of a man named Max, at an alcoholic rehab center – Manning himself is a recovering alcoholic – and the scene, rather brutal, plays out through a number of pages with Max ultimately and utterly broken and admits his addiction.
He makes this observation, “For the majority of us, what is most real is the world of our material existence; what is most unreal is the world of God. This is a fact so enormous, subversion so radical, that the liar in the biblical sense is largely taken for granted in our society. For the religious dimension of life is a kind of optional accessory, entirely a matter of taste.”
A wise thought from Stanley Hauerwas:
We can only act with a world we can see.
Let us walk together to learn how to see
and live in a world where Jesus is Lord.
Max had to hold on to his stuff – his image of who he thought he was. Remember the story about the rich man. In the first part we find a man who asked Jesus what to do in order to inherit the Kingdom. Hearing that he should go and sell all that he had and give to the poor, the rich ruler was “dishearted… and went away sorrowful.” Mark 10:17 ESV. Another time a man demanded Jesus tell his brother to divide the inheritance with him. The answer was disturbing, “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15 ESV.
Ouch. How tightly do we hold on to our stuff? Last Friday Manning talked about freedoms. Are we free to work, earn and get more stuff? Are we free to dispose of our stuff as we choose? Yes, that is our freedom here. Then again, maybe Manning was asking whether we are trading in real freedom when we think about our stuff so much. What would tomorrow look like if we got together to think about living life with our possessions as though Jesus were Lord? Now I don’t mean coming up with all these rules and investment strategies just talk about what life can look like – sort of stretching out a little more.
What do you think?
Be blessed and be a blessing.