Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Friday, November 14, 2008
A month ago my baby boy was born and not only was this an awesome event in its own right, but it also meant that I had a legitimate reason for missing my 10 year high school reunion… Whew! That was a close one. Old acquaintances were like, “Lee, are you going to the reunion?” And I was all, “Oh no… I can’t. We just had a baby… man, hate I missed that!” It saved me from having to give the real reason, which is that I just really didn’t want to go! Look, it’s not that I’m hateful or that I look back on high school as a terrible experience or anything… it’s just that high school reunions seem to me like a big race or contest. I mean, high school was a big enough race on its own, right? Who’s the coolest? Who’s the most beautiful? Who’s going to get the best grades or into the best school? Who gets the most girls? Who can lift the most weight or run the fastest mile?
Then college comes and you get to start all over in a world where no one’s really competing… everyone’s just trying to make it. Then you graduate and get a job and before you know it, ten years have flown by and you’re supposed to go back home and hang out with all those old people you used to compete against or were mean to. The only difference is that now everyone can legally drink a beer. I just imagined this awkward evening filled with conversations about important mergers and innovative manufacturing techniques with guys pretending to like the taste of champagne. I wondered if anyone would jump to their feet in the middle of it all and suggest that everyone grab a slushy from Kenjo and carpool out to laser tag (because that’s what everyone really wanted to be doing).
The thing is, I’m sure no one did that, and I bet the reason has something to do with the fact that we’re all still trying to impress each other. We’re all still in high school trying to have the best outfit or the coolest car. And I’m not just talking about my peeps from the class of ’98… everyone is like this to some degree. We’re all trying to please someone and some of us are trying to please everyone. This of course is impossible and often leads us to do or say the things we hate the most about ourselves.
This week I was reading Mark 14, which opens up at a dinner party in Bethany where Jesus was the guest of honor. It was in the home of a guy called Simon the Leper, which is interesting because lepers didn’t usually throw parties, but maybe Simon used to be a leper and was healed by Jesus, so he showed his gratitude by having Jesus over and inviting all his friends. When I picture this atmosphere, I can’t help thinking about the reunion I missed. Maybe the place was filled with people Jesus had healed and who had not been together since before they were sick. Either way, it was a party; and wherever people are gathered together, everyone is watching and everyone is on stage…
Mark tells us that in the middle of the festivities a woman came in with a jar of perfume worth anywhere from 20 to 40 thousand dollars. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. The music stopped, the people gasped and the fragrance filled the air. It was uncool. It was awkward. It was humiliating for everyone. She was bowing down and worshiping Jesus in the middle of a crowded room! All the other guests had spent the night trying to be the coolest and she was making herself the lowest. She honored Jesus in front of everyone and she got made fun of. She got chewed out. People said she was stupid and irresponsible, but she didn’t care. Why? She wasn’t racing anyone. She wasn’t trying to please anyone but Him… her Lord. She was after One smile, and you know what? She got it. Jesus said, “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me… wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
What if you only cared about pleasing One person? What if you honestly didn’t care what anyone else thought about your life? What if you weren’t trying to please them, but would do anything to get the smile of Jesus? His is the One opinion that matters and as long as it’s the only one you want, it’s the One you can know you have.