Thursday, November 26, 2009

On Purpose

Chris Rice has this song called “8th Grade” where he says, “Take a little trip with me back to Junior High, set the time machine to 1975…” The rest of the song is a nostalgic backwards glance that is mostly cute and funny where he concludes that everything was easier back then, or maybe, looking back we just think it was easier because at least we know we made it. Now, I love Chris Rice, and I even like this song, but I wouldn’t go back to eighth grade for anything! Are you kidding me?! All the insecurity, the drama, the Spanish homework, the pimples and the silk shirts with stonewashed jeans are enough to make me so glad to be past those days! There were so many awkward relationships and simply everyone was putting on a show in order to find somewhere to fit in… whoa, knowing what I know now, I’d never, ever go back there!

Imagine going back even further! Imagine knowing what you know now about life… about work, technology, relationships and independence and having to go back to early childhood when you had zero freedom and weren’t allowed to make any decisions at all about your own life! Imagine being weak and being totally bossed around. Imagine having to relive babyhood… the terrible food, the inability to employ language or really move on your own! That would be so terrible! I can’t imagine having to learn how read all over again… especially when I’ve read Dickens and Tolkien! I can’t imagine having to learn how to walk all over again, especially when I’ve run at full speed on the kickoff team in high school football, hiked on the snow capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains and stood on the Great Wall of China!

As I write this, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am one of those people who can never separate Thanksgiving from Christmas. It’s not that I don’t want to give Thanksgiving its due or anything, it’s just that as I reflect on what I’m most thankful for, my mind is drawn so strongly to the sweet baby in the manger who was Almighty God Himself. Jesus not only created everything and everyone, He watched them all live their lives. He saw all the skinned knees and cruel bullies. He watched the nervous breakdowns and the bitter breakups. He watched kids fall up stairs, wet the bed and fall asleep first at sleepovers. He watched people get toothaches, go bald and get ignored. He watched people get betrayed, arrested, interrogated and tortured. He watched people get crucified; and having seen every single second of every life He made… having known exactly what He was getting Himself into, He still came.

I wouldn’t go back to high school or middle school or childhood for anything in this world! Knowing what I know now, I’d never go through all that stuff on purpose, but He did! Jesus knew exactly what He was walking into and He walked into it on purpose! Why?! Why on earth would anyone in their right mind do that?

Well, it’s simple. He did it for me. He’d do anything for me. Know why? He loves me that much, that’s why. He did it for you too, because He loves you that way. Now there’s something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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