First of all let me say that I pride myself on my ability to be wrong.
"What, Joshua? What a silly…”
No, I mean it. I'm happy to be wrong. Really darn brave about it. If I throw an idea out there and it's challenged, I want to listen before I flex my rightness muscles. I’d rather adjust myself against the truth than feel right. And how can I be sure I ever know what the crap I’m talking about unless I have some sort of mechanism inside me that allows me to suspend what I believe?
Havin’ said that, I've had a lot of people disagree with me on what I’m about to say, so allow me to take your ammunition away.
YOU’RE RIGHT AND I’M WRONG.
You can continue to read knowing that what I’m proposing is total hogwash-codswallop.
I want to talk about worldview, the lens through which we see all, our general idea about what’s going on here.
The two things that most shape your worldview are:
- your experience
- your dad
“NAWWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwwwwww I don’t have daddy issues…. I don’t like him and I’ll never be the way he is…. but I don’t have daddy issues. And I mean, like, if I did, I’m totally over it.”
“See, I do the exact opposite of my dad, ‘cause eff my dad.”
Uh huh. I can see how unmoved you are.
Orrrrrrrr…. maybe you say…
“I’m not affected by this, because my dad is so great! No problem here! Love you daddy!”
First of all, I’m glad you like your dad. That’s a huge advantage. Second, we all have hurt from our dad. Third, an overly blissful outlook may a be a distortion of reality as well.
And anyway, the truth is no matter what we wanted to order, Life served a dad with some good stuff and some bad stuff. That’s the only thing on the menu for everybody. A dad with some good and some bad stuff.
“But what about mom and that other person who is important to me?”
Look I said I’m wrong! I don’t even know why you’re reading this.
Anyway, let’s take a break from all this dad stuff. It's very sensitive. Let’s talk about experience.
Suppose a guy goes to New York city for the first time. His first day he gets hit by a cab in a crosswalk. Ouch. He’s okay. Just a couple bruises. Nothin big.
The next day, he’s in a crosswalk again, and is hit any another cab which breaks his arm.
At this point, the dude is not concerned with statistics, or probabilities. If he goes to NYC, you better bet he’s gonna look twice and three times when he crosses the road… that is if he goes back at all. Doesn’t matter that you and I have never been hit by a cab in New York. That’s his experience, see.
A more worser example. A very young Thai girl begins working as a sex slave. This goes on for years and years. Eventually some people find her and give her an opportunity to get out, God bless them. She’s gets on a different path.
At this point she’s totally open to the idea of a beautiful, loving, intimate relationship with a man. Especially intimacy within sex is no problem for her.
Mmm, probably not. Why? Well, because of her experience, of course. You couldn’t just tell her “Hey trust a guy! Just open up! It will be fine!” It’s gonna be a journey, a long one, for sure.
Why do I bring all this up?
See, I’ve been learning to ride. I’m still pretty nervous, to be honest. I’m about five months in and still don’t like the interstate. While I try to be a conservative, safe rider, I’ve had to ride in rain and cold and whatnot. I’ve learned you gotta be careful if it starts raining hard, not only because the road is slick, but if your visor gets rain all over it, it’s hard to see. This is absolutely terrifying.
It turns out you need clear vision to navigate the world well.
I suppose that’s what I’m getting at. We all have a thick set of dad/experience goggles on. The filth on them is great.
On the one hand, I want to you to address it now, because it’s urgent. On the other hand, I want to tell you that discovering and furthermore cleaning these goggles, takes a lot of time, and you never actually get rid of them altogether. You just have glorious moments when you take them off and see, but they somehow seem to find their way right back on your face in the next day or so.
Now, again, none of this applies to you. I know the way you look at the world has all been calmly, cooly selected, without any biases and only based on carefully gathered data. You made some especially good progress when you went to college and realized how dumb your parents are and how absurd that religious construct is. Kudos to you.
But for the rest of us, I’m convinced a lot of the stuff Jesus talked about was addressing those goggles. He was helping us see reality, helping us understand that maybe God is something better than what we learned from pop. See, he mentioned getting the planks of judgement out of our eyes, letting go of anxiety and bitterness and greed — all things that rob us of the ability to connect with reality and the present. And we know he was always bragging about his special relationship with his dad and how he wants everyone to join it in some strange, mystical, cosmic way.
I wonder if Jesus was actually pretty switched on.
So, feel free to table all this for now, but just for the hell of it, next time your thoughts wander…. just imagine what the goggle-less version of you might think about things.
But again I’m probably wrong about all this.
Jesus, thank you that you point us towards reality, where we see. Thanks for hinting at an idea that God may be more beautiful than the best dad I can imagine.