"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
After 5 months, I finally saw the third Matrix movie last night. I love the Matrix films because besides being great action and visually stunning, they delve into all the questions of meaning and choice and freedom and determinism that underlie our existence.
And they also look at what it means to be a savior.
In the Matrix films, Neo is the savior, the one -- and ultimately, his saving the world involves sacrificing himself. But he doesn't realize this all at once. He isn't some superman with absolute certainty who boldly lets the sword get thrust into his chest with a shout of victory. No, Neo grows into his identity as savior. He has to learn to know himself, and as he does he comes to believe that not only is he "the one" but comes to know all that being "the one" means -- giving yourself up for the sake of the world.
Maundy Thursday night is a night of waiting, wondering and learning. Jesus, alone in the garden, his friends asleep, is afraid of what he is discovering about what it means to be "the one." He has spent his life getting to know himself, learning about his remarkable powers, dealing with doubters and those who believe in him -- maybe even more than he believes in himself, who knows?
And now he finds himself in that garden, sees finally what is going to happen, what the inevitable end result of his life of love is ... and shows his fear to the only one who hasn't fallen asleep -- God.
And then he gets up and does what he needs to do.
History likes to paint its heroes with broad strokes. We like to believe that George Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela and so many, many others lived lives of certitude, when the facts are clearly different.
Doubt is a part of faith. Uncertainty is the necessary precursor to boldness. So it was for Jesus. So it is for us.
Sit in the garden with Christ ... and let him sit in the garden with you. As you get to know yourself -- not as the world sees you but as God sees you -- don't expect everything to be crystal clear, but recognize that the murkiness, the uncertainty and even the fear are a part of our process of becoming and believing that what God already knows.
Jesus is The One. And we are the Body of The One. It's a pretty big cup to drink, and although we have the choice to push it away, God will not take it from us. Because God knows us better than we know ourselves.
And because even in those moments when we can't say for sure what we believe ... God believes in us.
| Mike at 4/08/2004 10:00:00 AM
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"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."