I took my daughter to see Cinderella last night. I had told her that it was a musical. However, she just couldn’t quite picture what it was going to be like, so she adapted. The only reasonable mental picture she could fathom was a movie. My wife and I both told her multiple times that it wasn’t a movie, and it would have real-live people on stage. Willow at times was irritated with us; other times just ignored us and continued on in herself constructed ideal.
We had a wonderful time. We were walking toward our car, and Willow housed a smile from ear to ear. She had gotten to meet Cinderella after the performance as well as a few other cast members. As we neared the car, she squeezed my hand and said, ” Dad that was nothing like a movie, it was so much better. ” I just smiled and said that I was glad she had had a good time. Her tone in this seemed to insinuate that I had propelled the myth that the staged musical would be movie-like. I had, of course, done the opposite. Nevertheless, the contrast with her experiences created this very real discovery of the difference. She was, however, unwilling to see that it was her own previous understanding that had been undone by her new experience.
I think that we have done this as a whole with church. We have this sense based merely on our own experiences of what Jesus means by Kingdom. We become Christian; we do church, community, praise, worship and more, all on this expectation of what we think it should be like. When God comes along and says, “What you’re doing isn’t what I meant. ” We get irritated or blissfully ignore Him and continue.
Consider when Jesus said to his disciples that he would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. There was no way that they could fathom that he was referring to his own body. A temple was a building not a person. If ‘temple’ meant Jesus’ body, then ‘destroy’ would mean death and ‘rebuild’ would mean come back to life, and that is pure crazy talk. There were obvious conclusions jumped to because their context was limited. I think this is where the Holy Spirit present throughout our lives should make all the difference.
A short time later, these same disciples are speaking to a group of religious leaders who are amazed and confounded by their words and arguments, because they aren’t ” learned ” men. The difference, they are now accompanied by the Holy Spirit.
At this point, stop assuming that you know what having the Holy Spirit present in your life means. I am pretty certain I don’t. What I am sure of, is that I am more like my six-year-old on her way to her first live musical trying to grasp what it is going to be like. What I don’t want to do is settle for, is my own childish expectations.
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