I’m not right. Anyone who spends any amount of time with me will know this right away. I’m just a bit on the weird and strange side. I use weird sayings (“Chirp or get off the pot” is one I use a lot in leadership meetings). I make weird associations (have you read my Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday posts…like the one on Darth Vader and Predestination?). I’ve made a ton of weird mistakes in my past, and for some reason, I keep making new ones (I try hard not to repeat the same old mistakes…it’s more fun to experience new ones). I’m ADD and when my meds wear off at night, I get way off on tangents and just can’t focus (you should see this during leadership meetings…we have someone set aside just to keep us on track). I’m just not right.
And the thing is, neither are you.
I call this being a cracked pot.
We’re all broken and cracked in some way or another. We’re all not right in one way or another. One story I love to tell is once back in when I was in South Dakota, I was having a conversation with a 90 something year-old gentleman (not form the church I was serving) who was recounting all the pastors his church had had over the years and what he remembered about this pastor and that. So, I just had to ask him “What will I be remembered for?” Without skipping a beat, he looked at me in all seriousness (and maybe a twinkle in his eye) and said “A great preacher. Not right in the head, but a great preacher.” I’ll take that.
The problem many of us face is that we don’t think we’re broken. We don’t want to admit that we’re messed up. We don’t like to admit that we have warts. We don’t want to admit that we’re just not right in the head. We try hard to hide our dysfunctions. We try hard to hide our loneliness. We try hard to push our fears, anxieties, and worries under the rug and pretend that they don’t exist.
And the great thing is, is that with social media today (blogs, Twitter, Facebook…even this thing called Google+) we can show our highlight reels of life. We take a quick pic of our delicious meal and post it on Instagram. We tweet how great our day was. We post on Facebook a selfie with our BFFs. And we don’t always post how we just had a fight with our spouse or how we haven’t talked with our brother or sister in months, or how we just can’t stand our parents. Now, there are some who post cryptic posts that no one really knows what’s going on but…yeah. Even still, there’s the desire to cry out for help but still not share the brokenness and being messed up.
You know what?
It’s okay to be messed up. It’s okay to not be right in the head. In fact, that’s when things happen. That’s when things go great.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus walks by and see a tax collector named Levi/Matthew. A tax collector was seen as scum of society by the Jewish people. They were fellow Jews who not only collected taxes from the oppressive Roman occupiers but they usually took more than they should. Jesus tells Levi/Matthew “Follow me.” And he does. And then Levi/Matthew throws a huge keger to celebrate what just happened. The Pharisees get all cheesed about the fact that Jesus is partying with these people–sinners, tax collectors, and probably others. Jesus trolls them good in response
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor,but the sick…for I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13
To tell the truth, if you think you have it all together, you probably don’t think you need Jesus. That’s fine. I lie to myself a lot too (like that ice cream sundae has no calories in it). The Pharisees saw themselves as being good people. They saw themselves as doing what was right. They didn’t see the fact that they were just as messed up as the people at the keger with Jesus at Levi/Matthew’s place.
Admitting weakness is so important. Admitting you’re messed up is so important. It is then where the real work begins. You see, God’s grace and love in Jesus is sufficient for us. In fact, when we admit just how messed up we are, that’s when we can see God’s grace in Jesus at work the most, and that’s when we can become the strongest (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
When we admit that we’re weak, that we’re messed up, that we just ain’t right, then we can truly begin to see God at work in our lives. It becomes not about us, but about Jesus. It becomes not about us but about the workings of the Holy Spirit.
You know what, I’m messed up, and that’s okay. And in my messed-upness I know God is doing something amazing.
How are you messed up? How can God work in that to do something amazing?