To be quite honest… I had titled this blog and saved it about a month ago… No idea what was to go in it… until now.
As many followers of Christ in any capacity tend to discover… it is hard. And I have found that it is mostly due to a lack of known, relevant and accurate information. What matters? What doesn’t? What does God actually care about? What couldn’t He care less about?
Just as any other believer, or “striver after truth” I have my ups and downs… That’s just life. The days where everything seems crystal clear and you can’t believe you ever thought there was a problem in the first place, and then the days where everything is so muddled that you begin to think that the crystal clarity was an illusion. There’s not really much in between actually. Some days we have more peace and wisdom and can navigate better, and other days it’s just testing day or we’re off our game or something else. But more often than not, the “in-between” days directly correspond to our strength (or weakness) of character… who we are when all pretenses have hit the floor and we’ve got nothing left.
Secret Agent Jesus.
That’s how I treat Him on my “good” days. Like He is some legendary secret agent commando leader giving direction to His field agent- me. Think of M from James Bond. I’ve been given access to various gadgets to get the job done. M/Jesus has already selected me because I possess the natural internal qualities along with the necessary element of tamed wildness to field any unexpected displeasures. Yes? Is this not also how many do it?
I get my debriefing from M/Jesus and then… go. I check back in only if absolutely necessary- confident in my role and my ability. If M/Jesus pages me while I’m in the middle of an operation I may or may not reply because, you know, I’ve got it and I can’t afford any distractions. And if the mission succeeds all credit goes to M/Jesus naturally… if it tanks the weight of that falls on me. Very ship shape. Cut and dry. It is a way of existing that makes sense. Which is what I believe we are all after… sometimes we crave comprehension so badly that we sacrifice the wholeness of truth to get it…
Because whole truth tends to be crazy.
Who wants that?
And then at some point- usually after I have been afforded a major victory… an incredible, telling moment of heart and character… after that – right in the middle of my consternation revolving around the “me > God” syndrome – the impossible happens.
Jesus goes off the grid.
I can’t hear Him. Can’t see Him. The actions that I use to contact Him now seem like empty how are you’s… hollow gestures. No matter what I thought before about Him, I realize with a start that having Him as a distant field controller is far better than not having him at all.
It is a weird void. A strange sense of being yet not being. That something is missing, and yet nothing at all.
It is confusion.
There are essentially two main responses to confusion. Detachment. And faith. The detachment can be in any form from whatever you feel the need to gain distance from in order to gain peace and/or clarity. Faith can be in God, in a situation, in a person’s character… whatever you choose to fully believe in to pull you through the confusion.
We are all familiar with detachment (a choice I’ve made repeatedly that only ends up leading me back to faith eventually) so let me share on the faith choice.
Ghost protocol is when a field agent is left entirely to their own devices. There is no back up. There are no more resources than what you have on hand and perhaps in a nearby stash. There is no field controller to call into… nothing. Ghost protocol in the faith is very similar… where the prayer is “Jesus, where are You??”
And then the truth finally comes out… there is no Secret Agent Jesus. Yes I’m on a mission, but no it is not distantly facilitated. Yes He goes off the grid sometimes, but no I am not absent from Him.
You see- because I have chosen to be a Christian… to follow Christ… everything that He is, IS in me. Yes I pray and seek Him out… but that mindset can go too far. I would run around with my “ear toward the sky” trying to live full out without missing anything proceeding from His mouth.
It drives me crazy… by nature. It takes the full weight of God being God in my life off of Him and onto me. A weight that I am neither conditioned nor designed to bear. No. Rather than try not miss anything, I found that when I develop observation, He is to be found in everything. Typing a blog? Present. Walking to the bus stop? Present. Performing a poem? Present. Sleeping? Present. In an argument? Present. At work? Present.
Catching the point here?
Perhaps arcane mythology and paganism has entered the arena of Christ centered faith… perhaps the ways of the Old Testament still rear their brutal heads and inject liberated hearts with shackles of venom… but God is not to be found simply by looking UP. Simply look. In, around and through wherever you’re at. And He’s God… so don’t over complicate it. In fact- living as hard as I can – on purpose, in purpose, and through purpose – is the best way to communicate with God often… because it is the reason He gave me life… to live (simple right?).
And when He goes ghost, I go protocol- I go back to my identity. Who am I? What do I value? What wisdom has been afforded to me? And then throw some truth in there… Even when God goes ghost, He’s still right there.
“… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:20 (NASB)