Last Wednesday, our Senior Pastor popped his head into each staff office with the very spiritual request of “what superpower would you choose if you could have one?” (Because this is applicable for Holy Week!) Actually it was…as we later saw in a Maundy Thursday service. My immediate response was “the ability to become invisible.” Probably because I had just seen “The Hobbit” and finally understood the prequel story of the ring! Another staff person suggested “the ability to read people’s minds.” Um–NO THANK YOU on that one!
In reflecting on this later I wondered, what’s my deal? Would I really like to be invisible at times? I think so. Maybe any natural introvert would find that attractive. But I also had to wonder, what would cause me ever to hide? Would I find it entertaining to be in people’s presence without them knowing it? Isn’t like kind of like eaves-dropping? And come to think of it, wouldn’t this sort of be like reading people’s minds too? I definitely don’t want that! Don’t judge…how would you like it if people could know your every thought!?
I have to say this little exercise that was all in jest reminded me once again of the deep heart-work that Christ is performing on every one of us who are following Him. It’s a painful, liberating and glorious journey when we cooperate with His Spirit. In some ways the disciple’s path is like being awake on the operating table while surgery is being performed and consciously interacting with the surgeon. You might rather be asleep during the whole process; but for some reason He wants us engaged in what is taking place, trusting that this procedure is for more than just our benefit.
The great danger of being a believer for a long time is we start believing we no longer need these surgical procedures. Or, if we discover that we do have something in our heart which needs to be dealt with, we can’t let anyone else know about it. After all, we are the mature ones. The ones who set the example. How disappointed others would be. We could be accused of being “a stumblingblock” if anyone found out about our spiritual imperfection! So, we plunge headlong into religious activity. This makes us feel better about ourselves, and diverts other’s attention away from the possibility of perceiving that something might be amiss.
So maybe that’s why invisibility sounds so cool! Maybe that’s why the thought that another human being could read minds makes me want to run. There’s still so much more for Him to do in me.
If you are a long-time believer, there is a lot you know about the Word. You will sit in church on Easter, listen to powerful messages, hear about the events of that history-changing weekend when Jesus died, was buried and rose again. In your mind, you may even be saying “I knew that. I knew that. I knew that too.” But don’t let this special weekend be simply a rehashing of a story you could tell others in your sleep. Open your heart & let Him look inside. He is the One with the superpowers. He values every part of who you are: Heart (spirit), Mind (thoughts & emotions), your Physical Body, your Social Environment…all the components that make up your soul. What He desires from you & me is WAY more than simply getting a bit more Biblical information into our brains. Christ loves you and me too much to leave us the way we are! He wants to renew you. And if you know a lot about Him, that may just be a good starting point for a renovation…