Wednesday, November 19, 2008

fight for your right?

I have been learning a lot more lately about what it means to be an introvert. Getting to know yourself and how you are created is really interesting, especially to someone who’s temperament predisposes her to introspection. Realizing that the constant analyzing and processing and connecting going on in my head is just as much a part of my personality type as is my tendency to shut people out when I’m overwhelmed with social expectations has been eye opening. I’m still working on the whole balancing act, but knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle and all that.

What I do tend to be aware of is the seeming randomness of my thought patterns, and I thought I would share one such example.

I finally started reading The Shack on Sunday. We are going to have a book discussion on the novel at church starting in January, and this over-thinker thought perhaps she should start wrapping her noggin around some of the questions in advance. During lunch yesterday I read a passage about Mack and the Holy Spirit discussing “rights”.

That stopped him. Somehow, what Sarayu had just been saying seemed to turn the whole world upside down, and he was struggling to find some footing. Surely there were some rights that he could legitimately hold on to.

“But what about…”

“Rights are where survivors go, so that they won’t have to work out relationships,” she cut in.

“But if I gave up…”

“Then you would begin to know the wonder and adventure of living in me,” she interrupted him again.

Mack was getting frustrated. He spoke louder, “But, don’t I have the right to…”

“To complete a sentence without being interrupted? No, you don’t. Not in reality. But as long as you think you do, you will surely get ticked off when someone cuts you off, even if it is God.”

He was stunned and stood up, staring at her, not knowing whether to rage or laugh. Sarayu smiled at him. “Mackenzie, Jesus didn’t hold on to any rights; he willingly became a servant and lives out of his relationship to Papa. He gave up everything, so that by his dependent life he opened a door that would allow you to live free enough to give up your rights.”
(*sidenote* part of this conversation reminded me of my favorite quote from Sliding Doors, which is completely unrelated to the rest of my train of thought: I'm a woman! We don't say what we WANT! But we reserve the right to get pissed off if we don't get it. That's what makes us so fascinating! And not a little bit scary.)

So, yesterday I read that passage in The Shack, and this morning while getting ready for work I was listening to Loose Fur’s The Ruling Class. Completely disregarding the lyrics, I was stuck on the title. Social inequities have been on my mind a lot lately due to the recent election and looming economic crisis. I thought about those countries who actually have formal ruling classes, and how the United States has managed to form our own, though not officially tied to blood lines.

Have I lost anyone yet? Welcome to my world. I’m thinking about ruling classes and rights and humility and servanthood and the last shall be first, when into my head pops John 1:12.

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:12-14)
In Jesus for President, we are reminded that “Son of God” was also a title used for Cesar. But the Son of God, Jesus, did not rule as Cesar did:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
We have been given a right.

We have been given the right to become children of God.

We have been given the right to join the bloodline of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to be a part of his ruling class.

But this is a different kind of ruling class.

It requires humility.


Release of self.

for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

It requires abiding.


Release of control.

so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.

We have been given the right to surrender our rights, our lives, our control, our plans, our desires, our hearts, to the Creator of the Universe.

We have been given the right to surrender to the one who breathed life, who holds the world in his hands, who knows the plans he has for us, who delights to fill us with his desires, who is greater than our hearts and knows everything.

And it is good.

And it is very good.

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