Wednesday, February 9, 2011


If you had to guess the first act that Jesus would be presented doing in a Gospel, what would you guess?  Healing, right? Or exorcism -- a miracle of some kind.

But in Matthew (Mt 4:12-25), his first deed is to call four apostles -- Simon and Andrew, James and John.  And the calls are mysterious -- we have no reason to believe these guys had ever met Jesus before, let alone had some sort of relationship.  He just shows up, gives a hey follow me, and off they go.

How does that happen? How do you drop your whole life to follow someone you don't even know?  The imagination naturally turns to Jesus; it must have been something about his appearance or presence that made him so attractive.

Jesus says: How you doin?

But maybe it wasn't his person as much as it is was what he was offering. Who knows how these guys viewed their lives up to that point. Whether they were happy or sad in their work, maybe they felt like something was missing, like there was something more out there somewhere for them. Maybe they didn't even know what it was, or that it was;  they just had this little itch in the back of their minds that never went away.  And when Jesus showed up, the penny just dropped, and it was like, well about time!

While I lived in New York, I took improv classes with the Upright Citizens Brigade.  Let me tell you right here, right now, there is nothing scarier than improv. Nothing. Get up, with no idea what the scene is going to be, and just see what happens. For real, pretty much nothing scarier than that.

But when it works, oh boy is it amazing.  The world just opens up in a whole new way, there's laughter and discovery and endless possibility.  And you're just giddy with the joy and spontaneity of it.

What does God wish for us, if not that we might be fully alive? But achieving that, whether it be via a certain career, a certain partner or a certain stand, is all improv, a leap out of comfort, out of certainty, as crazy as leaving your family to follow some dude in a robe. A robe!  I mean, it's the desert, isn't that thing hot?

I once complained to my Novice Director, you know, I don't really know where whole thing is going.

And he responded: Yeah. Isn't it great?

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