I’ve really blown it this week.
Heck, I’ve really blown it a lot of weeks.
I’m no stranger to airing my own dirty laundry so here goes again: often times at work, I’m a little (or a lot) stubborn, and I get really frustrated really easily. Sometimes I make uninformed decisions and then stick to my guns when I shouldn’t, sometimes I get frustrated when I’m asked favors or have to run errands that I didn’t expect, etc.
And, to be frank, I’ve found that I’m never satisfied in doing so – I don’t feel good about shutting down people’s ideas because they don’t agree with my own; I don’t feel good about asserting something that turns out to be wrong; I don’t feel good when I argue; I don’t feel good when I cop an attitude about something that’s inconvenient.
I hate that feeling, really.
I don’t embrace it, and yet I don’t know how to let it go.
Often times, it feels like the alternative to being frustrated is to not care at all – something impossible for me. I can’t not care that when my time and space is impeded upon, because to me, the sound of not caring is to not mind it, and I find that impossible.
And yet (this is a coin that you can keep flipping, so I’ll stop soon) such frustration often causes me embarrassment, guilt, and humiliation.
And somewhere, somehow, out of this quagmire of frustration, guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, etc. I’ve been hit with a big, theological question (at least, it’s big for me…)
Could it be that there was one little aspect of being human that Jesus never had to struggle with?
It’s advent season, and I loved the sermon this morning at church, where I was wiping tears throughout the service, and it was about Jesus, the King who came to visit and the King who came to save. It was about the incarnation, about the dawn of hope, how the world would get the King they needed in the form they needed Him: God in human form.
And there’s talk, as there well should be, that Jesus faced everything we face, He was tempted in every way and yet He was without sin.
That’s a great thought – one I love to ponder.
Here’s what I wonder, though – Did Jesus have any clue what it was like to be wrong?
First of all, this is by no means a theological stumbling block for me – it doesn’t shake my faith in Jesus as a perfect, sinless savior; but perhaps it leaves just this little corner of empathy which I have a hard time believing in.
Does Jesus know what it’s like to have a carnal mind like mine, capable of racism and classism?
Does Jesus know what it’s like to have a stubborn disposition like mine, capable of bulldozing conversations and asserting opinions that aren’t founded on truth, love, and grace? I mean, Jesus IS truth, love, and grace – how is it possible for Him not to see the world through those lenses?
Does Jesus know what it’s like to live in a society like ours which is so fast-paced that you have to cling tight to the little seconds of time you get that are your own?
But wait, maybe that’s just it. (and if you can’t already tell, I haven’t concluded this own mental map in my own head just yet)
Maybe that’s exactly how Jesus avoided the trap of wrong-ness: He knew His life wasn’t His own.
Maybe that’s what was allowed Jesus to let go of His humanity.
Maybe the fact that He didn’t have to be right was what allowed Him to be right – that He knew His mission and He knew His identity allowed Him to let go of his need to always be right, His need to always have His time…
and while we’re at it, Jesus seemed – on multiple occasions – to get away when He needed to. To be able to separate Himself. Maybe He was able to see time as a resource less precious than our culture and our pace allow us to see it – as something which occasionally needs protecting but often times needs to be given away.
Maybe Jesus saw everything – opinions, money, time, etc – as something to be held with an open hand, because while there is absolute truth, there is not absolute experience…
Maybe it’s the case that, while Jesus was never wrong, His humiliation, shame, and the weight of humanity’s guilt was so much heavier than my own will ever be, that the feelings of being wrong are as inconsequential (in their relation to His overall sacrifice) as the shame I feel from sexual sin, financial sin, or interpersonal sin.
Maybe being wrong is just part of our humanity – something no bigger than our other flaws, which, in and of themselves, also fall under the categories of “being wrong.”