yes, it's that simple.
Updated: Sep 13, 2020
I have been contemplating the idea of "ripple effects."
You know, make one choice and BOOM! it effects that, this, her, him, you, your grandma, and even your pet turtle.
I look back on certain decisions and think of future ones and how it would effect me, my life, my goals, my relationships, everything.
Moral of the story: Ripple effects are powerful.
Christianity gets a bad rep these days (and don't get me started about Catholics).. everyone turns their ears off when they talk. It makes me sad, frustrated, and disappointed in one breath.
I wonder where the ripple-effects lost their touch. It saddens me that the lifestyle of this important sect of the world is failing to dignify the legacy that Someone won for us. The ripple effect of our brothers and sisters is not as strong as I hoped it to be. I mean, to be a Christian is so simple... we all love to be "good," but the reason it's one of the hardest lifestyles today is because it involves restoring a relationship with our Creator.
And that's ok. We're not perfect.
We're all in different circumstances. This isn't Heaven.
Nevertheless, we persist.
I don't really expect you to be won over by some Joe-Shmoe on the side of the boardwalk dropping some beats about JC... I'd rather JC Himself knock you off the boardwalk with an overwhelming sense of His love for you.
In His plan for our well-being, God has already (done, did it, it happened) accomplished a restoration with you through Jesus. Through Jesus' steps, waking and sleeping, speaking and eating, teaching and healing, suffering and dying, rising and ascending, His entire journey of His humanity was lived for US to see walk, sleep, speak, eat, live, breathe and love differently. Ultimately, to turn back to the Father.
Jesus didn't desire His own good, He wanted no other good than our own. He proved to us that every decision He made was for our goodness and to reconcile the belief that God is not good. He knew this world wouldn't offer anything that could compare to the greatness of a relationship with our Creator, so He bridged the gap missing in our ultimate restoration to the tension and confusion we have in understanding The Father.
Jesus died to prove God is good.
But, man, Christianity is the effect of a Man's ripple-effect powerful enough to change everything. One so radical, so loving, that if I could explain to you why you benefit from the ripple-effects of Jesus' life, I would just tell you what the early disciples have been saying that we're not listening to.
Jesus said, "I don't want your sacrifices. I don't want you to tell me all the things you do to be "a good person"... these offerings.. like, I never desired them or do I even delight in them... I delight in you. Those things are just "the law" asking you to be "good."
... I died. THAT was the ultimate sacrifice. You can't match that and I am not asking you to... I did it because I love you. That makes up for everything you think you have to do to win my love. I come to seek your contrite spirit. I won't spurn you, your heart, your worries, and life... that is the most precious thing to me. It is that I seek.
Real Love doesn't demand you to do anything because it doesn't need anything, it just longs for togetherness. It abides in trust. In that, the heart is so moved that it gives and protects and serves. It does the best for the other. All us suffering human beings need(ed) something best for us to save us from misery. It's not an iphone, a car, a new house, or a spouse... it's an all loving spirit named Father God who personified Himself and took on death to win our hearts back to Himself.
He never asked us to do anything, He did and still does everything possible to restore what we lost.
And yet, we are doing everything BUT bringing our heavy hearts to God.
To simply ask Jesus to befriend us through prayer, confession, going to Mass, reading the Word, and feasting on the Eucharist so the fire of God's love can be in your heart, at your very center, gifting you the love and satisfaction you internally CRAVE every single day, is the hardest thing for us.
It is the pulse of the world. The works of HIS sacrifice are flowing. That's why Christianity is an established institution, because it provides sacred space for you to make a response to Jesus' invitation.
Similarly, if I wanted to change my lifestyle habits to get healthier, I have to take myself to a place to participate in that (heyo, the gym). I also have to eat and feast on nutritious things. I also have to fill my head and heart with good things. Every decision aids to my goal and the ripple effects do something.
To find the spiritual, soulful, and purposeful wholeness and holiness of life, we have to show up to it and all of it IS God. (It's not your "positive vibes"). We have to participate, openly and sincerely, to the source of all Goodness.
Jesus aches when we try to be our own Savior. Jesus aches when we make idols of things that are a counterfeit to His power. The love He won for us far exceeds the positive vibes you... (gosh I don't even know what you do with them). That's why Jesus gets angry when Peter tries to convince Jesus His suffering should not have happened to "such a good person." But Christ's death was the culmination, climax, crescendo, of His promises and teachings. It fulfilled His words when He told us "I don't desire your offerings!!!"
"...because I am going to do it for you."
A leader who walked the walk and talked the talk.
It's that simple.
It's that good.
And finally, we we really think of the actual audacity Jesus has to tell us these things... like man, that is "too good to be true."
But, yes, it is that simple.
In another light, I saw the heart of God in the heart of my Grandfather months before He passed away. He never really wanted us to do things for him, he just wanted us to be there with him and maybe leaving with a full belly or a new collectors item. Overall, sitting in togetherness meant more than stopping in to clean his kitchen and leave.
I can tell you all this because it's that good and it's actually reality. Jesus who promised a lot delivered all of it and I sit here writing about it because it's real. Jesus, who chose to do God's will, became the personified truth of life's meaning (which = love) and is only asking us to stop striving and fighting and return to the Father.
To come to His table and be fed by Him. An encounter with the purest of loves.
Jesus lived wholeness and holiness because He fed Himself with the Father's love. That was how He muddled through this godforsaken world. His love burned like a fire from the source it came from. It was not fractured, dependent upon others and their moods or their positive vibes, or drugs or alcohol. He didn't have a troubled mind, only a mind ready for serving and charity. His love was and is not broken, insecure, selfish, or has ulterior motives. He gives His whole-self every time.
Therefore; no human can boast before God. Only boast about God. (Cor. 1:26-31)
Meet the Author:
Shannon is an energetic family girl who loves the Lord. She serves ministry in Philly and works closely to young girls and Theology of the Body. Shannon writes, prays, reads, and gets her fitness on in her free time. She is the Director of More Goodness Now and has a podcast in the same name that you can listen to here: anchor.fm/moregoodness