Monday, January 24, 2011


I am a mad man. A mad man in the furious grip of a living God.

Am I just being dramatic? Perhaps. If I was a girl, I’d be a drama queen! As a guy I’m just really weird. But the more I learn about myself the more I learn that I actually am justifiably insane. While not certifiably insane (the jury’s probably still out on that one), one could easily look at my case and come to the just conclusion that I live in a made-up reality.

My reality is dominated by fear, delusion, perception, suspicion, anxiety and busyness. Often all this leads to me being paralyzed in a restless blob of confusion and worry. My world is dominated by the great evil of comparison.

For example, if you are good at something, I will compare myself with you and come out feeling like the world’s worst wretch. If you are bad at something, I will compare myself with you and come out feeling like the world’s best winner. I’m a comparing machine. I can do it with my eyes closed.

I don’t even have to know you to compare myself with you. In fact that may even hamper my ability to sum you up in a few simple perceptions (or lack thereof) and calculate were I fall in the game of life in relation to you. This reminds of the “Me-Monster” that lurks within.

As a comedian once put it “What’s wrong with the human condition that we constantly have to compare ourselves to others. We sit and wait for someone to tell their story so that we can tell our’s to top them. We are just waiting for them to finish so we can pounce and show them up. We listen: ‘You, you, you, blah, blah, blah… NOW ME! WAMMO! You’re way down here, I’m way up here! Can you see the difference?!!’”

With Paul I echo the sentiment, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

The world I live in my head is nowhere near the world my body inhabits. I’ve shared my comparison problem with lots of people and I’ve gotten two really helpful thoughts (just so you know, the rest were way beneath me). One is never to compare your reality with your perception of someone else’s, you’ll always lose. The other is that the only valid comparison is you as the way you were and you as the way you are now. Thank God for mentors who are so above me!

I live in a cut-throat culture. Your loss is my gain. My gain is your loss. If you take a piece of the American pie, I’ll rip it out of your greedy hands and shove it into my gaping mouth as quick as possible. Plus if it’s pecan pie, which I am in love with, I will beat you to keep you from even soiling it with your greedy hands. All pecan pies everywhere should be MINE!

A friend of mine shared that in a recent survey asking students whether they would rather take a failing grade that was above their peers or a passing grade that was bellow them, something like 80% said they’d take the failing grade.

All of this is yet another reason that the Gospel and Kingdom of God shakes things up for us humans. In it we meet a God who quit the competition, handicapped himself in the incarnation and lost his life so that we might win. “He became poor that we might become rich.”

That’s the reason I’m in the "furious" grip of God. I may be totally mad, wacko, and out of touch with the most basic perceptions of reality, but my God is in touch. He knows what my reality is. My reality is that I’m his and nothing can touch me. Sure I let a ton of stuff get me down. But God doesn’t. He loves me with a furious love. A love that cannot be quenched. A love that enters into the darkest storms in my soul and says, “Peace, be still.” He’s working on me, shaping me so that I can re-enter reality and become “happy, useful and whole.” I’m not there yet, but I get tastes. And they are sweet!

If you’re mad like me. Take your insanity to God. He’s got a little insanity himself, headed in the directions of love, peace and shalom. And he’ll show you a better kind of madness. So here’s to being crazy, mad and insane in God’s kingdom, it’s the only way to be, one way or another.

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