I know a lot about Jesus. More than a lot of people. He’s been a lifelong obsession. (Lord help me Jesus, I can’t quit you.)
What’s a neurotic to do?
I know what I’m doing. I’m teaching a class.
(Jesus Before Christianity at Shepherd University Lifelong Learning.)
It took me a while to realize I could package my neurosis for the benefit of others. I mean, why be selfish with your obsessions?
I’ve been looking for Jesus most of my life. Much to my surprise, the closer I got, the less there was. Like a mirage. Still, a mirage can get you to a place you might otherwise miss—if you keep trudging.
My evangelical friends told me that knowing about Jesus wasn’t good enough.
That won’t save you, Randy. You got Jesus in your head. You need Jesus in your heart. Do you walk and talk with him? Is he your friend?
Actually, no. I don’t have any invisible friends. I used to. When I was five.
I tried to conjure up Jesus so I could walk and talk with him (on the mainline, in the garden, on my pillow). It didn’t work. It felt childish.
(Childlike faith is one thing. Childish is another.)
As it turns out, I couldn’t bring myself to believe in Jesus in that way. But I kept trudging.
And then one day, out of the blue, a Jewish friend told me: I don’t believe in Jesus. I believe with him. I believe in the power of love.
Those Jews! Why didn’t I think of that long ago?!
I guess it helps to have a 2,000-year head start.
See Paula’s photograph on the home page. Wandering in Her Footprints