Ignorance is Bliss
Before I met Jesus I did not realize how small the story of my life was. My routine consisted of making sure I had the proper knowledge and intellect to do great things in the business world. Life seemed good – it was all about me. I worked long hours and tried my best to imitate the men who were my leaders. This I found was the best way to move up, make more money and eventually live a bigger story.
I was living in a state of perpetual motion. I worked hard and partied harder. Always making sure I was on time for the next day of work. This cycle continued and I thought that what I was living for was huge. It wasn’t at all.
Underneath I was broken and lonely. I wanted to be more so bad and yet the illusive prize of business success wasn’t enough to fill every void. I just thought, this must be the “good-life.” I convinced myself it was.
Ignorance is bliss.
Then I met Jesus and everything changed. For the first time in my life I felt like I pulled out of the world’s version of the Matrix. The Matrix illustration is taken from the 1999 film. (The first one anyways) The movie starred Keanu Reeves and depicted a reality in which most of our humanity was actually a simulated reality created by robots to subdue people and harvest their energy. To me this was a great illustration of my sin nature. The nature that had up until this point driven me forward.
Jesus freed my mind and gave me vision to see.
It dawned on me that before I met Jesus I was a willing victim to a force that was set against my heart. My drive for success was misguided and releasing that gave me the freedom to finally start living for something bigger than myself.
My Matrix Driven Life had its symptoms.
- I was always concerned about fitting in.
- Emotionally my heart was in shambles.
- My joy was limited. I had a continued longing for the next “best” thing.
- I relied on others to stabilize my self-image.
- I self medicated my inner pain with distractions.
For me being born-again meant finding myself. I become armed with a new confidence and became a better man. Willing to take risks and do things to better the world I was living in. It was Christ in me that set me free.
Free I was. I soon set out on the “normal” Christian path. I was truly happy and thriving…for a while anyway. Not many years into my walk I found myself “plugging in” to more and more “good” activities. So much was the opportunity to serve that I began another full court press this time for the Kingdom of God. It started innocently enough. Being a free man through faith I wanted to help other become free as well.
In the midst of my driven Christian-life experience something happened to me. My desires to please God caused me to outpace His calling on my life. I was running, driven for the Glory of the Lord…However, reality was that I was driven for the glory of my calling.
I woke up one day and noticed some familiar feelings creeping in.
- I started being concerned about fitting in.
- Emotionally, my heart was weary.
- I lost my joy. I started to listen for the next big thing, all the time. What’s next Lord?
- I noticed a trend that I felt better when people could see my sacrifice.
- I found myself driven to self medication; things like Twinkies became a big deal.
Great I thought. Here I go again but this time I had no excuse. I am a believer in Christ and have been set free from the matrix. Then I realized that although my attempt to stay “plugged in” was sincere it was in fact, unhealthy. I was serving more and more but leaving the people closest to me to do so. As my “calling” grew I started losing life’s intimacy with the ones I loved the most. Family and friends suffered from my emotional disconnect.
Nuts! That’s not supposed to happen, is it?
Looking back on my walk with God I can see that in my attempt to live a Kingdom life I may have inadvertently reassembled a new version of the world’s matrix in my life. This time it looked Holy and felt necessary.
What I forgot is that I can trust God’s Spirit to lead me, the broken, and the lost. God is in control and I need not worry about people’s community or conformity – rather I should point people towards plugging in to the only grid in life that matters.
Faith in Jesus.
In my attempt to become a Saint I had accidentally became a Cypher. I became a willing victim. Willing to betray Jesus by creating another comfortable “matrix” to hide in.
Don’t worry however, as this story has a happy ending. Thanks to this personal revelation and the grace of God I am striving less to build the glory of my calling. However, I am living a much richer life – loving Jesus and loving others.
There is something about simplicity when walking with Jesus that brings ones heart to life…again and again.
Scene from the Matrix that got me to thinking…again.