I’m tempted to believe that I would make a good Savior. I’m not so brazen as to actually suggest myself a replacement for the true redeemer of the world. However, if my actions belie my convictions, then on most days, I fancy that if Jesus wanted to take a long weekend and leave the world in my hands, I could pretty much keep it together without much of a hitch.
I feverishly pour myself into treacherous situations, exerting a kind of energy that, for me at least, expresses a major trust in self and a very minor trust in God. I gather up other people’s expectations and problems, add them on top of my own, and then set out to resolve them with sweat and skill – and manipulation, if necessary. Only in the direst circumstances will I ponder what God’s activity in the whole affair might be. I mean, really, do I have to depend on God? Has it gotten that desperate?
I recently read the story of Tyler Wigg Stevenson’s improbable journey to faith. Tyler was an agnostic who threw himself into advocacy for ridding the world’s nuclear arsenals. He recounts his nightmarish days, immersed in the grim facts and apocalyptic scenarios, where his mind would twist with the endless visions of “merciless white flashes” ripping across metropolitan cities, melting whole city blocks and wide swaths of human population. It’s enough to make a man go mad.
It was the enormity of this crisis – and his utter inability to truly do anything of lasting impact to alter it – that ultimately led him to Jesus as his (and humanity’s) only hope. Now, Stevenson spends his days working for the same good cause, but he does it with a much different view of himself and a much wider view of who our planet’s Savior truly is. “The world is not mine to save,” said Tyler, “But I can serve the mission of the God who has already done so.”
That line has been rolling around in my head for days. Indeed, the world is not ours to save. But God has already enacted the rescue. We are not the Savior. We are not the Savior. But Jesus is. And both of those assertions are good, good news.
peace / winn
p.s. My friend, Justin Scott, has posted a hilarious little piece about haircuts. I recommend it.