He Rose Above It All
He Rose Above It All
Mud wrestling has become a national sport. In politics. In social media. In some of what is called journalism. There is something in us that requires just a few words to want to drop somebody into the mud and wrestle them to the ground. Muckrakers are also mud throwers. They specialize in sinking us to our lowest common denominator so they can watch us duke it out while they sneak off with our wallets.
Jesus wasn’t much for mud wrestling. In fact, he always chose to take the aerial view.
He rose above it all by keeping a heavenly perspective. To be “in the world, yet not of it” means rising above it all. He said “Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do.” Here, he was telling us about the power inherent in taking the aerial view...of looking to the sky above rather than the mud below.
Yesterday due to a pouring rain the previous night I had to dodge huge puddles of water on my bike ride along the bay. As I was slowly, very slowly moving through a puddle I noticed a little girl, about two years old, doing a somersault in the puddle nearby. Her parents were clearly amused by this and let her dip her head down and just execute a tumbling somersault into the middle of the water, giggling with delight. Now there is someone who knows how to face a puddle of water fearlessly, I thought.
I wonder why we all can’t be like that—even when it comes to mud.
What if— when someone slings some mud at you you smile and say “I’ve got that!” And you just dip your head and somersault right past them, standing up on the other side and shouting ‘Ta Dah!’ No wrestling required. No sinking to their level. Rather, always controlling your own level. This is spiritual maturity at its finest. This should be the new Olympic sport.
“Rising Above It All.”
A big part of rising above it all involves reframing our word choices. Like Labels.
I had a dream one time where I went to hell and the first thing the devil did was hand everyone a stack of labels, to apply to themselves and one another. “I like to keep things interesting around here,” Lucifer smiled. “And I’ve found this is the quickest way to stir up conflict.”
Fortunately, I woke up from that dream. And I have pretty much refused to allow anyone to slap a label on me ever since. Jesus did the same thing. He seemed to say “Whatever you think I am, I am beyond that. Whoever you think I am, I am more than that. And if you think I am my body, you have another thing coming. Because even if you destroy this temple in three days I will raise it up again.”
Jesus. Always taking the aerial view. And not a spot of mud could stick to him.
Wings have a way of making that work—brushing off the lesser things in order to touch the sky.
Jesus Rose Above It All
And we can, too.
This is an adapted excerpt from a chapter from Jesus, CEO, the 25th Anniversary Edition.
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