We took the littles to the park today. They were playing and Shannon and I were talking. Suddenly we heard, "Mwahahaha!" and Grady raided us from the playground like a tiny pirate.
"What's happening?" I asked.
"We're playing. We are the villains and you are the savers. You'll never stop us. Mwahahaha."
Two things came to mind:
1. Grady and Nora's villain laugh is strong.
2. It's obvious, even to little kids, that any great story has villains and savers.
Real life is complicated. And the world doesn't really break down quite as cleanly as that, but I think we can all benefit from knowing that there are villains and savers.
And in a weird way, we're kinda both.
For a lot of people who try to follow Jesus, there can be an imbalance between what we believe and how we live. Sometimes this is because we forget that we are co-workers with God. In other words, that God is saving the world and his method is us. I Cor 3:9 clearly says that we are co-workers (some translations say co-creators) with God. The work of healing the sick, loving the lost, bringing hope and fighting for justice is God's work and is done through us. The cool thing is wherever you are you get a choice. You can seek healing...or not; you fight for righteousness...or not; you bring hope...or not. Being a saver or a villain is your call. The question is if we're showing up to work.
Stories need savers. That's true for four-year-old super-space pirates and that's true for me. But I like to pretend too. I don't pretend to be the viillain with an adorable villain laugh, I pretend that I can be a saver on my own. And just like any game of pretend, two things happen when I'm trying to fake a spiritual life:
I slip out of character and eventually stop playing the game entirely.
I get exposed and I get weary.
I need a savior, and Jesus says to all that feel weary, "Follow me".
As I think about my life I tend to move between these two mistakes-there are times when I need to show up and be a co-saver, and there are times I need to remember and rest in the fact that God is my savior.