Following Jesus isn't just about life after death or a place called heaven. It's very much about where we are right now.
In Blue Like Jazz, author Donald Miller explains this by introducing readers to his friend, Tony. Tony, a Jesus-follower, thinks Jesus really wants to significantly impact this life, right now. He believes Jesus aims to make this life an off-the-chart better experience for us. Jesus does this by offering a radical, game-changing alternative in how we decide what we'll do moment-by-moment. It's like Tony is suggesting a brand new, mental filter to pour life through.
But first, the old filter.
In Blue Like Jazz, Donald inserts a story, complete with pictures, to depict the predominant filter (me-life) for humans. Life gets poured through this old filter. It only releases those choices consistent with a life lived the way I prefer to live it; a life chasing what I want to have ; and life spent doing what I want to do. Donald's story is called "Sexy Carrot," starring Don Rabbit. Take a couple of minutes to watch it.
Don Rabbit's pursuit came down to this: "I see what I want and go for it, fully expecting the very best results when I get it." But getting the carrot becomes a bum deal!
Donald tells about Tony's take on a game-changing alternative, which restructures how we decide to do what we do:
Ultimately, (now) we do what we love to do (a me-life filter). I (Donald) like to think that I do things for the right reasons, but I don't, I do things because I do or don't love doing them. Because of sin, because I am self-addicted, living in the wreckage of the fall, my body, my heart, and my affections are prone to love things that kill me. Tony says Jesus gives us the ability to love the things we should love (Jesus-life filter). Tony says that when people who follow Jesus love the right things, they help create God's kingdom on earth, and that is something beautiful (Donald Miller. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality).To me, this is how the transformation looks:
1. Our human default is to do what we love to do.2. Jesus offers us the ability to love the things we should love.3. When humans actually begin to love the right things...4. They help bring God's quality of life to earth...5. Which becomes something beautiful.
If all of this were true, would it ramp up your curiosity about Jesus?