I recently had a conversation with a really smart person. I don’t mean street smart—I mean a bona fide, card-carrying member of the genius club. This individual spoke English, but it wasn’t the English the rest of us speak. We were talking about the Bible. Since I’m a pastor, I try to have a bit of a grasp on the Bible. But I wasn’t tracking with the conversation at all. He was referencing all kinds of terms and topics and people, but I was totally lost. Even his metaphors were too sophisticated for me. He was like, “For example, consider the metaphysical ramifications of the mushroom in medieval Mediterranean monasticism . . .”
And I was like, “Um, could you give me an example to explain that example?”
I started to think, This might be a different Bible. This might even be a different language. I’m not familiar with any of the English this guy is currently utilizing.
So like any humble, honest, secure person, I bluffed. “Oh, yeah. Completely agree. My thoughts exactly.” We weren’t connecting. There was no relationship. Why? Because he was way beyond me. Intellectually, he wasn’t just on another level: he was in another universe. There was a massive chasm between us, and it was going to take heck of a lot of work for me—basically my entire lifetime—to dissect that thirty-second conversation.
I think sometimes we have a similar mentality toward God. He is so perfect, so great, so far removed, that we wonder if we can relate to him at all. And even if we tried to relate to him, would he care about what we are going through right now? After all, he’s running the entire universe. Does the fact that I lost my job or my temper or my keys matter to him?
It’s easy to think the answer to questions like that is no. But the point of the Bible is that God is not too distant or disinterested to relate to us. On the contrary: God is with us, loves us, and wants us to be fulfilled and satisfied. God wants our lives to be awesome in every way. That leads me to the premise of this book—that Jesus shows us how to live life to the fullest.
Excerpt taken from Introduction of LIFE IS ______ by Judah Smith. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson, 2015.
The article is from Volume 13 Issue 2 of Pastor Resources.
Judah Smith and his wife, Chelsea, are the lead pastors of the City Church based in Seattle, Washington. The author of the New York Times bestseller Jesus Is ______ , Judah is a well-known speaker in the United States and abroad. He and Chelsea have three children: Zion, Eliott, and Grace.