Serenity : Content or composed; untroubled
If Jesus was Australian, would he rock up to the barbie in his flannie and his stubbies?
Would he bring the beer? Would he knock the top off a cold one, slump down on his fold out chair with his feet on the esky, take a swig and proclaim “ahhhh maaate, how’s the serenity?”
Or would Jesus float around with a cool calm and collected air about him? Seemingly above it all? Serene?
Cos Jesus was serene yeah?
Serenity mate. A bit of inner peace. That’s what we all want isn’t it? That’s what I want.
Angst. I hate angst.
In fact I will go to great lengths to live an angstless life.
But is that how Jesus lived?
Matthew 26:36-46 The Message (MSG)
36-38 Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”
39 Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?”
40-41 When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”
42 He then left them a second time. Again he prayed, “My Father, if there is no other way than this, drinking this cup to the dregs, I’m ready. Do it your way.”
43-44 When he came back, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open. This time he let them sleep on, and went back a third time to pray, going over the same ground one last time.
45-46 When he came back the next time, he said, “Are you going to sleep on and make a night of it? My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners. Get up! Let’s get going! My betrayer is here.”
I think I like the lazy dog sleeping by the fire life. Well actually… I don’t think, I know I TOTALLY ROCK that life. That sounds like serenity to me! But Jesus seemed to be like, a tad anxious. In fact he plunged into an agonising sorrow… “This sorrow is crushing my life out”. What a party pooper.
It doesn’t sound like he perched himself atop a mountain where he sat like a pretzel humming. I doesn't sound like he spent his time trying to escape life with all its responsibilities and angst. In fact, he fell on his face.
Then he says something interesting (I have found that Jesus quite often says interesting things). He says “There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”
I’m going to take a stab and say that Jesus meant that a life that is eager and ready for anything in God is the kind of life we should pursue NOT the life that is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by a fire.
An old dog sleeping by the fire sounds like the picture of serenity to me! Sounds like the life I aspire to. One power ball and I’m a comatose dog bro.
Isn’t that the peace that surpasses all understanding? The one that makes you so lax you start to drool?
Or maybe (but hopefully not) whilst serenity is important, it isn’t a feeling we are asked to constantly pursue. Maybe we need to face our agony by face planting the ground and wrestling with it. Giving it to God doesn’t mean he will take it away, it doesn’t even mean he will stop you feeling sorrow and angst.
But if we can surrender and be ready for anything in God, perhaps his army will rise! Perhaps millions of sleeping dogs could become warriors? Because following Jesus isn’t about peaceful vibes on a Sunday morning, it’s not about feeling content, composed and untroubled, it’s about drinking the dregs.
Perhaps if Jesus was Australian he would throw a snagger on the barbie, crack open a cold one and say righto you lot, whose up for anything with God? Follow me.