Tuesday, May 24, 2016

From a Distance

So I was finishing Michelle Bell’s rocking FBC-Fitness Core and More class at our gym last Thursday.  As I was helping clean up a little, Steven came into the gym with his mother.  Steven was there for Adult Upper Level Basketball.  I know Steven.  I’d never met his mother.  As we were picking up all the fitness shrapnel (Bosus, med balls, gliders, mats, weights) following the workout, Steven yells over, “Hey John, come and meet my mother.”
“Sure,” I said.  “Let me finish picking up and I’ll be right there.” 
So once the gym floor was clear, I walked over to meet Steven’s mom.  She gave me the once-over, kind of squinted a second, and said, “You look a lot younger from a distance.”
What do you say to that?  “Uh … I’m better looking from a distance too.”  I kind of chuckled.  She didn’t.  We chatted a moment.  I bragged on her son.  And that was that.
But I grinned all the way to the car: “You look a lot younger from a distance.”  And then another thought struck me.  Maybe it came from the Spirit; maybe it came from me—I’m not sure: “Live in such a way that your Christian life looks as good up close as it does from a distance.”
You’ve heard the old saying: “An expert is the guy from out of town.”  People almost always look better from a distance.  The guy or girl we don’t know very well almost always looks pretty good.  But get to know her, see her up close, peel back the layers that distance wraps around a person, and how does she look then?
Except for some of those much-deserved wrathful outbursts of God in the Old Testament, God looks pretty good from a distance too.  But when we read the Gospels, and see God-in-the-flesh, Jesus Christ, up close and personal, God looks even better.
I’m praying that the better people know me, the better my Christian life will look to them, the better Jesus-in-me will look to them.  I have some work to do here.  How about you?