It all gets jumbled for me. And honestly, I’m not always sure what I believe. And whether it even matters what I think. People are… people. And everyone is (I assume) just doing their best. But… it’s all jumbled.
It’s probably going to seem like this post was inspired by a Lamborghini. Specifically the one Pastor John Gray bought for his wife a few weeks ago, but it would be more accurate too say that Lamborghini parked itself in the middle of a post that I’ve been writing for the past year or so.
I don’t think it’s any secret that Christianity and I have a complicated relationship. We love each other dearly and are in this thing together, forever (literally), but it gets tricky when a relationship looks one way at home and completely different in the streets. When so many people are claiming Christianity is so concerned with some things and so unmoved by others. What’s the truth?
Well… let’s start with something we can all agree on: Martin Luther King Jr. He was pretty great, right? Something he said, that has been rising to the top more and more over the past few years was a shot fired directly at “moderate” Christianity:
“First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.”Letter From A Birmingham Jail
And then there’s this Hillsong song that has been echoing in my head and heart since I first heard it. And, ironically, was part of what ultimately led me away from Hillsong. The song is “As It Is (in Heaven)” and one of lines/thoughts is:
And while I’m waiting,As It Is (In Heaven)
I’m not waiting
I know Heaven lives in me.
With the entire song coming from The Lord’s Prayer which is Jesus’ prayer template for Christians, asking for God’s will to be done and His Kingdom to come on earth, as it is in Heaven. Which is why, while we’re waiting, we’re not waiting, because we’re supposed to be bringing God’s will and His Kingdom here. On earth.
So then the question becomes… Well, what is God’s will? And what does His Kingdom look like?
Each of the twelve gates was a solid pearl. The streets of the city were made of pure gold, clear as crystal.Revelation 21:21
Pearly gates. Streets of gold. Dope. Got that. But there’s something my pastor has said a few time over the past few weeks (or maybe he only said it once and it’s just been echoing non-stop in my head, unclear.) Either way, his revelation was this:
The streets are made gold. Pure gold of the highest quality. And Heaven is worth so much that pure gold of the highest quality, is like asphalt there. It’s nothing. So common and of such little value, it’s something to be walked on.
And yet, classic us, we are mesmerized. By the ground. By the basest, most basic thing.
But while we’re waiting, we’re not waiting. And so we buy Lamborghinis here. Because…
“I got one wife, I got one life, I got two kids, and while they’re alive, I’m going to do whatever I can to bless them. And I hope you do the same to your family.”Pastor John Gray, via Facebook Live
There has been no lack of words and opinions and hot takes on the whole Lamborghini situation, but that one line in that quote from John Gray has been the one that has made the most sense of everything to me: I got one life.
And I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was just in preacher mode and going with the flow and it rhymed with “I got one wife” and it fit the motif, so he just went with it, but it’s problematic. Because it’s not exactly true: there is after all, in the Christian tradition, life after death. And this life is just the beginning. A mist that’s here and then gone. It’s smoke. A blip on the radar of eternity.
And the vast majority of us will have to wait until Heaven for our Lamborghinis.
And I’m fine with that. But not every Christian is. They want to live their best life now. And I’d actually be fine with that too, if they wanted it for everyone. But they don’t. And I know they don’t because they’re still telling some of us to wait. Not for gold or for cars or for fame, but for justice. For refuge. For reparation. For good news for the poor. Freedom for the prisoners. Sight for the blind. Freedom for the oppressed.
You can have all that there, but here… can’t have it all, I guess.
So what am I saying? Nothing definitive yet. Because it’s all still jumbled. Mostly, I’m just wondering…
What parts of Heaven are we really the most interested in bringing to earth? What parts are we happy to wait for, for ourselves. And, maybe more importantly, what parts are we very happy for others to wait for.
Because for some us, while we’re waiting, we’re not waiting, we know Heaven… Lamborghini.
Tell your friends.
Janice Lagata was born in California, but born for New York. A writer, fighter, igniter and matron saint of cats; smirking is her favorite. She’s just a girl feeding herself to the world and asking it to love her – that’s a lyric from a song she wrote, you can probably find it and lots of other things she’s working on by asking the internets (insta/twitter/soundcloud/spotify/youtube/your mom) for @jani_the_cat.