Posted by: dannyjwkim | November 26, 2007

WWJD to get to that Kairos Moment of 300 Wins?

I suck at life.

Seriously.

I’m really bad at living it.

I make the same mistakes over and over and over again and I get mad at myself over and over and over again.

I come to the same points of “crises” and then disappoint myself and other people time and again.

And every time, I always swear to myself:
“ok, I’ll never do THAT again.”

Or sometimes I at least recognize more realistically that:
“actually, I probably WILL mess up exactly like this again but let’s try really hard not to”

And I know why:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)

Several years ago there was this ubiquitous fad known as What Would Jesus Do (WWJD) bracelets. The question itself has been around for centuries as a help, but was made famous by Charles Sheldon’s In His Steps; and then resurrected yet again in the 90’s on the wrists of young teens for Christ everywhere.

When presented with a decision moment, a follower of Christ would do their best to imitate Jesus by asking themselves that question. And while I’m sure that that question has genuinely helped Christians be Christian, falsely applied it can also be a very low or false or frustrating realization of Christianity.

For unless one is sowing “WWJD” into the soils of their souls between those decision moments there ought not to be any realistic expectation that one will all of a sudden be able to miraculously reap a “WWJD” result.

Seems simple enough, but when I first understood this, it rocked me, like it body-slammed me and I had to call uncle.

I have 4 loves and I’m not referring to storge, agape, eros, philia, but rather Jesus, Family, Church and the Mets. (Yes, I am referring to the major league baseball team and yes I’m being serious. We were in a serious relationship and things were going so well for 6 months until I was betrayed and left heart-broken rather abruptly. We’re on a break right now and I’m slowly healing… but it will probably take me another four months to risk my heart like that again)

To justify how much time I spend with the Mets, I listen for God through them and one of the times I heard Him reinforced this principle of the Law of the Harvest as the verse continues:

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

On August 5, 2007 Tom Glavine won his 300th game as a major league pitcher. If you’re not a fan of baseball – all you need to know is that it is a remarkable feat that has been achieved only 22 other times and may never happen again.

A LOT needs to happen for a pitcher to get to 300 wins and I was forced to imagine all the “sowing” that needed to happen for Glavine to reach that milestone. That specific 300th 8-3 victory over the Cubs was not spectacular in it of itself. But as a culmination of 41 years (21 of them as a professional athlete) of his life it was a fantastic harvest.

When it says “in due season we will reap” – that word “season” is the Greek word “kairos” and it can be properly understood as not just a general time period (as in “chronos” or “aion”) but a fixed or special occasion.

One of my problems is that I’m anticipating these kairos moments so much so that I forget to just get over myself and grow gradually, making hundreds of decisions, by God’s grace, that do not yield any drastic or immediate result.

And instead I expect myself to be able to follow through on the answer to the question that I sometimes suddenly remember to ask myself – What would Jesus do?

It’s like I expect tomorrow to have an opportunity to win my 300th game failing to realize that:

1) I have only gone through a mere fraction of the necessary organic process for such an opportunity to even present itself.

2) I probably can’t follow through on the opportunity anyway because the character and tools that are necessary to do so have not yet been developed.

In closing, it should be no surprise to me that I suck at life. That’s exactly where I am supposed to be! What a relief!

And whaddaya know – the bracelet does work – I just need to gradually decrease the times in between that I remember to consider it.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. I think this is a very interesting take on a Christian subcultural icon that is often made fun of. In grad school, one of my profs would totally ridicule this campaign and refused to allow his fifth grade daughter wear a WWJD bracelet.

    I appreciate that you don’t buy into the cynicism that a lot of jaded Christians adopt over time.

    thanks!

  2. Knowing you personally, I know that you don’t explicitly espouse the superficial understanding of WWJD. I have to let everyone know that.

    Anyway, I find it important to balance this with stating that, as noble as it is to work alongside Christ in sanctification, it is just as noble to do with Christ in His kingdom in the world.

    This is a no-brainer to us, sure. However, I think for some Christian cultural groups (myself being a Corean-American), this is not something generally taught. At least not in a way that calls for our “dying to self” for the needs of those in the world. It’s a tragedy.

  3. I love when Jesus says to Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

    It’s when Peter is assuring Jesus that he would NEVER deny him. I think Peter missed the point of most of what Jesus said throughout their time together (sound familiar?). He especially was the one who was constantly trying to prove his worth to Jesus, to prove he was the greatest, that he could walk on water, that he could do all the things that Jesus did.

    It was as if Jesus was telling him, “Listen, Peter. You’re going to fail and mess up. No, no, listen. You are GOING to fail and mess up. I don’t care if you don’t believe me, Peter, it’s true. So when you come back from failing, strengthen your brothers, okay?”

    And later, when Jesus is “reinstating” Peter, he doesn’t ask him, “Are you going to stop messing up now? Have you learned your lesson? Do you know how to be like me all the time now?” No, he just says, “Peter, do you love me?”

    I think that even through our mistakes he just wants us to love him, strengthen our brothers, and feed his sheep.

  4. I like the idea of sowing it into our soils in between making decisions…I’m struggling with a similar sin problem (as I imagine that everyone is, at least so I don’t feel so bad about myself), and I agree that it’s totally futile to expect yourself to suddenly be able to make good decisions.
    On the other hand, what is the fine line with recognizing that we’ll never NOT betray our lord, like Peter did, so we shouldn’t be in a constant state of guilt, and on the other hand, avoiding complacency with our current state of sin.

  5. When what we do is fruit of who we are, I think there’s an incredible freedom. But as creatures of habit, it takes DISCIPLINE to get from point A to point B, no?

    I used to always consider this law of harvesting in view of motivations. If you want something enough, you’ll change your habits and adapt your lifestyle so that when the kairos moment of decision comes, you’re ready and primed and trained to make the right one.

    But how does one traverse from A to B? How do you get from not sowing to sowing? You just do it? Is it a matter of just wanting it bad enough?

    What you write here leads us to that interesting conclusion: we can’t only want the ends. I don’t think it’s right to look at the ends as motivation to change the seed by which the ends bear fruit. For some reason, I don’t think we’ll ever calculate that it’s worth it.

    Kairos moments are litmus tests of who we really are, but we can’t just look at the desired result in the tests as our prize. Isn’t it the underlying means which is not a means at all, but actually the end goal?

    That got confusing, I’m not sure I know what I’m talking about.

    Lemma: one other thing to consider is that the rule of reaping what you sow goes both directions. If we fail to reap the WWJD decisions because we’re not sowing WWJD during the in-between times, it’s actually a double-swing. I think we’re ALWAYS sowing SOMETHING, and the bible talks about sowing in the Spirit vs. sowing in our sinful nature. Sowing in our sinful nature leads to destruction, it says.

    So maybe if you don’t fear the Father, fear farming. If we’re not sowing what’s good, we’re not just empty fields with nothing. We’re probably sowing our way to destruction.

  6. here’s the answer: the mets need johann santana.

  7. not at the expense of jose reyes!

  8. oops. i remember u sharing this w/ band. and also mentioning that u were a part of this blog. my b.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: