Monday, August 11, 2008

Upside Down & Backwards

If you were anywhere other than in a cave during the early 90’s you will remember the following words (or you’re a liar…LOL):

Upside down and inside outI'm about to show all you folksWhat's it's all aboutNow it's time for a brother to get on the micAnd make this mother party hypeI'm takeing it back to the old school'Cause I'm an old fool who's so coolIf you want to get downI'm gonna show you the way whoomp there it isLet me hear you say

Whoomp there it is

Whoomp chak a laka chack a laka chak a laka chak a (repeat 4 times)

This makes me smile more than you know. What a brilliant little time on earth. I know you are laughing by now, who couldn’t be. If you’ve been to a wedding recently the words are probably still fresh on your lips, for some reason this has become a wedding reception party anthem. I was looking through a little coffee table book we have at our apartment the other morning. You know the nice books that no one ever opens but they sit on your coffee tables as if they are to be read? Well, I was bored so I decided to open one and came across something pretty brilliant. It was a book full of all of Leonardo De Vinci’s sketches. I really couldn’t understand the writing underneath or around his sketches though, which bothered me, and being the nerd that I am I decided to look it up. I found out Leonardo De Vinci wrote in Latin and in his sketches he wrote upside downs and backwards or upside down and inside out as our beloved Tag Team buddies would say. Upside down and backwards has stuck in my head until now. Typically that is how these writing you read come about, I think something random and it stays in my mind until I write about it. So I kept thinking, why can I not get this out of mind. It was beginning to drive me nuts until this weekend.

I was walking with a friend downtown and we were talking about our faith because he is going through a rough time right now and I said, “You know, I wish I had a simple answer for you, but it’s like out faith is upside downs and backwards, like living the life Jesus calls us to is upside down and backwards from anything our culture says.” Ding ding ding, we have a winner and all the red lights flashed, balloons fell from the heavens and you could here applause from the multitudes…Not really, but you get the point, that one little thought finally made sense. As I was thinking about it all, I thought about a friend who I work out with. We were walking up the stairs the other day and he always kind of make little comments about me being into God and has more recently been asking little questions, so last week we are walking upstairs to the basketball court and he asks, “Hey man, why is it so hard to do what God wants you to do, I’m serious?”

Love your enemy, give sacrificially, serve others before you lead, die to live, become last to become first, be humble to be elevated, store up your treasures elsewhere, do not covet others stuff, don’t hoard up possessions, forgive, love without boundaries…these sometime seem more like cute utopian thoughts than realities that we should be living. The mistake though is when smug Christians say that it is easy and act as if it is not hard to live the upside down and backwards kingdom life Jesus talks about. Just read what Jesus says:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3-12).”

Are you kidding me? Seriously? This could invoke a Homer Simpson remark, “Doh!” How in the world is that easy or even possible? The answer is it is possible but not easy. This is why the path behind Jesus is narrow, it is a tough thing to do, but it is the best (following Jesus). Because I know that the kingdom of God is upside down and inside out I’m about to show all you folks what it’s all about….woops, I got lost in that sweet old skool jam…lol. Seriously though, because Jesus calls us to walk in a way upside down and backwards from the world we live in, it makes me think about everything that I do that runs right in line with the world, like doesn’t skip a beat, what about all those things that look the same? Shouldn’t we seek to live upside down and backwards if that truly is the way of Jesus?

I pray you will join me in this journey towards becoming more and more like Jesus by following the narrow path that is upside down and backwards. May you seek to live it out in your world, not in a dogmatic, religious, ugly way, but a beautiful thing where others are drawn to this enigma of a lifestyle you live. Hate gravity and live upside down, resist the grain and go against it, go backwards. Be a moon walking Christian I say! May you seek to live this kingdom here!

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