Practice Two: “Coming to believe that Jesus is God’s appointed Way for healing the entire universe.”
First, the theory: Depending on how you look at it, this version is significantly different from the original. First off, since I’m doing this for the express purpose of fully entering what God is doing in the world through Jesus, acknowledging him by name seemed appropriate. Further, coming to a conclusion that God is doing something very, very big uniquely through Jesus seems necessary to becoming his disciple (as opposed to someone else’s).
Another change was “healing” rather than “sanity.” I dig the ‘sanity/insanity’ language, but I thought ‘healing’ deals with insanity, as well as all kinds of other things, things that Jesus and his followers have been involved in ‘healing’ for some time. I want to embrace the full spectrum of God’s healing work. This is linked to the final change: instead of talking about God restoring just “us”, I expanded it to “the entire universe.” I guess my biggest reason for this is that it’s true. God is literally healing/recreating the entire universe (“heaven and earth”, in biblical language) through Jesus! What began with the resurrection is spreading like a healing virus. And it’s not just for humans (though we are the pinnacle of God’s creation), even the trees can’t wait for God to complete what he began (it’s in the Book, really). I’d be happy to go into this further, but there are several very large books already written–email me if you want some elaboration from various informed sources. Additionally, I think it is helpful for me to remember that God is not just healing me. I am very glad that I am part of that universe that he is healing, but he is, in fact, at work in the whole thing. God said of Jesus in the prophets, “Saving Israel is too small a thing for you; you will be a light to the nations.” Indeed.
So, anyway, that’s the theory. The practice, so far, has been me thinking about God, specifically Jesus, being in control of all kinds of things that I’m not, having power to do things that I can’t. It’s actually pretty exciting. Admitting my powerlessness has given way to recognizing the extent of his power. I’ll report more on this later. So far, so good.