John 11: 35-37
v35-Then Jesus wept.
If you are Christian, you probably are familiar with this particular text. Second to John 3v16-which in my opinion is the reason for the existence of Christianity, ‘Jesus wept’ is probably the second most common quotes from the new testament. When Christians are unable to connect the Jesus of the bible to our everyday real life feelings, when people want to explain that, just like us, Jesus experienced feelings of anger, hurt and pain, Jesus wept is one of the easiest biblical texts that comes to mind-indeed, who hasn’t ever cried before? But Jesus wept isn’t really the focus of my ranting here today..lol..:)Okay i’ll get to the point.
v36-The people who were standing nearby said, ‘This man loved him’.
v37-But some said, ‘This man healed a blind man. Why couldn’t he keep Lazarus from dying?’
I’ve read this text severally before, but it never stood out for me, till today. I have no idea why-nothing extraordinary about it. I mean, what could be new about people expressing different opinions based on their sociology about the same topic-in this case, the fact that Jesus wept over his friend Lazarus who had died? Where some people expressed their sadness over the fact that he wept in sorrow for his deceased friend? Sympathizing alongside him because, he felt personal sorrow, and the collective grief of the people who came to commiserate with the family? Or where people expressed their displeasure over the fact that he didn’t come when he was ‘supposed’ to?
Nah. Nothing special.
It is a fact that people always think that they have a right to expect you to behave in a certain way. Is it because they think that they would behave in that particular way if they were in your shoes? An inherent arrogance deeply rooted in all of us that makes us think that people should act a certain way because that’s how they think you should act? Or, maybe its because people feel like they need to have a say in your life, whether they have directly or indirectly contributed to your affairs? Or perhaps, its just the need for them to say something-anything, even if its in bad taste?
Its easy enough to say that ‘If you listen to what others say, you will never move forward’. Or, ‘They dont really matter’. ‘Do what makes you happy’. And other such feel-good statements-All of them,albeit cliched,yet very TRUE statements. But the fact is, people DO matter. In the course of our lives, there are people whom we have met, whose opinions have come to matter to us, whether they deserve to be ascribed that status or not. For some its a parent, a brother, a teacher, a girlfriend. Consciously or not, there are people who matter enough for us to want to please(yeah I know everyone wants to believe that they can just wake up and take unanimous decisions because its ‘my’ life, but you know what im saying is true).
And so, a lot of us stay within the confines of doing what has been ‘set down’ for us to do. Essentially, doing what does not ‘rock the boat’.
So I say to myself, Self 🙂 do not be afraid to take a stand to step out and do what is good for you. Most adults have gotten to a place where they know where their hearts rest-career wise, relationship-wise, even with God. People will always expect you to do things in a certain way. Part of it isn’t their fault-society has a weird way, in my opinion of boxing us all in. But the other part is just their own selfishness and their inability to accept any way that doesn’t seem ‘right’ to them. Part of it is the rigidity of their thinking, which they want to impose on you. Do not be afraid, Self to do what’s good for you. What, in the end will give you peace. Because, at some point, Self, you need to “rock the boat”. You need to shake up some things for other things to be put in place. It may not be agreeable even to those who care about you, and vice versa. It will even mean you, self, giving up some comfort. But, if you are able to live with yourself, Self-if you are able to find even a morsel of happiness in your decisions, if in the end, it will all be worth it, DO NOT BE AFRAID. The people who love you will realise that you are happy, and you know what? It will be enough. And if it is not enough for them, well..I suppose we really do have to win some AND lose some.
Jesus did not keep Lazarus from dying-He saw the bigger picture and aimed for greater glory. It was a happy ending for Lazarus. It wont always be a happy ending, for some of us. But if it is well worth it in the end, do not be afraid. It is a courageous man who knows that he is afraid, and yet puts his head out there because he knows he has chosen not to live in the prison of his fear and doubts and what-ifs.
Carpe Diem 🙂