This has been a question that has been able to creep up through the forest of the everyday to assault me from behind, making me feel like I should be donning a face mask on the back of my bean like people warding off attacking tigers. Of course, walking around with one of those would just highlight the situation and leave me laying on the floor waiting for the first searing pain of feline canines to punctuate my sentence. I have no desire to go that way, so wrestling this surreal query is by far the preferable option. Getting a line of thinking around its insubstantial neck is where the real challenge lies. A pause for thought to word it just right, eliminating the loopholes, putting a scalpel's edge on it, and you're left standing there like a hangman reworking the noose. No, you've got to be quick; merciless.
So what am I doing here, and why does that reality so easily lie in wait between the tasks of the day to snare my passing pondering? The reality of life can sometimes jar us out of the construct that we sequester our minds in to keep them safe from predatory muses. The reality I make of my life here becomes barely tolerable in the sweltering confines of the safe little shroud I throw about it, but even so I will shake it out each day and sweep it before my own eyes for fear of the real seeping through. The shocking truth is that I am pulling up a blanket over my eyes to guard them from the incoming ordinance from spiritual foes that are bent not only on my demise, but of those around me with whom I have been charged. About as useful as a tissue in a typhoon.
This is not the life that Jesus lived in such exemplary fashion for me to follow. He lived without any of the blinders that we don to keep out the glare of the reality that surrounds us every day of our lives. We were not born into a realm that we can shape to our liking, rather we have arrived on the scene of a battlefield from which there is no escape. The bullets are more real than hollow point lead, the foes more ardently purposed than flesh and blood, and the deaths we die here lack the drama that we are shown in popular culture, because there is no veil to hide the rest of the journey. No lengthy gasping and wheezing, just a shift from seen to the ever-present unseen. This is the real. This is where Jesus walked. This is why He lacked the confusion that takes us so often.
Our confusion typically comes in our inability to clearly discern what the events of our lives are telling us. Is there really a separation between what we do on the way to work, and the eternal moment of leading someone to Christ? Do they exist on different levels? Not so with Jesus. He never partitioned His life in this way. There was a continuity to His life simply because in each moment He was fully in touch with heaven and earth, like a spiritual superconductor. Our view leans towards people who turn a switch off and on; now I'm ministering, now I'm not. Walking in the Spirit, walking to work. Eating the fruit of the Spirit, eating my burger and fries.
So now to the point. Why am I here? Today I see a battlefield where the faithful have lost sight of the foe, and they are taking potshots into the darkness. They are hitting targets indiscriminately. I must stand in the gap, at the end of the barrel. Like Jesus amongst the Pharisees. "Nice robes guys, you ok if we have a peek at what's under them. You see, there's that bulge under the folds that resembles an AK47, and we would all feel safer without it hanging there. In fact, you will too."