The Rock?

Whether or not he was the rock on which the Church was to be built, it’s fairly obvious Peter had an immense assignment and role in launching Christ’s Church. But why Peter?

Isn’t this the same Peter who denied Christ three times? Who lost faith when attempting to walk on water? The rash, uneducated Peter?

Who in their right mind would place all bets on a person who claimed not to know you?

I wouldn’t.

It does sound like the kind of thing Jesus would pull… but really? He really went all-in with Peter. This was the man who was to tend the sheep? To build the Church?

Or was he?

Looking closely, I really see two Peters. There’s the Peter that he wanted to be, and there’s the Peter that he was. There was, at times, a vast difference between the two, but Jesus knew that and was apparently okay with it. At the Last Supper when Peter was told he would deny Christ, he refused to accept that–even if it meant his death.

Then he denied him. And again. And again. But Jesus already knew about that, and he was okay with it. What had happened between the Last Supper and Peter’s denial? Nothing. Peter wanted to be there, but he just wasn’t yet. Yet.

He would be, wouldn’t he?

And after it all went down, what does Jesus tell Peter when he’s still having trouble declaring his devotion? He tells him that he’ll get there. That he will die for it, but he has some stuff to get to first. Tend my sheep.

Even earlier Peter had asked to be called out, to be summoned across the water. It was when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the storm he began to sink–but at that point in time, in that moment of panic and faltering faith, what were his words? Lord, save me. Save me. He wasn’t there yet, but he knew where to put his hope meanwhile.

So why Peter?

Because Peter would never allow himself to be satisfied with where he was at. He insisted on being something greater, and he’d rather lay it all on the line for that greatness. Sometimes, many times, he couldn’t do it. But that was the point, wasn’t it? He knew who to fall back on, and he knew he had no choice but to do so.

Examining Matthew 16:15-18 a bit closer I see reference to two different rocks–Petros, a smaller/piece of rock, and petra, a massive rock. Substituting these back in, we would really get:

“But what about you?” [Jesus] asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Petros, and on this petra I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Peter had been named a small part of the rock, and only when that’s combined with the revelation of Christ do we have something truly powerful.

So now, as I sit here at 1:55 a.m. on November 22, 2008, which happens to be my 20th birthday, I’m forced to reconsider a few things. For much of my life I always figured I’d have most things figured out by now, or at least the important stuff. That I’d be that put-together, knowledgeable, spiritual person that I’m not. I’m not at all the person I want to be.

And it’s my prayer that I’ll never be allowed to think I am. If I knew what I was doing, I wouldn’t have much use for faith, would I? And, as it seems, only the truly amazing happens when that revelation of faith gets thrown into the mix.

So when faced with the decision, the decision to either be satisfied or to oversell myself and let God fill in the gaps, I pray that I’ll always take the jump. Furthermore, I don’t want to wait for the obvious assignment, either. The obvious never seems to require much. Rather, like Peter, I pray that I’ll always seek the calling to walk on water, even, and especially when, I’m going to fall.

Note: Comments on this post have been closed, and you can thank insistent spammers for that. Discussion is open here, though.

My last post before this post which doesn’t really count as my last post was posted a really long time ago.

^ Imagine that. I don’t really know why I stopped writing here, other than I just did. I guess I ran out of things to say. Nah, that’s not it. And I definitely didn’t stop being funny. In fact I’m probably funnier now than ever. I didn’t really stop procrastinating, either…I just furthered the procrastination one more step by procrastinating the procrastinating that took place here. Most of my past posts were either funny or serious, which I guess sums up basically everything a post could be anyway. I already said I never stopped being funny, so as to why those posts stopped getting posted is still up for debate. Perhaps I found better ways to share my funniness with the world and anybody else who would take it, “better” meaning “less work.” Work always gets in the way of stuff like that. As for the serious ones, who knows? Perhaps I stopped being serious? That could be it, or maybe I just stopped being angry about things. Or perhaps I no longer care enough. Either one of those can also kill the comedy. No pun intended–or is there even a pun in there? Hmm.

>> This is a new paragraph, by the way. The one up there probably has too much stuff in it, but I’m going to keep it that way because to edit it would take work, and I’ve already discussed my attitude towards that kind of thing. Besides. This is my blog, and I shall do whatever I please here. Okay? Okay. Then again, lately I’ve been doing nothing here, and that’s somewhat of a problem. Well, probably not much of a problem since nobody really cares, but I like to think it’s a problem–people with lots of problems are generally more important than the people without any problems, unless the people with problems are just unlucky alien-types who decided to heal somebody when other people were around and screwed up their whole cover, in which case they’re probably just from Roswell and don’t have any real importance.

Anyway. Back to the blog…perhaps I’ll bring it back. Perhaps.

To the Annoying Lady in the Annoying Hat

You don’t need a green arrow to turn left. Those green circles work too. That “left turn yield to oncoming traffic” sign means you only have to wait when there’s other cars at least in sight. When there’s a green light, you should probably drive. When somebody honks at you while giving you “move, stupid” motions, you should probably step on it. The very last thing you need to do is sit through an entire green freaking light causing the person behind you to be even later than he would have been because of your insisting to drive 20 miles below the speed limit through the country on lanes too narrow to pass. Glad we could have this talk.

Thank you.

– Elliot

My Personal Linear Hell

I personally believe that hell has a very long line leading to it. You wait. And wait, and wait some more until you wish you could just get there already. Eventually, you realize that you’ve been there the whole time.

Standing in line is like being in bad traffic while chairless and the radio is forever stuck on some reject pop station where the DJ feels the need to interrupt every song with wannabe raps consisting of “Matt, we need a cleanup on isle five. Matt, cleanup on isle five please.”

After about six of these reminders, you’re tempted to go check out isle five. You’re tempted to go check out the mess, to evaluate it, to see exactly what needs to be done. Then when you see an employee approach you greet this poor soul with a knowledgeable, “Hi Matt, I’d recommend immediate mopping followed by extensive bleach. Don’t forget the wet floor sign. Have a nice day.”

But alas, that would require losing one’s spot in line. Everybody’s worried about getting a “good spot.” You take your rounds across the stretching expansion of checkouts, gauging the estimated length of line, speed of cashier, and magazine selection. When one is about to stand in line for a long length of time, these things are important to know ahead of time.

Now once you have that good spot, the trouble is then keeping it. Eventually you run out of magazines, so you start assessing your surroundings. You first take a look at your fellow prisoners, making some vague assumptions as to their character. Next you take a look at their future purchases, weighing these results against your previous assumptions. The skinny kid with all the dairy products is obviously re-stocking after his king-sized roommate, and the body-builder reading People‘s coverage of Paris Hilton’s jail time is no doubt getting snacks for his late night security gig. The lady reading The Enquirer is simply an idiot.

Once you are through with this, boredom hits. As you look into the neighboring lines, you realize that you picked the wrong good spot–if you had been in the other line you would’ve been long gone by now. You consider switching lines, but you’re worried that you might make the wrong choice again. Besides, you’d have to start this whole process all over again, and you’d lose your current not-quite-as-good spot.

After several hours (while your watch may not backup this fact, it is my personal belief that time stops while you are in line), you arrive at the front. With much glee, you turn a full 180 and look into the eyes of each helpless human being still waiting behind you. An innocent smile appears across your lips as you take a look at your cashier’s computer to see what operating system they are using. It appears to still be running DOS.

“Sorry for the delay, thanks for waiting. Paper or plastic?”

Boy, am I glad you asked.

Hot Dog Confessions

For some unbeknownst reason, I eat a lot of hot dogs and polish sausages. When I tell people this, I always get the same predicable response of, “Do you know what’s in those??! If you knew, you’d never eat one again.”

I’m thinking the answer is ground up bits of animals that nobody would buy, correct? With some spices thrown in?

But let’s get serious, because it’s really not like you vegetarians have it any better…You know where those carrots come from, right? Heavily fertilized and most likely bug-repellent sprayed dirt. First of all, you do know what most fertilizer is, no? To put it lightly, it’s the stuff that our bodies were trying to flush down the toilet. So what do you vegetarians do? Why eat it, of course.

You’re right, that does sound extremely healthy and appetizing.

And now let’s think of what else is done with dirt. People walk on it, die on it, are buried and decompose in it. Pollution, of which the air is full of, is constantly in contact with this dirt. Nor is this dirt being watered with bottled Fuji water.

When we wash our clothes, what are we washing from them? Dirt. You know, the stuff we grow our food in.

In fact, I’d venture to say that there is nothing on this earth more dirty than that which is dirt.

So, to all you veggie lovers out there: You know what that’s grown in, right? I’ll bet if you knew, you’d never eat another one again.

One Year of Accidental Procrastination

I’ve been officially procrastinating accidentally for over a year now, as the first post here came out on May 3rd, 2006.

Here’s what are, in my opinion, the highlights of last year’s procrastinations ordered from oldest to newest:

Here’s to another year of amazing time-wasting activities.

The Minute of Yesterday

In one minute it will be tomorrow; in one minute it will be the future. In one minute, everything–everything–could quite possibly be very different than that which is the minute I am living now. Or, it could just as possibly–perhaps more so–slip right by, unnoticed like those that proceeded it: Quiet, indifferent, and more than likely wasted.

Four minutes have gone by since I wrote my first sentence. It’s tomorrow now, or rather the tomorrow of four minutes ago and today’s today. Nothing has happened, nothing has changed, and iTunes is still on repeat.

5 Things I Wish I Could Do But Probably Never Will

  1. Secretly buy, replace overnight all news with satire articles, see what networks are reporting them the next morning.
  2. Gain 200 pounds, lose it in a month, get paid to walk on the beach for a “results not typical” commercial.
  3. Make a sequel to a movie that never existed, just to see who would watch it anyway.
  4. Watch M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” sometime in the middle of the night while outside in a cornfield.
  5. Write a book that ends, “The night stifled all those present, a black velvet cloaking the sky concealing any hint of natural light that might otherwise have shown itself. A single figure stepped out of the darkness and approached the edge, peering over for but a moment. With a flying leap, he cleared the weathered railing and plummeted toward the dark mass that was the Bering Sea below. For a brief, terrifying, ‘Oh shit’ moment the thought passed through his mind that this was probably not the most resourceful approach, but his author saw the amazing trilogy potential and just couldn’t stay away.”

Simple Facts of Life

  • Any time-saving device will only allow you to waste time somewhere else.
  • Watching TV while driving is only illegal because if it wasn’t, somebody would do it.
  • You know how everybody in small towns follow the speed limits exactly? It’s because they have nowhere to go.
  • The whole realm of business ethics is imaginary. If it’s ethical, it sure as hell ain’t good business.
  • That last sentence used bad grammar.
  • Insane people are normal people to other insane people.