Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hugh Hefner's regrets

Foxnews recently did a story on Hugh Hefner and his feelings of regret over certain choices in his life. You can read the full report here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,518219,00.html

While just the notion of "Hugh Hefner" and "regrets" is certainly enough to cause the typical American male into a veritable tailspin of soul-searching angst. After all, if Hugh (who is what many consider to be the very pinnacle of male achievement: the eternal frat party combined with a healthy dose of Never Never Land) . . . if Hugh has regrets over HIS choices . . . then what chance does Joe Average have in achieving the perfect life?

But pushing beyond that riddled philosophical question, the thing that most interested me was this quote. "[I'd] like to find out what [Jesus Christ] was all about." Separate the reality from mythology. Find out the roots of what has become a major religion of my time. I was raised in a good Methodist home and I had questions about organized religion, and I would love to have the answers."

Hugh Hefner has money. He has a steady parade of beautiful, naked women. He does not just have power, he has an empire. He does not just have a legacy, he has influenced the course of entire generations.

And still . . . that pesky question of "Just who is Jesus, anyway?" remains.

"Who do you say I am?" is what Jesus asked. The answer to that question is still as crucial today as it ever has been. And, apparently, not even living the American Male Dream diminishes the burning need to answer it.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Yearning for life

As yet another Lenten season comes to a close, I find my mind is far too distracted. Despite knowing their magnificently huge importance, I feel unprepared for the three days that lie ahead.

And yet I know that tonight Christ will help me to focus my attention where it belongs: on His Body. For tonight He speaks to me once again from the Upper Room, saying, "This is my body . . . this is my blood . . . given and shed for you." Tonight He humbly prepares to serve me as only He can. And yet not just me, but "we"; Tonight He unites all believers around His body and blood, and Him we have unity. Unity in sin that confesses our own frailties and faults, yes. But also unity in forgiveness and redemption from the hand of Jesus Christ Himself. I will proclaim His death with my fellow believers, and I will be neither greater nor lesser than any of them, instead I will be their servant, and they mine. Because our attention will be on Christ's Body, and not on ourselves.

Tomorrow He will, once again, draw my attention to Himself. And as I stand in the shadow of His cross, I will be reminded of the awful reality that my sins caused the death of my faithful friend Jesus Christ. And yet He will remind me that this is the way it had to be, that He had to go to this extreme so that there would be no doubt as to His love for me. And I will not like that truth . . . but I will rejoice in it nevertheless, because my focus will be on Him and not on myself.

And then Sunday . . . glorious, glorious Sunday! He will again draw my attention to that wondrous and utterly inexplicable event: His resurrection! I will stand in wonder, dumbfounded not only that such a thing could actually happen, but also that through it I am given the same gift: the gift of a fresh, new eternal life with Jesus Christ. An eternal life where my focus will no longer be on my own self, my own needs, my own wants . . . a life that, in thankfulness and praise, is entirely focused upon Christ.