It was like that nightmare where you are strolling through a shopping mall, window shopping for living room furniture, sipping an Orange Julius and suddenly look down and realize that you are naked as the day you were born. All the dream people are looking at you with wide eyes and slack jaws and you have to decide if you are going to run out of the mall with all of your hidden glories jiggling around or stroll on through the Food Court speaking with a fake French accent and acting as if they’re all just a bunch of backwards Americans who wouldn’t know a minimalist fashion statement from a hole in the ground.
Many years ago during a holiday in Switzerland I met a stranger. I sat at the Lake Geneva, looked out at the great fountain and enjoyed the sun. It wasn’t the best day. I wasn’t sure what to do with my life. Back then I was only 20 years old and all I knew was that I felt a calling but until then I had no idea what it was. Suddenly a young man sat down next to me. He looked middle eastern and English was certainly not his first language. He introduced himself as Yusuf and began to talk.
Being human is not easy. On the contrary. It’s extremely hard. It is a constant running from one appointment to the next, one big life event to the next. We have to make money so we can feed our family, help our children to become responsible adults so that they can make money and support their families. Being human is about constantly falling and constantly trying to get up again. And sometimes we fail. Sometimes we stay there on the ground, without hope, without faith. When we fail we constantly disappoint God.
Sometimes it seems that being human is nothing but a struggle, that life is nothing but a purgatory we have to go through and overcome as good and as obedient to God as possible so that God gives us our eternal reward: A place, or a state of being where all pain is forgotten and all loss amended.
Isn’t there even a story in the bible that speaks of Jesus’ own disappointment in human failure?