Three-year-olds are the undisputed world champions of stubborn resistance.
Years ago on an early spring evening, our daughter Clary was playing in her room when I interrupted to say it was time to get ready for bed. She looked out her window and saw that it wasn’t yet dark outside.
Then she stared at me as if she thought I was on crack and said, “No, it’s not.”
I reminded her that lately, the sun had been shining a little longer every day; at this particular moment, it was finally stretching into bath time. But she was skeptical.
As she scooped up her Beanie Babies to put them away (mostly just to humor me), she looked out the window again and asked if I was really sure about the time. Then while I filled the tub, she stood staring out the bathroom window and asked if I was really, completely sure.
Like, pinky-swear sure.
Which is when I did the mature thing: “Honey, do you think I’m lying to you, or do you think I’m stupid?”
“Well,” she said, “kind of both.”
We’re not called to convince anyone.
The work of transformation belongs only to Christ.
We’re hardwired to act and believe based on what experience teaches us. That’s how we first learned that fire can be our friend or that a saber tooth tiger wouldn’t really make all that great of a pet. When our deeply-held beliefs are challenged, we don’t easily give in. It’s a matter of survival.
That’s awesome if we’re talking about physical preservation. But our very human nature craves certainty and control; we’re prone to base our spiritual convictions on what captivates our senses, what’s affirmed in the world around us.
And that will guard our spirits exactly zero percent of the time.
Easter reminds us that Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection destroyed conventional ideas about worth and redemption: He brought a brand-new reality when He paid our debt, wiped our slates clean and proved beyond all doubt that God is for us.
We find security in Him. We learn truth and become grounded in it only when we apprentice Him. When we abide with Him, He grows our Gospel imagination so we can see what life in the Kingdom is meant to be. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we’re energized to speak from our experience and spread that vision so others can see it, too. Those are the instructions He left with us just before He ascended to Heaven: to be His witnesses, to live what we know to be true.
We’re not called to convince anyone. The work of transformation belongs only to Christ.
Of that we can be really, completely and very thankfully sure.