#winning

Remember when Charlie Sheen went nuts? Surely you remember the interviews. Tiger’s blood. Winning. I have this theory that Charlie Sheen still believes that he’s filming ‘Major League 2’. When the director yelled ‘that’s a wrap’ back in 1985, Charlie didn’t hear it. In his mind, he’s still wild thing and all the cameras around him are still ‘Major League 2’ cameras from the 80’s. It’s funny reading the reactions to this story and seeing how fascinated we are with people who are in the process of going crazy. But all this coverage of Charlie’s wild lifestyle got me thinking about something. What if he really is winning?

It makes sense really, him telling us that he’s winning. Just take a look at the guy. He’s famous. He’s incredibly rich. He probably has nice cars, which I can only assume he calls “whips”. I’m sure he lives in a mansion with basketball courts and movie theaters, and has people who dust for him and serve him food. I bet he even has a pool, probably one with a waterfall, or a fountain at least. And there are no rules he’s forced to follow either. He can have as much alcohol and drugs as he wants, and no one will say anything about it. He can have any woman that he wants too, fulfill any fantasy he’s ever had. So you tell me, how is this guy not winning? He has everything this world has to offer at his fingertips. He can do anything he wants, anytime he wants to. Man, that’s life, right? I mean, that’s what we’re all searching for, right? To get to a place where all of the things we’ve dreamed about are available, right at our fingertips.

There was a time in my life where I would have probably agreed with this idea of Charlie Sheen winning, secretly of course. See, for a long time I viewed Christianity as just a set of rules. God seemed like a restrictive force, somebody who got mad too easily when we stepped over the line. It seemed like I was missing out on all the fun, because I had to follow all of these rules. And if I didn’t follow the rules, then it would probably be tough for me to get into heaven. After all, everyone knows God hates a sinner.

The problem with this view of God is it’s not the truth. The real truth about God sets us free. But when we see God as an angry dictator who is counting every mis-step, sin feels a little bit more like freedom. We start to think that maybe guys like Charlie Sheen really are winning, and we’re the ones missing out. We begin to see God as a chaperone at a dance, with corduroy pants and a vest with buttons. A God who says that the music is too loud and we need to make more room for the “Holy Spirit” during ‘Tiny Dancer’. And if we don’t comply, then we’ll have to go sit in the corner with all the other kids who didn’t make room for the ‘Holy Spirit’, and that one kid who’s really good at math.

The truth is, Christianity and following God isn’t about keeping a set of rules. It’s not about living a life trying desperately to stay on God’s good side. He’s not upset when we slip up, He’s just sad. He’s sad that we have to experience some of the consequences of our choices. Things like failed marriages, custody battles, panic, heartache, emptiness. I wonder if deep down, Charlie Sheen really believes that he’s winning. Now, I’m not here to judge him in any way, it’s just that I have trouble believing him when he says it. I think through all the fame and fortune there’s still an emptiness. An indescribable emptiness, one that I’ve felt before. It’s a deep longing for connection, for acceptance, for a love that we were created for. It’s a love that’s big enough to change us, solid enough to fill the emptiness. I think that’s a good prayer to pray, for everybody really. That we wouldn’t see God as a chaperone at a school dance, but that we’d come to know Him as a father who wants the best for us. A father who longs to set us free from all of our searching, to give us all the stuff we’ve been missing out on for so long.

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Categories: I Digress

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