Being an aspiring immortal is a full time job! It is to become a master athlete, a top soldier, a nurse, a parent and a best friend; probably a lot of other things too numerous to mention here.
Highwaymen watch us cynically for moments of frustration, elated when they think they are catching us being hypocrites. They assume that to be an aspiring immortal is to be consistently placid and sweet, like a popsicle but not so cold. “And I thought you were a Christian!”is a phrase that sends chills down my spine.
Has anyone read the Bible lately? God the Father and His Only Begotten Son got angry however, a problem with emulating God’s anger is that it is hard to know when the moment is just right. I am sure that a study of every single passage when God, the Father, or Christ Jesus were angry, to understand exactly why, would be a worthwhile endeavor for an aspiring immortal who likes being angry or who has a genetic tendency to fight. But since Jesus’ commands us to be mild and kind then it’s probably better for us to take a pass on emulating God in anger …whenever possible.
I remember during some pretty hot moments of my life, begging God to remove the anger. He asked me if I really wanted it removed because most people don’t. When I assured Him that I did, poof it was gone! I could barely remember why I had been angry. That was a miracle!
This takes me back to the uncanny relationship between disciple and discipline. Maybe the discipline of a good disciple is needed to flip the mild switch when the anger one is closer. In Greek the word for disciple is mathitis which is not a mathematician but a student. Probably math was what Greeks wanted most to learn because of its power. Being a student of Christ, takes study. We need to learn what it is, why, and how to be Christ-like.
Disciples get tutored. Last night I woke up at two am to go to the bathroom and couldn’t fall back to sleep. By 3:30 I gave up and turned on the light to read my Bible. When I opened right to the page where Jesus was describing what it takes to be his disciple, I thought how patient He had been watching me toss and turn before I finally gave up and came over to read what He wanted to remind me. Jesus said in Luke 14:26 that unless anyone comes to Him and does not hate his parents, children, and siblings he cannot be His disciple! Then He added that if we aren’t willing to suffer, we can’t be His disciples either.
The willingness to abandon the sweet joys of family bliss when they take us away from Christ’s hairline narrow path is the cost, the forehead-mark of a disciple. This is an all volunteer army. No one should join unless (s)he is willing to die in battle. Being an aspiring immortal is not always happy-happy, nice-nice, cozy, warm and fuzzy. God gets jealous. He demands total commitment, no two-timers, no fence walkers, no pleasure-addicts. He can be angry; you shouldn’t be. Count the cost. Are you still in?