If you want to laugh, and I mean laugh out loud in the face of a bitter Winter wind. If you want heads to turn at at the sound of your guffawing and people to think you’re the cheeriest, chuckling, ear-bud wearing runner (or walker) on the trail…
Then you’ve got to meet Brant & Sherri. A self proclaimed toast eater, occasional cape wearer, accordion player, and daily loser of wallet, and his producer:
Yup. That’s the two of them. Stick figure podcast caricatures with theology as straight as their 1/4″ legs. They used to host Club Awesome every Friday eve on Air 1. Don’t know about that either? Ahhhh…just.click.here:
But I digress. Brant and Sherri regularly hosted the Beers Family Friday night Festivities – a pizza preppin’, Coke made with real sugar chuggin’, 5 different nacho heatin’ kinda party. While my husband, Jeff, had us drooling over the coming attractions, Brant and Sherri would toss in a few illusory lethal aliens, emergency on-air rescues, and poignant theology (equally out of nowhere). Like this little bit entitled,
“Bucket List” of Things to Do Before Going to Hell
If you’re looking for some religious stuff to do, while still being totally lost, here’s a little starter list with some neat ideas.
And yes, don’t worry: If you’re determined to avoid God, and don’t want to give Him what He’s after, you can still do all this stuff. In fact, doing this stuff has been known to HELP some to avoid the dread and risk and messiness of really knowing God. You can do it all without giving Him your heart.
None of these things will save you. Plus, they’ll keep you busy!
Gotcha hooked, don’t I? (You can read the whole bit [HERE])
The whole point of this diatribe on Brant, my favorite Aspergers Syndrome patient, and his trusty sidekick Sherri? Just this – He knocked me out cold the other day, despite the bitter winter wind in my face. He said (paraphrased):
Jesus wants my gift of grief.
A listener wrote in with a complaint about her father’s lack of affection and asked for advice on how to handle her inevitable disappointment this Christmas. Brant’s advice?
1. Stop being disappointed.
In fact, instead of churning up those unmet expectations, why don’t you try to abandon expectation in the first place? Expectations are merely uncooperative burdens born of selfish desires – however wholesome, heart-warming, or gratifying those desires may be.
Break down. Weep. Pour out your heart if need be. But lay down those insecurities that lead to irritation, that lead to resentment, that lead to regret, that lead to further grief. Die to selfish ambition and bury the death of those expectations at the base of the cross.
‘Cause it’s not enough, it’s not enough, just to say that we’re okay
I, (Jesus), need your hurt, I need your pain, it’s not love any other way…
You needed my hurt, you needed my pain
It’s not love any other way. -Tenth Ave. North, Any Other Way
Let your grief burrow into the depths of the cross, and then you can expect. Expect to find new life. For like a seed planted in the pits of the earth, expectations must first die before generating new growth. But the shoot emerges more lovely, more striking, more fulfilling than any wreath of expectation set atop another’s head. Any fence of expectation staked around another’s life.
3. Laugh in the face of reality!
Learn to fully live and fully laugh. God knew who your father would turn out to be. He also knew the grave expectations you would set on him. So can you try to merely expect the expected? He is who he is. Your expectations won’t change his already predictable behavior.
Instead, live free! Fully live by loving him without expecting anything in return. Live as Christ – live as life and light and love to his dying world. Live as though you’re being given over to death, even death at the foot of the cross, so that Christ may be revealed through your free living, your unrestricted loving, and your joyous laughing. Rejoice right in the face of the expected:
Ha! The wind’s messing with my hair again. That dry air still chaps my lips! What else have you got?!
So in this New Year, in this season to celebrate new resolutions, renewed hope, and a new life – won’t you join me in giving Jesus a new kind of gift?
The unexpected gift of grief.
Whatever your grief this time of year, may you find your Savior at the foot of the cross, already entombing the pain of unmet expectations, and patiently anticipating your new life, your new love, your renewed joy. It’s time to laugh out loud, with new friends and old alike, especially in the face of a bitter Winter wind.
God bless you. And Happy New Year!