A lady on Twitter happened to mention a Christian celebrity, one who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, and dismissed him as, “a little toot in the wind.” It cracked me up and gave me a chuckle, but I was also struck by the wisdom hidden there.
First off, I’m going to suggest that perceiving ourselves as, “a little toot in the wind” is Biblical. From dust we came and to dust we shall return. We are but a flicker on a candle flame. All is vanity. Rather then nihilism or despair, I tend to take great comfort in that truth. 99% of the things that trouble us, that cause stress, that we care so deeply about, won’t even matter a few years from now. Five years down the road, we probably won’t even remember what upset us in the first place.
And those who torment us, our enemies or our nemesis, those who we have made so much bigger than they are, like the shadow of a spider on the wall, will also fade into the dustbin of history. Or perhaps someone shall simply turn on the lights and poof the shadow away, revealing nothing but a tiny spider.
I am fascinated by our perceptions, by the stories we write in our own heads, by the power and authority we invest in the tales we tell ourselves. For example said nameless Christian thought leader above, is most likely totally unrecognizable to 99.9% of the population. I wouldn’t recognize him on the street, he has little or no impact on my life, and if I wasn’t free to bask in hours of research and reading, I wouldn’t even recognize his name.
Why than does anybody care what his opinions are? Like, why do people hand their own authority away like that? Or more importantly, why do we turn to “teachers” for answers in the first place, rather than going right to Jesus?
Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with having once said, “nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Whether it originated with her or not is unimportant, the idea contained within is sound. It is also a terrible quote in the sense that it calls us to accountability, to personal responsibility. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we sure as heck can control how we respond to it all.
If we have handed all our personal authority over to, “a little toot in the wind,” we should laugh at the silliness of that idea, brush ourselves off, and simply return to the One we have a direct wi/fi signal too, a 24 hour hotline.
The Bible says in Matthew, “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.”
I return to this theme so often because it often seems as if we of the churchian world have been swimming in the stream for so long we no longer even realize the water is wet. The problem is not what somebody’s opinion is or all the false teachers allegedly circling around us, the problem is that we continuously try to surrender our own authority to just about Anybody But Jesus, and then get hurt, angry, resentful, fearful when they fail us.
One cannot fear false teachers unless one is idolizing the role of “teacher” in the first place. One cannot be left lamenting, “they won’t share the stage,” unless one is first convinced there is a stage one can take possession of. Far too much of the churchian world is ruled by hierarchies, by church as corporation, and we than hand all our own authority away, obsessed about roles and lines of authority and who has influence.
Over and over again I come back to this theme of idols, the idols we create in our own minds, in our own perceptions. What are idols for? They serve to divert our worship, to take our eyes off of the One who never fails us.