We went to Drumheller last week to see the passion play about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It was a beautiful summer evening, and the outdoor theatre in the middle of the badlands was a stunning setting for a play. I've seen approximately a million passion plays in my thirty-eight years of life (plus or minus a few) and was surprised to find myself carried along so effortlessly in the story and enjoying the performance more than any other I've ever seen.
The outdoor ambiance was a factor, but I think it was really my altered spiritual views which improved my viewing experience. With a new perspective comes a changed framework so the information processes differently, and I enjoyed dissecting this experience even as it was happening.
I watched the religious leaders of Jesus's time be utterly baffled by his ideas and practices. They had their rules, and their carefully defined specifications, and they held so tightly to their laws and power that there was no room for any creative thought which might challenge them. Jesus came along and socialized with the poor and the marginalized and the broken. He healed, and loved, and forgave, and included the disenfranchised with what he was doing.
It occurred to me while watching this play that all of life mirrors this principle. The old is threatened by the new, as the established fights to hold on by wielding the power that has been built and held, and fresh ideas stubbornly push their way through, in spite of the force which tends to come against them. Previous to this, I had often been on the side of the old, the tested and true, and tended to shake my metaphorical stick at the crazy "outside-of-the-box" newcomers.
It's all different now that I'm in the fresh ideas camp. I've worked through many of my fears about leaving rules and regulations in my dust and moving to embrace the fact that I cannot control what happens in the world, and I no longer desire to. Other people must make their own choices, and live with their consequences, and the success or the fall-out does not have to change my course of action. It is not my job to convert anyone to my line of thinking, for my thoughts and ideas are now fluid and have the right to change.
I watched Jesus incite the religious leaders into a fury, calling violently for his death because they were so deadly opposed to the change he was proposing, and I recognized how I used to be and how I am now. There is no going back for me. My love for God has grown, and my distaste for the kind of religion I used to embrace has also grown.
I want to simplify it all down to these four words: Love God. Love Others. The rest has faded mercifully into the background, and I love the person that I have become as a result of these fresh and new ideas.