I am Judas.
I’m the guy who sits and waits for the rooster to stop crowing, knowing all the while what it might mean.
I don’t think there is a day that goes by where I don’t betray or disappoint in some way.
It’s kind of like the story of the frog and the scorpion…the one where the scorpion asks the frog for a ride across the river.
The frog says, “OH NO…you’ll sting me if I let you ride on my back..” to which the scorpion responds, “Nahhhhh….if I sting you, we’ll both die. Take it easy, I won’t do it. I promise.”
On the way over the river, the frog feels a sting in his back, then a burning sensation.
As they both start to go down to their deaths, the frog asks the scorpion, “What?!! Why?!!! You knew we’d both die! Why’d you do it? YOU PROMISED!!!”
The scorpion responds, “Dude…I can’t help it…IT’S MY NATURE.”
It’s just my nature to be like that,too, I suppose.
Now, knowing that I’m loved…and that I’m forgiven…takes the sting out of understanding who I am.
I can know my shortcomings…but not be destroyed by the knowing.
I am guilty…it’s my nature, after all…but I’m not broken.
That’s a good thing to understand that.
As I get older, I think that I understand it better…and more completely.
I am flawed…deeply…but I am loved and forgiven.
That’s a potent combination. The flawed part is a given…it’s pretty well ingrained. I can’t do much about it no matter how many self-help books I read.
I’m not going to get over being flawed.
The “loved and forgiven” part of the equation covers a lot of ground, though.
I can focus on different and better things than my own shortcomings knowing that truth.
When I say that I betray, I don’t really think that I lie to the Wal-Mart checkout lady or run around and change prices in the thrift store. I don’t cheat in big ways. I don’t lie. I don’t lie a lot….much.
I try to be good.
I betray myself, most of the time. I waste my minutes. I don’t rise to every challenge.
I am flawed…I’ve covered that part already.
Get off my back….I’m flawed, OK?
There’s some folks called penitentes who practice self-flagellation to show devotion to Christ.
They whip themselves…and I’ve heard that some of them actually have themselves nailed to crosses as a tribute to their love for the Lord.
I don’t think you could whip yourself enough to draw closer like that.
That’s worse than the “self-improvement movement”. You can’t get “there” under your own power…no matter how torn up your back is or what nail holes you have in your hands.
Maybe it’s kind of like almost sacrificing Isaac…a test to show devotion.
I just don’t know if God asks these guys to bring out the whips and go at it.
There’s lots of other ways we can rip ourselves to shreds.
So I guess that I’m Judas…I’m Jacob…I’m a liar and the rooster is just waking up, crowing to beat the band. I betray everyday. I sting a lot of frogs.
That doesn’t mean I’m such a bad guy, though.
“I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.” Stuart Smalley