I’m sure it would have been cool to hang out with the Beatles. Or the Rolling Stones. Motley Crue. Willie. Mumford and Sons. You get the idea. How often I thought it would be fun to hang out with the rich and famous and live their lifestyle for awhile.
Maybe I’m on the verge of crazy but…
I wish I could hang out with Paul. Paul who was Saul. Paul who was jailed and beaten. Paul who had unusual strength. Paul who may have been more famous in his time than any of those listed above.
I’ve recently reconnected with a friend who encourages me in my blogging. When we used to see each other more, my life was very different. It looked good on the outside and I hid the blemishes well. (Blemishes is a pretty way of saying catastrophic failings.) Now, the “blemishes” are better known and have been exposed. I want to reconnect with him, share things I have learned and how it is shaping me and soak up what I can from what he has learned from his journey.
Yesterday, I was thinking about Paul and me. I can’t really fathom what Paul went through but when I read his writings, I feel connected and I think it is one piece of scripture that I read that gives me the feeling we are linked. Maybe I see myself worse than I am. Maybe I see myself just as I am. Whatever, if he asks where I see myself now, I would reference Paul’s first letter to Timothy, the first chapter and verses 12-17.
Paul says he is the worst of sinners. Maybe, but I sure think I can give him a run for his money. Sure, he may have stoned some people and had others put to death physically. I think I have done that to people emotionally, or God forbid, spiritually. I connect with Paul when he says he is the worst but that isn’t why I love this passage of his writing. It’s the rest of the story because it gives me great hope. So often I am mired in my past. Jesus is fixated on today…and what He is calling me to in the days to come. Paul knew that. I want to know it too. I want to live in it, revel in it, reap joy in abundance in the knowledge of God’s grace and mercy and love.
It’s a journey; a journey I hope to travel with my buddy Paul, walking in the footsteps of my Savior.
Grace and peace.
Here’s part of Paul’s letter from The Message (emphasis mine).
15-19 Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever.
Deep honor and bright glory
to the King of All Time—
One God, Immortal, Invisible,
ever and always. Oh, yes!