Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Expert

Do you ever just need to hear the words of someone who really knows what they are talking about? Like if you have a dinner to cook, look to Martha Stewart...I mean, sure, she's a criminal and has a reputation of being not the nicest person in the world, but she's the expert in home and garden, and people listen. In fact, they can't get enough! Or this guy I saw on Oprah a few days ago who read the entire encyclopedia, and seemingly retained it all. He knew everything about anything--it was crazy, and I just sat there, riveted by his knowledge. I mean, who knew that the average person loses 50,000 brain cells every day after the age of 25? We watch Sports Center because those guys know their stuff, and they are hysterical...we read magazines and books where the experts weigh in on workouts, diets, fashion, merchandise, music, movies, trends, stats, economics, politics, religion...etc, etc, etc. Just today I stood in line at Target and flipped through a magazine where the fashion people gave their opinion on celebrity style, and I totally took mental notes.

They're the experts, right? They talk and talk and spout off their opinions, for good or ill...and we listen. We soak it up. We wear the cool jeans and buy the right car and go to that movie because it got two thumbs up.

As much as I like hearing the experts (except Martha...I kind of think she's boring...), there are times when their advice seems so...lacking. Honestly, if someone can talk about the right jean for your body for over an hour, they really need to expand their spectrum of knowledge. And as much as I love Sports Center (really love it), on a worldwide scale, what these folks say really does not matter all that much. They aren't talking life and death, love and passion, kings and servants, wars and worship...and I find myself wishing someone would.

Why do I feel like that? Why isn't the expert advice enough? I think its because I'm not willing to die for a pair of jeans or a particular sports team, though sometimes I think some fans might (have you been to a State-Carolina game?). None of these things make me cry or make me stand in awe. They always fail me eventually--jeans wear out, teams lose, casseroles burn--things fall apart, no matter what the experts say.

And when I find myself wanting to shut the experts off because they start to seem petty or pointless or just too small for what I really am longing for...that's when I read the words of Jesus. Literally...I open the New Testament, find a gospel (there are a whopping 4 to choose from) and I read about Jesus and what He said.

The funny thing is that what He says and what He does--they seem big. They pertain to people's lives, to people's belief, to communities, to nations, to the world. From the children He embraced to the Rabbis He rebuked to the leaders He confronted, Jesus was one expert that did not lack. Things with Him didn't fall apart. Well, it might have seemed like it at one point, but that all came together in the end. His words and actions have worldwide consequences--its a story far bigger than me, my wardrobe, and my team.

Its a story that might just be worth buying in to, even dying for, because its full of those things that, I think, most people really long for--passion, love, intrigue, death, life, battle, worship, sacrifice, a King, His kingdom (it even has a white horse...), and His people. It transcends language and culture and time. It is far bigger than the weekend wrap-up or a fashion emergency.

So if you find yourself wondering why the experts suddenly seem so silly (who made these rules anyway?), maybe you could see what this other expert said. I promise, He doesn't talk about jeans or teams or cooking or celebrity fashion faux paus. His talk goes far deeper. If you want it, its there. If you aren't quite ready, that's ok. It'll be waiting...

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