Man, this seat of scoffers is comfy, too, the way it cradles my hind end. Like it was built just for me. I had it custom fitted here on top of this high horse. Which is awesome. I love getting up on this baby, and then we stand up here… on top of this pedestal. Good times. So glad I hardly ever sin anymore. That makes it way easier to judge all of you without feeling guilty. This works out great, too, because from up on this here high horse, on top of the pedestal I’ve erected, my very vantage point makes it impossible to even see you people without looking down on you. So that’s working out sweet.
* insert prolonged barfing here *
To my non-Christian friends, can I just say that if I’m ever up on my high horse, hair blowing in the breeze (like Fabio), pecs bulging and loose fitted oxford unbuttoned to mid-sterum (like Fabio), you have permission to hit me in the face with a goose (like Fabio). This is all going to tie together into one glorious metaphorical union in a few paragraphs. I promise.
I’m not afraid of heights, per se. It’s more like a fear of falling from high places. And honestly, it’s really more about the landing than the falling, to be specific. But even with my weebers about falling from high places, I DO enjoy the occasional adrenaline rush of a good rollercoaster. Oh man. The higher, the faster, the gut-wrenching-er the better, baby. There’s nothing like the crushing g-force shift of being perched on top of the world, taking a leisurly perusal of the neighboring states, and then hurling over the drop at 90 mph into the abyss. Adrenaline junkies, can I get an AMEN?!
And as much as I love a great rollercoaster ride, it is possible that I love the ironic happenings of March 27, 1999, even more. There sat Fabio. Front row. Hands alternately behind the safety bar, waving to fans, and flipping that cascading golden mane. In all of his pectoral glory. It’s the inaugural run of the new “Apollo’s Chariot” roller coaster in Busch Gardens Williamsburg. During the first drop over the 210 foot descent, Fabio Lanzoni killed a goose. With his face.
I’ll never forget hearing the news later that night. Picture me eating pizza with friends… “So. Did you hear Fabio killed a goose with his face on a rollercoaster today?” Now picture me with Diet Dr. Pepper shooting out of my nose. That’s pretty much how it went down.
Might be my favorite news item of the 90’s. I mean, it probably would have killed a regular guy – probably would have taken my head clean off. Thank goodness that goose connected with the regal countenace of the iron-necked wonder.
But all of this reminiscing has a point, after all. And I mean to say this for both my non-believing friends who are sick of feeling the judgment of the church folks you rub shoulders with, and for my fellow Christians who have gotten comfy up here, looking down on the little people from our lofty vantage point…
The truth is… WE ARE JUST LIKE YOU. I’m not talking to sinners and non-sinners, here. I’m talking to sinners… and other sinners. We’re all just sinners. NO ONE is entitled to a comfy ride on the their high horse. NO ONE has earned the right to look down on the regular people… we’re all regular people.
Psalm 32 (written by David, one of my heroes) starts like this…
“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
Thank goodness he didn’t start with, “Blessed is the one who has never sinned before,” or, “blessed is the one who will never sin again.” I’d be OFF that list. And so would you. In fact, Jesus is the only man who would make the cut. But it doesn’t say that.
Martin Luther writes about this Psalm and notes that even the saints are sinners. They can’t become holy, forgiven, and reconnected with God without acknowledging that fact before the Lord. Apart from our best efforts (which can’t get us anywhere with God), Jesus alone covers our sin. Luther writes…
“In short, our righteousness is called (in plain language) the forgiveness of our sins… All the saints are sinners and remain sinners. But they are holy because God in His grace neither sees nor counts these sins, but forgets, forgives, and covers them. There is thus no distinction between the saints and the non-saints.”
Did you catch that last little bit? NO DISTINCTION. We’re all sinners. We’re all regular people.
“They are sinners alike and all sin daily, only that the sins of the holy are covered not counted; and the sins of the unholy are counted not covered… both of them are truly wounded, truly sinners…”
So, um, I’m gonna just get out of this comfy seat up here, and climb down off this here high horse and, um, take the zip line down from this here pedestal. Because the only difference between me and my non-believing friends is JESUS. Still sinning. Don’t want to. But when it comes to my relationship with God, and he look at me, JESUS has covered my sins, and the Father doesn’t see them at all.
To my unbelieving friends… please give me a smack if I ever come across as if I’m on some higher plane than you. I’m not. You and I BOTH need Jesus. And this isn’t to say that sin doesn’t matter. Quite the opposite. But we can’t fix it. Only Jesus can cover, remove, clean up, and remake us. From this eye-ball-to-eyeball vantage point, I’m asking you to talk to me about why Jesus matters. But it’s not because I’m any better than you, or that my sins are any less significant than yours. I’m just forgiven.
And to my fellow Christians… If you survey your surroundings and realize you’ve been looking down on all the little people below you, surveying your surroundings from the top of the coaster… the High Horse Express… it’s time to come on down. And if you’ve gotten a little bit too cozy in that custum made seat of scoffers, God has a way of humbling the proud. I’ve seen the forecast. It’s going to be thick with geese all week.
“Lord, please hit some Christians in the face with a goose like you did to Fabio. Amen.” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.