What are the things that anyone one of us turn to, when weak? Are we a bit partial to a bit of chocolate, or some extra crisps? Are we viewing our next bottle of red as a challenge to be done in one evening? I must confess that for me, the escape comes in the shape of television.
From when I was young, television and films were a way of zoning out and forgetting. More recently I have become a fan of The Good Wife; a top-class American series that totally blew me away. The production values and script are stunning.
But what has grabbed my attention recently came courtesy of my sister. She said to me; have you ever seen Suits? My response was that I had not. One raspberry topped ice cream pot later and I was hooked. What was it about the characters that made me switch on?
The lead man, played by Gabriel Macht is a top-flight lawyer who is not afraid of saying what he thinks. He knows he is good and he is not afraid of selling his quality to his clients and to his colleagues. He is also very handsome!
The thing that struck me most about his character is that he never doubted himself. His character is flawed and we see bits of it come through. But as always; he goes back to a basic truth; that he is good and right and that he will win, in the end. I promise that I will mention Jesus in a minute!
Why the preamble?
For me; when I am away from Christ or when I am not in his presence often I feel myself slip. It is subtle at first. I might be challenged in my thought life or I may not say quite the right thing. But it can go as far as me thinking that I am not worthy, acceptable or okay.
What strikes me is that in these times, and in these moments when perhaps I need Jesus most keenly to take me by the shirt tails and pull me back out I am caught up a creek without a paddle. And I stay there! And I focus on Harvey Spectre's bottom rather than Jesus. I make this funny but serious in order to make a point. What crutch do you have? Who or what is your Harvey?
The thing that I want to say next is:
The reason why I say "and yet" is because it is perfectly possible that you can find inspiration and hope in things outside your Bible, your church and your quiet times. People who have not found Jesus are asking the same questions we are and, whilst their answers come from a different place they can also provide inspiring and revealing food for thought. I have found people who are not Christian have counselled me in ways that I have found surprising.
God has been speaking through them, even though they do not know Jesus. When you consider that people as a whole are going to go through roughly the same sets of experiences it would seem to make sense to get multiple views on a subject, including those that are counter to your own.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors makes a pointed effort to have people in his inner advisory circle WHO DISAGREE WITH HIM so that the ideas that fly are better. Do not get me wrong – there are times when you seek counsel of those you trust and who come at life with the same heart as you do.
But as it is possible to find helpful and wholesome words outside The Word, it seems that it is also possible to find inspiring figures as well as Jesus, who can, in the right moment cause you to change.
And Yet... again
Let's be clear, no one can replace Jesus. Bottom aside the character of Harvey Specter or any other character, fantasy prince or crutch we use to get through challenging times will ever replace Jesus.
He is the reason for every season; whether you are in Autumn, Winter or Spring-time I hope that you can learn, like I am trying to learn, to grow up and prise your fingers away from your defaults and your coping-mechanisms and instead cling with your life and fingernails onto something that is real and tangible, and hope-filled like the God we all try in our own way to get to know.
God is not waiting with a bat to hit us for our insolence, or make fun of us. He is not cross with us for neglecting him. He is just pleased and happy to see us. And might I say to finish, if you are in a rut with Jesus, WORK AT IT!
Relationships take work and God is no exception. If we do not feel close to Jesus – I am 99.99999999% certain that we are the one that has moved. We can have success in your life, breakthrough in our habits and freedom and peace, but it does not happen overnight. It takes work.
Let's use what is around us to navigate life but don't kid your-self. A few inspirational quotes from a hardback book will help in the short-term but not satisfy deep. Let's work at going deeper and more into Jesus. This is the way I will choose.
Rosie Robinson resides in Manchester where, in between feeding herself coffee and bagels she works for an international financial services organisation. She attends a lively church called Audacious, enjoys reading, running and watching films and slowly discovering life with Jesus.
Rosie Robinson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rosie-robinson.html