Act Like You’ve Been Someplace Before
May 13, 2016
by Rachel Jones
Jamie Foxx’s 2005 Oscar Acceptance Speech (his speech begins about one minute into the video)
Jamie speaks in his speech about those who have influenced him, who have taught him, and the legacy they opened for him as a person and as an actor.
We are a few days past the Ascension, but not yet at Pentecost. The followers of Jesus are gathered, I can imagine, speaking to each other about how he influenced them, what they have taught him, and the legacy he left them…and us.
I imagine that if the angels present at the Ascension of Jesus had been from Texas, they might have looked at the disciples and spoken thusly to the gathered and gawking Apostles: “Stop standing there like a herd of calves at a new gate! Get to work–and act like you’ve been someplace before.”
I can’t imagine what Jesus’ friends must have been thinking. They’ve been through a lot these last few days, learning what it means to be an Easter people–the very first Easter people. Jesus pops in and out of their lives, sometimes he eats with them, sometimes he gives them instructions or explains things, and then, all of a sudden, he’s just gone.
This was just the latest weird thing they had to figure out how to deal with, how to process, how to put into practice. So of course they stared up at the sky like a flock of wild turkeys drowning in a rain storm. I’m surprised there’s not some artistic standard required in all renderings of the Ascension that involves a tiny little bit of blood leaking out of at least one Apostle’s ear. And on the other hand, after all this time with Jesus, was it really so surprising that things wrapped up with him this way?
As I’ve wrestled with trying to put myself in the unique position of the Apostles, I know I can’t come close to the skin and bones reality of Easter the way they did. But I do know what it feels like to understand what I’m supposed to do without having any real certain knowledge of how to do the thing. I felt like that when I went to college. I felt like that when I started my first real-live grown-up adult human job. I felt like that when I fell in love and got married.
There are days when I still feel that way–when I’m trying to figure out how to turn a phrase, or put some sparkle on a manuscript, or write an Easter blog. While I’ve never yet been left standing for long, wondering what in the wide world I’m doing, I completely sympathize with the feeling of “Oh, my God. How do I do this? “
There’s never been a single time I’ve asked that question of “how” that I haven’t had an answer, haven’t had an advocate come to my aid, haven’t been comforted with an answer. The timing of those answers has been occasionally maddening and sometimes a little spooky, but always miraculous and on time. And while I will likely never know the divine heat of tongues of fire, I do know that spreading the Good News of Easter is never as difficult as we might imagine, even when it might cost us our lives…after all, while we don’t know all the twists and turns, we do have a sure and certain hope that this story turns out very right–very good, in the end.
How do you ask and answer questions about what you’re supposed to be doing with how you’re doing something–your job, your relationships, your hobbies, preaching the Gospel, etc.? Tweet about it with #50daysEaster , #whattheEaster , #howtheEaster