fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Jesus Christ Moves Like Mick Jagger

Jesus Christ Moves Like Mick Jagger by Julie McAllen

Recently I listened to an interview with Bob Deutsch, a cognitive neuroscientist and author of “The 5 Essentials: Using Your Inborn Resources to Create a Fulfilling Life.” These five inner resources are listed as: Curiosity, Openness, Sensuality, Paradox, and Self-Story.  “Be your best self” was the title given this interview aired on Wisconsin Public Radio with Joy Cardin. The introduction to that read:

Who do you admire most? Are they a high-achieving musician, business person, or even someone in your community? Joy Cardin talks to a guest who says that no matter how you define success, you can learn to live the life of those you most admire.

I admire raw, passionate people, especially those who rock generations and overturn the thinking of the masses.

Jagger paintI’m not alone in my admiration for such men as Martin Luther King jr., but I hadn’t considered my admiration for a certain rock star essential to my life story until I connected with the author’s comment about his own interest in Mick Jagger and how he commands the stage doing what he loves. What I love about Mick is his captivating presence of arrogance. He’s such a proud peacock on that stage and he looks so silly doing it. He dances like a chicken on acid. But is it the dance style I’m drawn to, or that cocky, self-assured attitude?

I’ve noticed throughout my life that I’m drawn to boldly assertive people. Flip Wilson’s character “Geraldine”, Ted Nugent’s flamboyant Wango Tango guitar licks, Bette Midler’s brassy imitation of Sophie Tucker, and Dabney Coleman’s egotistical character of Franklin Hart jr. in the movie “9 to 5” all commanded my attention. Even the man I married was described by his former high school classmates as having a big ego. It’s just easier to see the passion of opinionated people. I like that. I may not always agree with their opinions but I am drawn to them because brassy and rude people always let you know exactly what’s on their minds. Polite people who beat around the bush have always annoyed me because I have no idea who they are unless they find a way to express themselves.

I value the freedom of expression and yet I have an inborn need for order and decency. When I became a parent the two sets of values collided because like most mothers, I thought I should teach my children some manners. Mick Jagger took a back seat as I had a great need to bring order, morality and authority into my home. Freedom without structure causes problems, so I threw myself into a box of extreme conservatism taking the route of a very structured religion. No Mick Jagger for me! But in some ways it resembled his attitude if you can believe that. I admired the self-assuredness of such statements as “we have the truth!” The bold behavior of walking up to someone’s door to present it with confidence actually attracted me, but over time it separated me from my true self. The very thing I had always admired and sought—freedom of expression—was taken away and conformed into a religious label. And I saw around me, not those who were passionate for their beliefs, but dead captives robotically repeating someone else’s ideas. The collision of my values was complete and the balance was beginning to form.

I realize now what initially attracted me to Jesus Christ was his Mick Jagger-like quality of being proud of who he was on stage. Jesus expressed himself freely; undaunted by the authorities around him. He was opinionated and arrogant enough to say “I am the truth, the way and the life” (John 14:6). As a personality, he fits into a long line of my heroes and proud peacocks, yet, unlike all of them, he also possessed the holiness and structure of a moral code. Though Jesus is meek and mild, I am more attracted to his sense of justice and warrior attributes. He fearlessly entered a conservative environment to overturn the status quo. He’s got the moves like Mick Jagger.

The interview with Bob Deutsch had helped me see there’s a thread running through the extremes of my life. It’s the people I admire. The flamboyant freedom outside of religion and conservative conformity within religion are no longer separated details in my Self-Story, but the Paradox has been connected now in my attraction to both Jesus Christ and Mick Jagger.

Mick Jagger and his cocky demeanor stirred up a generation already eager to come against the establishment chanting “I can’t get no satisfaction.” What burdened me as I went through the necessary journey into religion was seeing the same thing; people oppressed by the establishment with no satisfaction. Where is our Jumpin’ Jack Flash? And my eyes fall upon Jesus the warrior storming into the temple and overturning the moneychangers tables, his devil-may-care attitude in talking to a woman—a Samaritan at that, and the bold assertion that God worked in the lives of people outside of the established religion of his day (Matthew 21:12-13; John 4:4-26; Luke 4:16-30). In fact, that last one is what intrigues me most.

When Jesus stood up to read the scroll of Isaiah addressing a common hope that all men throughout history have expressed—good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed—he was favorably received. His audience was eager to see this within their own religion and ready to embrace their rabbi. At that point, Jesus could’ve settled into religion and avoided his death. But Jesus took a bold risk. With his personal reputation and safety at stake, he went on to remind them that the God they called their own had done miracles outside of their religion and would continue to do so. In fact, throughout his ministry Jesus proclaimed the need for any structured religion’s end was near. Jesus was coming against the religious establishment. And ya gotta love that! This is the Jesus I love to see dancin’ on the stage throughout history. I see him, not as a religious leader but as the same God who made us all with a desire for freedom to become our authentic selves. Don’t tell me about your rituals and how God only blesses the ones within your fold. Don’t tell me how by joining your group or aligning myself with your theology I’ll be more enlightened or positioned to survive some impending doom — tell me how knowing him has set you free to become who you are. That’s the Jesus I know.

I may carry the label of “Christian” but I hate religion just as much as those who label themselves free thinkers because of the oppression they’ve witnessed in it.  The difference is, I don’t run away from religion because of its faults, I’m drawn into it with the same passion Jesus has: I want to set captives free. If you’re going to relegate Jesus to an icon for mundane and oppressive religions instead of realize his power to set captives free, I will dance like a chicken on acid all over that one. Like the One I admire most, I’ve got the moves like Mick Jagger.

Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie

And by the way, yes I know I may get emails reprimanding me for comparing Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to Mick Jagger, a stage strutting rock star. Sigh. Some people just can’t get no satisfaction. I won’t be shattered, because at least you know what I think. Some girls are like that. And I may disagree with your opinion, but as you may have gathered from the article, I’ll never be your beast of burden because I’d rather deal with another radical who can express themselves than a polite person who silently misunderstands the point of my article. Once you start me up I’ll never stop. Sha doo bee.

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September 11, 2013 Posted by | Expressions, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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