“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
― Michelle Obama, Becoming
The evolution of our personhood is the inevitable reality of our natural human disposition. This mystical and magical calling peels back the layers of our emerging selves exposing us to a fresh version of our becoming. Sometimes I like the new revealing and at other times I am a little perplexed by it, especially when I have to face my discomfort with the effort required to process the change. While transformation is unavoidable we all grapple with our universal refusal to accept and comply with certain aspects of adjustment and adaptation. We are tortured wonders who are grappling with the complex nature of our mortality often aware of something really special - divine, hiding deep within that is trying to push its way to the surface of our lives.
Around this time of the year we find encouragement in the Easter story, this historical religious tradition that has had a profound impact on human consciousness and underlying agenda for human flourishing.
‘Jesus dying was archetypal metaphor for transformation’ - Marcus Borg
It is a reminder of how life and death are interconnected, constantly negotiating on our behalf as to the best way to advance our maturation. Every little death we experience makes room in our lives for the obligatory resurrection, the divine resuscitation that reminds us that immortality is not finished with us just yet. The kind of dying I am talking about is the surrender of my wilful temperament to the possibility of a ‘bigger’ me, a more extensive ‘becoming" of myself.
‘Becoming is my present me being introduced to the possibility of my future me’ - GB
The trajectory of the Jesus narrative inevitably leads us into the passion week. Passion for Jesus is not just an animated and heightened enthusiasm for God but a deeper surrender to follower-ship. That follower-ship is enriched as I lean into the storyline of Jesus’ companions who example a vast array of inter-relational responses and challenges around their commitment and love for the cause of Christ. That commitment or lack thereof helps to encourage and challenge my own allegiance issues.
One of my favourite characters in the Jesus plot is Judas, the proverbial bad-guy who everyone loves to hate, a larger than life reminder that we are all capable of taking matters into our own hands when things don’t go our preferred way, betraying the very things we love.When we can't see past our own bias we end up betraying the very thing we love the most. The etymology of the word betrayal, ‘hand over’ suggests that we can easily end up relinquishing the greater good for our own version of preferred outcome.
Judas has an idea about messiah-ship that was the antithesis of the Jesus way, a triumphalistic and dominionistic mindset that proposed the complete demise of the dominant empires rule and the repositioning of Gods remnant people as the superior overlords. Jesus was a new kind of messiah that came to deconstruct the old ideas of the so-called divine agenda, especially ones that put a certain group of people at the top of the food and favour chain. Judas was driven by his own nationalistic agenda, a reminder to us all that we must face our own partisanship or we will betray our own becoming.
Earlier in the gospel narrative Jesus reminds his disciples that when he comes into his kingdom they will all (including Judas…Matt 19:28) be seated on thrones with him, a reminder to us all that our betrayals are not the eternal death knell that we often considered them to be.
The challenging idea of Judas as compelling analogy for ‘becoming’ is a reminder that in order to evolve we need to let deconstruction do its work in us lest we deny all that we believe in on the way to an untimely death. Rather than betray our faith, it is probably better to betray (hand over) some of the old ways of understanding God in order to make way for a new emergence of theological thinking.
I wanna love you, But something’s pulling me away from you
Jesus is my virtue, Judas is the demon I cling to, I cling to.
I’m just a Holy Fool, oh baby he’s so cruel
But I’m still in love with Judas.. - Lady Gaga: ‘Judas’
Becoming demands that we face our demons in order to keep the work of constructive transformation going. Just like Judas we will all mess up, jump the gun and experience the depressing nature of regret that highjacks the life we all live. I am learning to manage my Judas self, those impatient and impulsive urges that try to take advantage of the immaturity that restrains and restricts my becoming. This love hate relationship is fickle and annoying but one that I must endure if I am going to enjoy the reward of any kind of personal accomplishment.
The 'future me’ has been secretly working in the shadows of plain sight giving me a glimmer of hope if I can be bothered to notice. If I open my eyes I will truely see who I am and who I am becoming.
“It's okay to Evolve and Change, and become more of who you really are. It's okay to Become More Yourself.”
― Jeanette Coron