A couple of posts ago, I talk about some of the challenges I experienced during my years growing up: moving 10 times before college, being a “late bloomer,” being in a religious environment that put a premium on good performance as a measure of spirituality. All this made ripe the possibility of a performance-oriented view of life. I felt I needed to work hard, perform for others, and please significant people (parents, teachers, friends, even God). While that impulse taught me the value of hard work, it also created in me the belief that full or true life was to be found primarily in performing, achieving, and pleasing people.

Picking up from my last post, Jesus was going to Zacchaeus’ house. . . .

Have you ever heard the notion that after a certain age (maybe it’s getting later since 50 is the new 40!) people just don’t change. We get stuck in certain ruts, our reputations are set, and we just don’t change. Don’t tell that to Zacchaeus!

My early years created interesting motivations in my life journey. On one hand, I had a sense that I would never measure up. Life seemed stacked against me. We moved around a lot making it difficult for me to get traction socially or to be successful in my endeavors involving sports, education, or music. I was a late bloomer and being four foot eleven inches in early high school put me at a disadvantage. Even the religious culture in which I grew up taught me that a relationship with God was predicated on a level of morality and spirituality that I did not possess.

I was out for a run recently, listening to worship music on my iPod. I was talking to the Lord, asking why I was feeling distant from Him. I acknowledged that my times with Him had been rushed, and I had been feeling the distance that comes with lack of contact.

As I ran, it was as if He replied, “You feel distant from me because you have been relating to me in the third person.”