I was feeling pretty best at the moment, I freely confess, so despite suspecting that this particular e-mail might not be from one of my old high school classmates but rather from some soulless spamming sleazebag, I defied logic, threw caution to the wind and opened the e-mail to read the following:
Your life is crap.
No links to online mortgage brokers, no recommendation of various low-cost Viagra substitutes, no Russian women looking for love, no promise of a bazillion pounds sterling if I do some foreign luminary a solid. Simply that brief, cutting message: Your life is crap.
OMG! LOL! It's been a long, long time since I've shared a spam of the day here at Loud Time, but that has to be my favorite spam ever. I'm reminded of a story I read once (I don't remember where; feel free to let us all know) of an emperor parading through the city on the way to his coronation. While crowds of his subjects shout loving, effusive praises as he passes by, he's accompanied by a jester, seated over his shoulder, whispering steadily in his ear, "Remember you are nothing."
Next week I'll be addressing a graduating class of high schoolers in Alexandria, Indiana, and I have two goals for the evening. I want to commend them on what is in fact a commendable moment: their completion of high school and their transition into adulthood. But part of me wants to play that jester because I think the jester has an important, even prophetic message: even on the day when we are most confident that we are all that, we are only us. Our best move is to find a quiet place and pray to God the words of Psalm 40 from the Message:
I'm nothing and have nothing:
make something of me.
You can do it; you've got what it takes--
but God, don't put it off.