Tuesday, October 28, 2014

You've Got God

I like You've Got Mail.Wait, did I say like? Let me correct myself.
I love You've Got Mail.
I've always loved that movie since the first time I laid eyes on the opening credits. You remember them, don't you? The computer mouse clicks into different boxes as the music strolls the viewer down a Manhattan street right up to the front door of Kathleen Kelly's brownstone apartment. The leaves, the sounds, the jazzy music, New York City - What is there not to love about You've Got Mail?
The answer: nothing. It is the perfect movie. (This is not up for debate).
And if you thought New York in the fall with Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks and a love story involving book stores wasn't good enough then you have forgotten about George, Kathleen Kelly's aloof employee at the Shop Around the Corner. His hair is long, his expression is one of a pathetic downtrodden bachelor whose only hope in life and love is meeting a poet loving, yogi at an interpretive reading while they both sip on their chai tea at the locally owned coffee shop. He is a bit depressing but completely endearing. I challenge a woman on earth to walk away from watching You've Got Mail saying anything other than, "Aw, poor George." We all love George. Do you want to know why? Because we all have a little George in us.
George symbolizes the rejected. He's the guy at prom standing against the wall, cute in a little boy kind of way but too dorky to get a date. George is the nice guy that we all fear might finish last. Most notably, George speaks to that part of each of us that is lonely and given up the search for real true romance and lasting love. Failure and repeated rejection has left us, the Georges of the world, exhausted from the let downs and dashed hopes.
I love George because I get George. In so many ways I am George. I've experienced rejection from all sides, all directions and all modes of communication. If you can name a way to get rejected then chances are I've experienced.
And George probably has, too.
I know I'm not alone in my plight. This problem is so prevalent that movies have whole characters devoted to voicing the pains of the rejected. Nora Ephron knew that movie goers would understand the loneliness of a romantically rejected children's book store worker, so she created George - a man whose primary role in a two hour film is to be a sad sack. And why he is a sad sack? Because he has been rejected. Over and over and over again. He doesn't even use the internet anymore because as he says it's, "just another way of being rejected by women." Poor George.

Sometimes I'm tempted to be a sad sack just like George because I'm alone and because I've experienced rejection from all angles and every avenue - including the internet. George was spot on when he deemed the World Wide Web as just another source of romantic rejection. When I relive my own rebuffs from the internet world, telephone world and face-to-face world I slowly slip into a depressive funk.
Rejection isn't fun. It isn't enjoyable. Rejection leaves the rejected wondering what in the world is wrong with them. I know because those very words have haunted my thought life on the heels of rejection.
If I replay those past experiences I get down. And I stay down.
Until I get back to the Bible. It is in the Bible that I find the truth about rejection. And what is the truth about rejection? Is a to be expected. Woah! Try telling George that.
John 15:18 says, "If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you."
Before you and I were, Jesus was. And when He walked this earth He was hated and rejected. As the Bible says, His own didn't even receive Him (John 1:11). Talk about rejection!
So it would follow that if you and I are in Christ we will not be received, either. We will actually be hated. Enter massive rejected. We will come to the people we think should be our own and they won't accept us into the fold. We will be outcasts. We will be rebuffed. We will be the lonesome soul standing against the wall at prom, so to speak.
And all of this is to be expected because Jesus endured it first. He went through this same rejection (and worse) and knows the feelings of loneliness we face as a result. The road of rejection that you, George and I walk is one that Jesus has already walked. He came and faced our rejection and, as the Bible teaches, overcame it.
In the end rejection couldn't keep Jesus in a grave and it couldn't separate Him from the love of God. Rejection wasn't fun for Him. Being nailed to a cross is anything but pleasant. But even that most torturous of rejection wasn't capable of separating Jesus from God. And that is what matters most: being one with God.

You may be feeling like George and I today, totally rejected and completely depressed. George and I understand your emotions and we sympathize. Most importantly, Jesus sympathizes, He relates and He understands. Bring to Him your hurt and your lonely burden and let Him fill you with His love. When you and I come before our God broken and rejected He is faithful to fill us with His compassion and companionship. He will accept us and love us just the way we are. The world is going to hate us, you can count on that but God loves us more than we will ever know and more than we can comprehend. So come to Him and let His free gift of acceptance lift you from the downtrodden state of a sad sack and into a state of overwhelming joy.

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