I like movies. Especially movies of my youth. Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, and oh yeah, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I mean, who doesn’t love the cool Matthew Broderick character Ferris Bueller?
Ferris had it all-the wits, charm, looks, the girl..and an attitude that depicted confidence, love of life, and a general disregard of having to please or be accepted by anyone. For the most part, people loved him for it. They loved his freedom. His love of life and his lack of need to measure up to anything or anybody. Free.
So, that got me thinking about our spiritual life and how Ferris’ freedom was perhaps synonymous with our freedom in the gospel. Stay with me here, not literally..it’s a movie about a high school kid. But there are some similarities with Ferris and the attitude we should have as Christians and the Good News of the Gospel.
Unfortunately, although many Christians love Ferris, most of us identify with his sad-sack side kick-Cameron. You remember Cameron? The chronically depressed, scared, craving for acceptance, unsure, insecure friend in the Detroit Redwings Hockey jersey? (Which I always thought was a little weird, since the movie took place in Chicago).
Funny thing about Cameron. Although we shake our head at him, we all too much identify with him spiritually. We don’t feel like we measure up or are accepted by those we feel are more important than ourselves. I mean, we know and feel we aren’t as cool as the “shiny-happy people.” We are often scared of what people might think of us. Scared to the point that we make ourselves “sick” with worry and depressed over our lack of real or perceived acceptance. We are trapped in our own psychosis of insecurities-and it cripples us spiritually. It can prevent us from taking risks, having fun, and praising God. So..we wear our over-sized hockey jerseys and stay at home and hope people don’t see the real me and you. Which is? That I’m scared. Scared of you..of me..of what Ferris might think..of life. So..we never really live it.
And here’s the kicker..we are pissed at Ferris, because he’s NOT scared of me or you..of life. In fact, he devours it. In a way, we despise Ferris, because..he’s free..FREE! We secretly rail at Ferris because we don’t think he cares about “crossing all his T’s and dotting all his I’s”. Somebody with this much joy can’t be taking his responsibility seriously to” be all he can be”. Dancing? Singing?..In front of people??
Here’s the thing Christian..I’m tired. Tired of staying home and watching cable, instead of going to the Cubs game. It’s not that we weren’t invited. Ferris (Grace filled Christians), always invite, beg us to go to the game, and then the parade. But, we all too often stay home. Scared of what people might think of our performance. So, we stay at home with our nasal spray and worry, frown and hate ourselves for not getting better.
Christian..I’m done with being a Christian Cameron. We’ve been invited to a dance-by the King and He dares us to be like Ferris. “Ive come to set the captives free” Luke 4:18. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Math 11:28. Dance like King David did in 2Samuel 6, and watch Jesus laugh and clap His hands as we “shake it up baby”. Christian, you are free to be Ferris in this movie of life. Because the acceptance we, as Cameron, are so desperately seeking we already have in Christ, we can climb up on the float in the parade. Because we already have all the love Cameron wants so desperately from his earthly father, we already possess, with Abba Father because of what His Son has done for us-we can take the car,(so to speak), and not worry about the mileage.
I get it though. It’s not like we WANT to stay home. Many of us are “Cameron”, for a number of reasons, not the least being-life. We’ve got baggage-the way we were raised, lack of acceptance, trust issues, and never receiving the unconditional love we have always longed for and desired. The truly sad thing is another main reason many of us are “Cameron”is a place. That place being the Church. The very place all of us, “Camerons”, should be able to go to blossom into spiritual Ferris’ is the very place that emboldens our fears and insecurities. I’ve seen this damage up close and personal, and frankly, it makes me angry and breaks my heart. It seems whenever the gospel works in our hearts and we start feeling like the Christian Ferris, we are guilted and shamed into putting our hockey jerseys back on and to start snorting nasal spray again. It is either directly or indirectly implied that being a “Ferris” is reckless and not acceptable. So, we go back to being “Cameron”, miserable, depressed and longing for the total acceptance we will never find from a father who cannot love us based on our effort to follow the rules.
But I Have Good News! Camerons of the Christian world unite! Jesus came to free us of the bondage of our hockey jerseys and nasal spray and set you free to sing “Danke Schein” on a float in front of hundreds of people with confidence..Not in ourselves,(we’re Camerons for crying out loud), but in Him and what He has done. John 10:10 says” I have come to give life , and it more abundantly.” Like Ferris who reminds Cameron that he accepts him for him..we need to remind each other of our acceptance of a Holy God, based on the performance of another 2,000 years ago.
I like to think a Christian Ferris would say something like this,” The Christian life moves pretty fast. If we don’t slow down and accept God’s promises once in awhile, we might just miss the Gospel”. Christian- God “thinks you’re a righteous dude!” Not because of any sweater vest or hockey jersey-but because you are clothed in His Son’s Righteousness..and it’s so choice!
It is my hope, that we as Christians can put the hockey jersey and nasal spray away and quit listening to the haters..It is finished..you are free to love, care, and give grace to others, because we have unconditionally received the same from Abba. To forgive freely..even our Cameron selves. We are free..to live the abundant life in Jesus Christ that allows us to dance and sing like Ferris..ok?