a little man

I’ve been listening to a course on Philosophy lately while I deliver the mail.

I don’t get it.  It’s all these puzzles and tricky words and it makes my head spin.

That’s not a good thing while I’m delivering the mail.

It’s one of those deals where I think that I must think that if I listen to it enough times, at some point it will all click and I’ll understand it.

I don’t think that I’ll understand it.

I think I’ll go back to listening to the rest of my audio Bible…finish up the New Testament.

Maybe the book of “Revelations” will make more sense than that Philosophy course.

I have a ways to go before I get there.

I was listening to the Bible the other day…and I heard the story of Zacchaeus.

That dude was like an early superhero to all us little Sunday school kids when I was growing up.

We had the little song…and the story was strong.

Now, an adult is going to read all the subtext and “philosophy” and theology and everything else they can attach to the story of Zacchaeus.

We can’t let a good thing alone…adults need to blab about stuff until we fill in all the holes…maybe until we fill in all the holes with observations that might not even be warranted.

We will expend a lot of energy describing how our faith is like the “faith of a child”…and then footnote our observations.

That’s just how we roll when we “mature”.

But, as a child, I think that what I heard was that Zacchaeus, a “little man”, a guy who wasn’t extremely popular with the people in his community, was so anxious to hear what Jesus was saying that he climbed a tree to see and hear Jesus speak.

That works for a little kid.

That works on so many simple levels.

First…he’s little.

What child wouldn’t relate to that?

Then…he climbs that tree.

That is a cool move…smart…climbing that tree.  He couldn’t climb up on his parent’s shoulders….he needed some other leg up to see Jesus. He had to climb the tree.

He needed to pop up out of his comfort zone a little.

He needed to work for it.

And then Jesus comes through, sees him up in the tree, and says, “Hey…Zacchaeus…come on down out of that tree.  I’m going to eat at your house tonight.”

BAM!!!!  Instant superhero.

The little guy gets the brass ring and his “cool factor” goes through the roof.

Zacchaeus was the original “Little Big Man”.

That’s the song that we used to sing.

In that Philosophy course, they say things like, “If this is this, and that is that, then this must be that when this and that are seen through… the amber piece of rock candy that Chief Dan George holds up in that Clint Eastwood movie, the one where he says, ‘It’s not for eating…it’s for looking through..’. Therefore A equals B when viewed from the perspective of the ancient Etruscans…blah, blah, blah.”

It doesn’t really mention an Indian with a piece of rock candy…I made that part up.

That stuff makes my head hurt…all the “this and that’s and therefores”.

The story of Zacchaeus was dead-on straightforward.

A little guy climbs the tree because he wanted to see Jesus…and Jesus notices his efforts and says, “We’re eating together tonight.”

I love a straightforward story sometimes.

If I ever get a philosophy course together, I’ll have to remember to include “If Zacchaeus climbs a tree…and superheroes also fly…then it stands to reason that because Zacchaeus approaches the sky, Zacchaeus must therefore also be a superhero.”

That would work for a child.

It works for me.


About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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