Sunday, November 29, 2009

What kind of "vert" is Jesus?

Today during the sacrament I got to wondering whether Jesus is an introvert or an extrovert.

First I thought an introvert. He was alone for 40 days in the wilderness, and there were times when he just wanted to get away from all the people. He teaches to pray and to listen to the spirit.

But then I thought that can't be right, look at how he reached out to everyone. He truly loved everyone and wanted to let them know that. He told the leaders to let the little children come to him, and he hugged and loved every one of them. When he struggled, alone, in Gethsemane, he wished he had others there to help him.

So of course it's silly to even think this way. To be an "introvert" or and "extrovert" implies that a person is one thing or the other. The concept is built on the notion that a person is lacking one thing or the other. Most of us probably are. But Jesus is whole, our perfect exemplar. We are trying to be like Him, and I'm pretty sure that must mean he is perfectly able to look within, and perfectly able to reach out.

In one way, it is helpful to me to know that I have the tendency to be introverted. This self-knowledge helps me to understand my weaknesses and to be realistic about the expectations I place on myself. But in another way, it's important that I not use this concept as an excuse to avoid the challenges that are difficult to me. If I'm going to be fully Christlike, I have to be both introverted and extroverted.

He promised that my weaknesses can become my strengths. I need to presume welcome.

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

Interesting insight. I hadn't thought about it that way before. Thanks for sharing your personal reflections for me to ponder today.