For those who aren’t familiar with that phrase, for me it means that on that date, I made Christ Lord of my life, got baptized, and had my crude-encrusted slate wiped clean. I was 18.
Beforehand though, I took the red pill, i.e., I studied the Bible with a friend. I knew what I was getting into. I knew what kind of commitment it would take. I knew the world for what it was and ran from it and the blue pill as fast and far as I could.
But as Morpheus said, “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
Lately, I’ve had a hankering to see Thomas Anderson evolve again, hankering to be inspired, hankering to see The Matrix Dude in his shades and rippling black trench coat change again, because I myself am undergoing a transformation—after 30 years, I’m discovering the difference between knowing the path and walking it.
Nose to Nose with Mr. Smith
Sure I thought I was walking it. Heck, I joined the resistance. Like my friend before me, I’ve offered the red pill to hundreds of people. I’ve been trained, letting my mind be reloaded so I can be ready to fight Satan’s agents that spend their days and nights hunting me down. I’ve dodged my share of bullets.
But I hadn’t faced my Mr. Smith yet. In fact, I ran from him. My Mr. Smith wasn’t a morphing version of all those still trapped in the Matrix. My Mr. Smith was me.
It’s easy to run from the truth of who you are deep down where no one sees. Neo did at first. Most people do.
I’m not talking about the basic Galatians 5:19-21 sins here. I’m talking about dealing with how the blasted things got into your heart in the first place. You can pick the poisonous fruit off a tree but it ain’t going to stop producing until you rip the thing out of the ground by the roots.
You gotta believe—I mean really believe—what God says. The Oracle only told Neo what he needed to hear because she knew he had to discover the deeper truths for himself. In God-speak, that means you gotta discover who you are and work it out for yourself. Nobody, and I mean nobody, can tell you who you are. Not your controlling parents or spouse, not your manipulative boss, not your well-meaning friends, not your enabled kids or siblings.
Sure, Satan and his agents are ticked off when you get unplugged from the world. Sure, they try to take you down because you’re a nuisance, a virus, a plague to them. But Mr. Smith didn’t throw Neo in front of a train until Neo faced him and fought him. Satan doesn’t jump on our backs, holds us in a death grip while “inevitability” rumbles toward us. Not, that is, until he realizes he’s a got a fighter on his hands. A true believer.
I think I’ve surprised Satan (I certainly surprised myself). I don’t think he expected me to go vertical either cause it takes supernatural belief to do what God created us to do, what we were born (and reborn) to do—to fight back.
And even when our Mr. Smith drops a full magazine into our chest—shooting all our faith to hell—and we’re lying on the floor broken, bullet-ripped, and bleeding, and Satan’s agents declare us dead and gone, if we listen very closely, we can hear (the) Trinity in our ear whispering, “You can’t be dead, because I love you.”
Writing the Book on Resurrection
It took Neo a few minutes to know the truth, a few weeks to begin to believe, and love’s voice to remind him who he was. It took me a few weeks to know the truth, 30 years to begin to believe, and Love’s voice to remind me who He is.
Like Neo, I can open my eyes, gaze down at my bullet-ridden chest and and see my wounds are as nothing.
But this isn’t the movies and I’m not the One.
The One who spoke the Red Pill into existence (what colors are His words in your Bible?) The One who single-handedly took on every last agent this side of hell. The One who defined resurrection. The One who takes my tested faith, hands me some shades so I can see him in his blinding light, and gives me a cape cooler than Superman’s to rise above it all.
Have you taken the red pill? If so, do you just know about the path or are you walking it?
If you got a sec, share a thought or leave a comment below. You never know who you’ll inspire.