Several years ago, on a vacation with our family, a friend of mine named Heath pulled out a 3x3x3 puzzle cube. He had learned to solve it and was working on getting faster. I was instantly interested, having spent much time trying to figure out how to solve the original Rubik’s cube when it came out in the 1980s.
Heath walked me though the steps he’d learned, including complicated moves (called algorithms) that you had to apply in a certain order. Soon I was browsing the internet for more information, and as you might imagine, there’s a ton of stuff online for solving the Rubik’s cube.
One thing I discovered is that there’s quite a few different methods of solving the cube. One common method is called level-by-level, which is what Heath had showed me. But there were other methods, and I decided to learn one that I found much less complicated: the Lars Petrus method. (If you’re curious, I recently recorded this series to YouTube.)
Soon I was enjoying solving the cube along with Heath, with him using his method, and me using mine. He was a faster solver, but I was happy to use my chosen method to get to the same solution.
I don’t find that many people argue with the opinion that their world, including their own life, is broken and scrambled to some extent. Where we often differ is on how to fix the problem. And the prevailing attitude says that it doesn’t matter what method you employ as long as it gets the results you want. So people often view Jesus as just one of a number of methods to solve life’s problems and give them fulfillment.
And I must admit, when you treat Jesus like a method, then the way of Christ appears to be just one way among many other decent ways to live your life. But that view altogether changes if you begin to see Jesus as the one true God. If that happens, and you continue following that path, Jesus becomes more than just a method. He becomes the solution, the end for which your heart longs. You’ll see him as the God who has pursued you, rescued you from hell, and reconciled all your wrongdoing, problems, and pain through his death on the cross.
In his book Radical, David Platt tells a story of how he talked with some religious leaders who believed there were many ways to God. David described to them a mountain where God was on the top, and humans were trying many different paths to get to God. The men agreed, because that picture aligned exactly with how they viewed different religions. But David then invited them to hear a story with a different picture of God…one that tells of how God has actually come down off the mountain to reach us.
That God is Jesus, and if we want reconciliation with God and eternal life with God, there’s no way to come back to God without him. And once we’re with Jesus, it doesn’t take us long to realize that we don’t want to continue to follow paths that take us away from him.
Not that we don’t try. I still scramble elements of my life on a regular basis. But God is patient with me and full of mercy, and he keeps bringing me back to learn more of him who is the Solution.