I never felt overly sheltered or deprived, but there were many experiences that were postponed growing up in the poorest county of Oklahoma in the home of a country preacher. Where I grew up the porsche was the step at your front door. “Did you see the new swing on their front porsche.”
Now I spend my days in a well to do community north of Dallas and drive by a Porsche dealership nearly everyday. As I drive by I often think of a conversation I once had with a Porsche owner. According to him, his Porsche handled so well that it was good to actually speed up as he went around corners because it made his car “hug the road” better. I don’t know if that is really true or not, because even though I no longer live in the poorest county in Oklahoma, I still have little real life experience with Porsches. My experience is primarily second hand experience. Anything I know about driving a Porsche comes vicariously through the accounts of others.
This makes me stop and think about the nature of human experience and wonder how much of what I think I know is really dependent upon what others tell me, what I have read, etc. No less than four times this week I have said to someone that “I know how you feel, I have been there.” When I said this, I really did feel as if I understood them better because I had walked a mile in their shoes — or at least in a very similar pair bearing the same brand name.
There is nothing too profound in what I have written above. But these thoughts have made me stop to consider some important Christological passages. John 1 – The Logos came and tabernacled among me. Philippians 2 – Jesus humbled himself and became a man. And this one;
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
I like knowing that Jesus understands me — even when I drive by that Porsche dealership and really, really wish I had experience less vicarious.