One of my favourite characters in literature is Don Quixote. He is noble, idealistic and foolish. On his beloved Rocinante he would fight for the honour of his elusive Dulcinea and look for any means to show his chivalry. I would like to suggest that these are great qualities for a Christian. Every Christian should have a large dose of Don Quixote.
Foolishness: It was a trait Jesus had. He didn’t follow the established values and tenets of his era. He was considered foolish at best and dangerous at worst. I see modern churches following business models and strategies which seem wise and savvy. But would Jesus do it this way? I doubt it. He invested in time with His father and with his disciples. He didn’t choose the “high capacity people” as I saw it described recently, (thanks to “A Twisted Crown of Thorns) but he selected ignorant fishermen and social outcasts. As Christians we need to ask ourselves constantly, are we following Christlike methods or worldly methods? Do we and our churches have a spirit of Christ inspired foolishness?
Noble: “Noble” can defined as putting others first and counting ourselves last. This counters everything that the advertising industry throws at us. “You are the most important person in the world.” “You deserve it.” To be noble is to deny oneself for others. It is agape, sacrificial, love. It is another sign too, of our foolishness. Don Quixote was driven by his chivalrous desire to be noble – so should we.
Idealistic. I have often been accused of being idealistic, as though it is a disease or sin. Idealism is that quality where we always aim for that elusive and impossible “best,” particularly in the area of human and spiritual values. That “best” is never achievable in this life, but it is what we are aiming for. This is in direct contrast to the pragmatism of our age. Businesses, politicians and many marriages and families are based on the principle of pragmatism -“whatever works”. If it doesn’t work – we jettison it. This can include husbands, wives, children and employees. Our Lord wants what is best: Sinless children (in Christ) invited into an eternity with Him to serve and praise Him. Our aim, this side of heaven, is to prepare for that.
Are we prepared to be objects of ridicule for God, despised and rejected by others? If your answer is “yes” you are not only like Don Quixote but, more importantly, like Jesus.