October 10, 2012

Calling All Jerks

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: 'You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'" He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.  - Mark 10:17-22



Like Steve Martin’s Jerk
we think we only need
this one precious thing

a paddle game is all
and we will be satisfied
slogging out the door

until we see the TV remove
and pick it up with an artifice of glee
and mumble: this is all I need

but you know how this goes,
don’t you fellow jerk?
one more thing will do it

and we will finally in our bones
against all past comic failures
be satisfied and done with grabbing.

And then our de-jerkifying Jesus
stops us and tells us to let go
drop the lamp and put down the ashtray

let go of it all, including yourself, so we can grasp
the one thing we jerks are always questing for
and no, jerk, it is not a thermos

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