Like a Fat Man in a Speedo – Operating Outside of Karma

Have you ever been to the beach and wondered if certain people have ever heard of the concept of mirrors? Like the guy wearing a speedo that looks more like a piece of thigh floss than a bathing suit?
Or the gray-haired lady in the two piece who could benefit from some sort of third piece or maybe a beach burka?
These people (I’m sure they’re lovely inside) seem to be completely oblivious – as though they’re operating under some type of social anesthesia.

That makes me wonder about karma.

One of the central tenets of Buddhism is karma. It’s a complex concept that receives considerable study and attention by those who hold to the philosophy of the Buddha but it has been casually appropriated by the masses for everyday use.

That conversation sounds like this: “Whoa, dude, that guy just abandoned his puppy by the side of the road. That’s some bad karma!” or “Yeah, I just spent the afternoon raking my grandmother’s lawn – just earning some good karma.”

So the working man’s version of karma is something along the lines that whatever we put out into the universe comes back to us. We create our own luck, our own juju, our own fortune by the general vibe of our thoughts, our attitudes, and our actions in the world. Do good and good returns to you. Do bad, you get what you deserve, dude.

This is a perfect philosophy for people who never consult mirrors – mirrors of the soul, that is.

I mean, to embrace the concept of karma, a person has to be pretty convinced of his or her own goodness and their ability to maintain that goodness. And you have to rely heavily on the notion that the universe grades on a curve, right? I mean, most of us are certainly higher up on the goodness-o-meter than pedophiles, serial killers and people who star in reality TV shows but I daresay we’d place ourselves lower than people like Mother Theresa, Ghandi and George Bush’s secret service detail.

Frankly, I can’t get excited about the notion of karma for the same reason I don’t wear my daughter’s bikini to the beach – my soul wears goodness like a fat man in a speedo.

The headline of the gospel of Jesus Christ, however, is that God operates OUTSIDE OF KARMA.

Think about that one, dude.

God knows how short we fall on the goodness-o-meter. He’s been to the beach with all of us. He offers us a deal outside of karma called grace. Jesus paid the price for our lack of goodness and the fashion failings of our souls and God offers us exactly what we DON’T deserve, what we cannot earn, what is NOT coming to us – Grace.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”(Romans 5:1-11 NIV)

U2 does a song called Grace. Search it out on You Tube today (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGBNa0L41Zc)  and consider this amazing concept that operates outside of karma.

Meditate on it while you’re at the beach. (And if you’re the guy in the speedo – dude, buy a bigger suit!).


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19 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Dawn Clark Wright says:

    Great post Lori. Thanks for the “Grace” link as well. It was a really beautiful addition to my Sunday.
    Dawn

  2. Thanks, Dawn. I need constant reminders of grace. I love that song.

  3. Mike W. says:

    {Note to self: trash the Speedo…}

  4. I am so thankful for God’s Grace. I am forgiven and washed clean of my ‘Karma’, filthy rags the lot of them. This post is a wonderful reminder and worthy of a worship moment.

    Do you think Target might have the beach burka? I’m so in. hehe love your sense of humor!

    :0) Nora

  5. Seriously, Mike. Trash the Speedo, bro.

  6. We should start marketing beach burkas, Merry. Happy for every opportunity to worship and this song certainly leads me there.

  7. “My soul wears goodness like a fat man in a Speedo” you go girl writer, thinker, beautiful woman of God. Love your thinking.

  8. Maurie says:

    The comment above found your ah-ah sentence…the link between your clever, funny introduction and your main point. Well written, creative woman of God…All that and you make us smile as well–ha, ha and ah, ah! Now that takes talent!

  9. Thank you so much Marcia and Maurie. Your encouraging words are dear to me.

  10. My mom still tells a story about a fat man in a speedo. She saw him in Maui twenty years ago or so and she continues to regale us with his lack of self-awareness.

    What a wonderful post. It reminds me that we, too, can be utterly unaware of our own ugliness. We desperately need grace. And since karma is useless, we must find it in Christ.

    Thank you, Lori!

  11. Cheri says:

    Where can I order my very own beach burka?

    Loved your post!

    Cheri

  12. Anonymous says:

    But he has very sexy legs. His legs are beautiful, I like him.

  13. FresnoLaLa says:

    Fuck you lady. You can’t compare God to a speedo. “It does not make any sence.” Your reasoning is good! However comparing with a speedo swimsuit on a fat man just doesn’t make any sence.
    I think you are just infatuated with seeing a fat man in a skimpy speedo.

  14. You seem very passionate about this issue, Fresno, so I assume your passion has influenced your choice of language. May God bless your search for Him!

  15. Anonymous says:

    You need therapy….And you’re using specific culture to analyse it. I personally do not see anything wrong with someone who wants to wear a speedo or two piece bikinis to ENJOY a day at the beach. If they feel comfortable with their bodies what is the problem? What Jesus has to do with it?

  16. Anonymous, thank you for dropping by the blog. If you read the entire post, you’ll see that I was not really writing about men in speedos. I applaud anyone’s right to feel comfortable in their own skin. This is actually a post about grace, the grace of Jesus Christ, that operates outside of Karma. The bathing suit discussion was just a metaphor. Hope you’ll come by again. God bless.

  17. Anonymous says:

    its a good thing jesus doesnt judge and he will save even white trash like you

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