This past weekend I had the pleasure of being back in my hometown visiting with old friends and my extended family. There’s something that happens when I go home to Chicago, and after some quick research (read: Google), it appears I’m not the only one – in fact it is so common there’s a name for it:  Revertigo

Associative regression (aka Revertigo): the tendency of a person to revert back to an older version of themselves when around people from their past.

When I’m around my high school friends, our inside jokes are as funny as if they had just been created and my maturity drops a few decades.  When I’m around my brother, our childhood nicknames come out, and we re-tell the same stories and laugh until our sides hurt as if the incident happened yesterday.  There’s no way anyone would believe we are adults with careers, children, and real responsibilities.

And yet we are.  Yes, he may have dissected my Barbie as a kid, but my little brother is, in fact, now qualified to slice open someone’s spine and fix “things” inside (if he’s reading this, he’s probably “impressed” at my spot-on description of spine surgery).  We may have fond “spring break” memories of years past, but that same friend is getting ready to send her own child to college next year on a baseball scholarship.  

I was considering this phenomenon as I was reading a passage this morning in Mark 6 about how Jesus was rejected in His own hometown.  He was healing the blind, the paralyzed, the demon-possessed.  He was teaching words of wisdom in Parables that no one had heard the likes of before. Yet, those He grew up with were offended; they rejected Him.  Did the people of Nazareth suffer from a bit of Revertigo? Christ brought Heaven to Earth by being with us – eating, working, suffering… living with us.  Is it really possible that those closest to Him failed to see His Divinity?

If we’re honest, this still happens today. Christ’s mission on Earth was an invitation, but the invitation still stands - one that we journey towards in Lent, an invitation to Follow Him:

“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’”  Mark 8:34

Jesus uttered the words “Follow Me” to many, but only some answered His call.  Most of Jesus’ followers were unlikely disciples:  fishermen, a tax collector, a woman previously possessed by demons, and others.  They saw something in Jesus that was worth following.  This Lent Journey, our teens are meditating on what it truly means to answer Christ’s call to Follow Him by looking at those who said “yes” and those who said “no” to the invitation. 

 As Lent begins, let’s fight the urge of RevertigoSometimes we hit this time of year as if it is just a "default" season and revert to whatever we think we ought to be doing or reading or eating (or not eating).  Lent is supposed to be a forward journey, and it is supposed to be new every year.  Christ has something new to teach us every year. 

In writing our Lent series, "Follow Me" I was astonished at the artificial roadblocks we put up ourselves to stand in the way of our journey in following Christ - our fears, pressures, identity, logic... and yes, our RevertigoThis Lent, let's not be like the Nazarenes who rejected Jesus in His own town, failing to see the Divinity through the Humanity and instead embrace the invitation to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.  

Check out our two-month series and Holy Week Materials entitled “Follow Me” and have a Blessed Lent!


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