Mike The Cleaner Ehrmantraut is the best character from “Breaking Bad”.
Mike is a “cleaner” – a mysterious man who plays every side in the crime world, taking care of business for the highest bidder. He says only what needs to be said – no more, no less. He always puts business first.
Mike meets his match when he stumbles across Walter White in the show’s second season. While Mike always uses logic and sensibility in his criminal pursuits, Walter is reckless and dangerous. Worst of all, Walt is full of hubris.
At many points during “Breaking Bad” Walter has a chance to escape from his life of crime and the constant fear for his life that comes with it. But Walter, knowing he should seek safety, refuses to leave so easily. He can’t help but keep stacking the odds against himself.
In his famous monologue from the show’s third season, Mike explains to Walt why he must stop wavering between his decisions. Mike is not a man of half measures. Taking half measures – choices where you waver back and forth on your decision – will only get you into trouble. (Caution – there’s a few choice words in this clip):
(Click Here if you can’t see the video above.)
Mike is essentially saying you cannot serve two masters. If you’re going to make a decision, if you’re going to make a break, you have to take a full measure.
Taking full measures is scary. It’s dangerous. It’s completely letting go. It’s completely making ourselves vulnerable when all we really want is to be safe.
It’s funny that Jesus never worried about safety. He always took full measures.
Jesus was able to be so bold because He knew He was already safe:
I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety. Psalm 4:8
Jesus didn’t just know these words from the Psalms – He lived them, confident in the safety being a child of God afforded Him.
Take the Sermon On The Mount for instance. This was a moment where Jesus, being hounded and surrounded by people questioning who He was, sat down on the side of a hill and began to tell everyone that everything they believed was wrong.
The bible says the crowd was “astonished” at Jesus’s teaching. You can probably assume the people were also angry, frustrated, and confused as well.
Jesus was taking God out of the temple and into reality. This was a dangerous thing to do. Jesus was risking His life every time He opened His mouth.
We must believe the same perfect protection from God that Jesus had can be afforded to us. For we too are God’s children. We too can live unafraid for our safety by trusting God is taking care of us.
Of course, sometimes we like to play the victim. We enjoy running away from reality just like Walter White.
In another classic “Breaking Bad” scene, Mike vents his frustration about Walter always playing the victim: “Walter, why can’t you just take yes for an answer?”
Ask yourself that same question: why can’t you just take yes for an answer? God has been telling you yes for years. God has been telling you that you are special, that you are beloved, that you are safe. Why don’t you believe Him?
Try accepting God’s yes today. Try accepting His love. Try believing no matter what you do, you are still safe in His arms.
Be inspired to take a chance today, to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Go do something dangerous. Make a clean break with an old habit. Step out in confidence and assurance in God’s safety. Take a full measure.
I’d love to know: What do you need to take a full measure against today? Where do you need to hear God say “Yes” to you? Leave a comment below and join the conversation:
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