Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Boredom is the Ultimate Blindness

Tonight our small group met at the church and watched a sermon that discussed, among other passages, the following:

John 8:43-47
43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

Maybe I have the wrong attitude right now, but the writer in me just won't allow me to borrow too much of that preacher's ideas. His name eludes me, but I don't remember it being said in during the video, so perhaps I couldn't know it. Anyway, to paraphrase quickly, the preacher spoke about Satan's methods of deception and how he offered the world to Christ as a means of tempting him. It was interesting to note that Christ never denied Satan's high, if not supreme, authority over this world and the flesh (John 14:30). I guess the gist of the whole sermon was the fact that spiritual warfare is happening all around us, which is something most of us would love to deny.

Hold on, then. Isn't that a contrediction in and of itself? Good and evil duke it out in our midst, not just adjacent to our loved ones and ourselves, but within our very minds, and not only do we have the audacity to cower from considering it, but we have the audacity to indulge the depressing feelings that permeate our beings and embrace defeatist stances such as boredom or indifference. If I know anything about Satan, I would have to deduce that he considers this kind of thing as a freebie. Think about it: Satan exists to lie and to deceive, but how often do we find ourselves looking at our surroundings and concluding that they are so insignificant that they don't even merit a second glance? How is it that we've come to examine things with such a blasé attitude?

Recently I watched an episode of Family Guy, which can be very hit or miss with me, but there was an interesting little joke where one of the characters acknowledged God for what I think was a pretty random thing. I don't believe in coincidence, but it really wasn't something that would send most of us into a concentrated worship session. The camera then shifted to Heaven, and God looked down in disdain and said something to the effect of, "What? You're impressed by that? Do you have any idea how complex your circulatory system is!?" Ironically, it's kind of a good point, but it's a little off centre.

Here's the deal, people. I don't want to bore or blind you with science, but there is nothing in the physical realm that doesn't bear God's fingerprint. Since I read Lee Strobel, I've come to realize just how impossible it would be for this world to spawn from any random occurrence, but that doesn't change the fact that we don't need an in-depth study of biology or geology to see just how complex the familiar is. Today, I was reminded of this as I drove home through some of the weirdest weather I've seen in some time. It was raining buckets as a strange vapour hung in the air, shifting back and forth like wandering spirits. It's hard for me to think it was normal fog; I suspect the ground is still quite frozen, and the mild air was probably hitting it with enough disparity to condense the rainwater into a waist high mist that's been rolling through the area all night. But what do I know? What I did see was a very magical, almost movie-like ambience on my way home.

What's my point? I've seen stuff like this so much that I'd completely ignore it on most nights. I think Satan thrives on this stuff. He loves it when we get so comfortable with our surroundings and locked into our routines that we start to view the world as the most unimpressive, dead playing field in existence. The last thing he wants is for us to even think, just for a second, that there's an invisible war surrounding us. By acknowledging that, we acknowledge good and evil. By acknowledging good, our mind shifts to God. That's why he wants you to think that trees are nothing more than wood and leaves--not some finely tuned creation that works in harmony with everything else God formed with His very hands. To look upon anything in boredom is to lay down one's guard. Satan only needs us to blink to distort the images in front of us. Most of us aren't discerning enough to detect the changes that take place during that split second when our eyelids meet. We're all guilty of it, but it's twice as dangerous when we start to think Satan's vision is a true reflection of this world: that hunger emerges from poor politics, not neglect; that hatred is justified, not damning; that this world is empty, not bursting.

Like I said, I'm guilty of this, too. But let's be clear on one thing: no one is bored because there's nothing interesting around. Boredom comes from giving up, not giving in.


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