Wherever we were in the world, we went to bed last night. We got up this morning and the world had changed. Truth be told, we had little or no control over those changes.
Most of us woke up and the first thing we did was to check our cell phones to see just what the changes were. I woke up and the temperature had dropped twenty degrees, the President had been impeached and a kid from church had developed a stomach bug which changed some of our plans for early morning prayer.
Do you know what I find most interesting about the changes that happen around us? I find the opinions and the emotions that arise around the changes very interesting. I have opinions and emotions about almost every change that takes place in my life, and you know what my opinions and emotions almost never do? They almost never do anything to change any of the changes. Does it matter if I wake up and hate the cold? Does anyone really care how I feel about this impeachment? Does my feeling bad for the kid with the stomach flu change his stomach flu one iota?
Now I am not going to sit here and tell you that your emotions are useless and that you shouldn’t feel anything. But our culture has idolized feeling to the point of making it as valid as objective truth. Our world has fallen into the trap of thinking how we feel about things is how they actually are, and well…usually how we feel about things is not the truth… or at least not the whole truth.
I wrote this little blurb about three years ago as an opening to one of the chapters of my book. It might still make the final cut but right now I am pretty sure it is in the wrong place, at the very least. Still it does move my thoughts forward as I write just now
“What we know of life from our current vantage point is like looking at a volcanic island from a mile out to sea through a pirate’s spyglass. Even what we are certain of is so obscured by distance and a lack of peripheral context as to be of little use in the grand scheme of things. Still, we have no other choice but to make our decisions according to what little vision is afforded, and to leave the rest to chance or faith or luck or whatever else we choose to put our hope in. I think this is why the Apostle Paul said we have to “walk by faith and not by sight.
The walk of faith is at least genuine in its approach. It understands that what we know is so miniscule as to be of almost no use in making life’s decisions. In this understanding, the life of faith casts itself onto powers which have higher vision and better perspective. It follows those powers.”
I am learning that walking by faith and not by sight means I have to stop making my decisions based on what I see and hear and feel. I can’t just cast what I feel about things out into the universe. I have to slow down, engage my spirit, and then my brain, and then my heart. When that is done, I can begin to pray rightly about the changes that are taking place around me. Then, at last when I have prayed I might be ready to say something about those changes. Then, I might be ready to have a smidgen of trust in the feelings I have about the changes.
“We don’t have time for all that.” you say?
I think therein lies our greatest problem. We created technology to help us do things faster, and it did just that. We forgot to consider how speeding things up and making everything “easier” might affect our souls. The increase of speed has done much to increase our wickedness and just as Jesus promised the love of most has grown cold.
I have recently come from running at the world’s pace. I notice I am soul tired. I notice the constant stress has given me tunnel vision. I think as I slow down my vision is starting to clear. So at the moment I am content to let everyone else run. If you don’t mind, I will sit here. I’ll sip my coffee and watch the world go by. If I see anything important, I’ll give you all a shout out. Unless of course anyone wants to take a load off and join me.