Devotional/Discussion thought of the day:
There is a game that we play, that came to an abrupt end last Friday.
I call the game, “Utopia”, and I think we get addicted to playing it.
The premise of the game is to see how well we can pretend the world is “perfect”, that there are no problems, or that the solution to them is as easy as whose name we check on a ballot. Or what we will unwrap on Christmas day will finally put us in the winner’s circle of the game. Or perhaps getting that new job, or being able to retire. Or if we find the right partner, (and if they aren’t perfect, we toss them away and try again). Even our schools prefer to have perfect images, and sometimes ignore the kids with serious issues, until it is too late. In churches as well, we often fail to see our own heresies, our own legalism, our own devotion to our culture more than our devotion to our community. Our empty sanctuaries are too hard too fill – with 100 times more people in our community than when they were built, so let’s close their doors and turn them into a starbucks, or a museum
We like perfection, and we avoid those things that would call us to admit there is work to be done. If things are perfect, if we are not in control, anxiety looms, more powerful and stronger than our wills. Often, in defense, we project the problem a distance away, its someone else’s fault, their problems, their issues, their weaknesses are now affecting us! If only they would pull their weight, if they only followed our wisdom,
There is a very subtle evil, a very determined narcissistic nature, a very powerful form of self-idolatry, that is alive and well as we play such a game as Utopia.
And one of the reasons we all take tragedies, whether natural ones like a hurricane or earthquake, or man-made ones like 9/11, Columbine, Paducah, Va Tech, or now NewTown, so hard, is that they stop our games. We can’t pretend our world is perfect anymore, we can’t play the game… it just seems…vain.
Which the game always was… vain.
We are free of the vanity now… but will we embrace it again?
There is an option to Utopia – it is reality.
A reality not of blind optimism, or some kind of hopeless fatalism. There is God’s reality. There is His work in our lives, there are His promises.
The risen Christ, Christ in glory, has divested himself of the things of this earth, so that we men, his brothers, should ask ourselves what things we need to get rid of.
Part of me wants to rebel against this – to dismiss it as some sort of fanaticism, some form of Amish like pietism.
But when trauma robs us of everything on earth – even the lives of those we love, we have something. We have Christ. We have His glory, we have His love and the promises that all is not lost, all is not vain and empty.
For what becomes the center of our life is a relationship, with our Mentor, our Guide, our Master, our Protector, our Healer, our Advocate, our Righteousness, our Lord, our Comforter, our Brother, our Father….our God,
The One who loves us.
The One we don’t see when we play Utopia…
So live in the reality of His love, look to Him every day, ask Him to cleanse you of your idols, ask Him to strengthen your trust, your love, ask Him to remind you that you dwell in His peace…..
Ask Him, Lord have mercy!
And rejoice, in knowing He has promised, and His is doing this very thing – even now.
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1990-1991). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition. 526