last night i was enjoying being home on a sunday night for the first time in a while. my family has made it a ‘thing’ to watch extreme makeover: home edition together every sunday night, usually without me. but last night i had the chance to lay on the bed with my fam and watch this feel good show. the crew was helping out a family who lost their dad nine months ago. he was a pastor in a small church in oklahoma, and when he died, the family needed to move out of the parsonage to make room for the new pastor. the only thing the could afford was an old, used trailer – it wasn’t even a home, it was an office trailer with no hot water, no heat, no shower, no stove. in comes ty pennington with his crew to give them a house of their dreams. it was incredible.
however, i was getting really annoyed as i watched (typical when i watch tv. ask my wife how many times i yell ‘shut up, just shut up’ at the tv on any given night). the source of my frustration was how the designers were talking about the obviously strong faith of the family. the kept saying things like, ‘it’s not about being a certain religion, it’s about finding what works for you’. in other words, they were making faith seem like it was an aspirin for the pains of life – something will just help you cope (or, as a more articulate philosopher put it, an ‘opiate for the masses’).
is that how we should treat faith and religion. find whatever works for you, whatever helps you cope or make sense out of life and go with that. or, should we plead with people to find what is true. thinking that i am a millionaire might help feel good, but in the end, this wrong thinking will catch up with me when the bill collectors come knocking to reposes things i thought i had the money to pay for. finding a religion that ‘works for you’ is the same. if ‘what works for you’ isn’t true, if it doesn’t correspond to reality, it will catch up with you.
God doesn’t present him or his Son as a great pain killing aspirin, but as the truth, as the one cosmic truth that defines all other truths. He gives meaning to life. any other meaning is contrived and false. the only thing that will truly ‘work for you’ or anyone else is submitting to, following, trusting and loving this one and only God.
hadn’t ranted in while. felt good!