Have a nice day, God bless. [Now God waits on who or what you want Him to bless]
What's on TV? Whatever. Let's see how Jimmy or Stephen is doing tonight. And Corden is my buddy, we'll watch him. [Now God is waiting to grow relationships between you and people connected by your shared experiences]
Check the weather and see if it's going to rain. Turn on the sprinkler system if it isn't. Is there a soda in the fridge? I could use a cool drink. Do you think they'll catch those guys that robbed the bank tonight? Let's watch the news and see what they think. [God waits to see if anyone will ask for His intervention]
Should I call my mom or wait until she calls? I'm tired so I don't want to think about it. [God waits to have you ask for His help to guide you.]
We dream to eliminate GodGod's influence in our lives is taking a hit. We control more of getting our desires and slowly reduce His impact in our lives because we have less need. We're really dreaming. Everything can be automated somehow, where in times past, to get some results of any kind, people had to sacrifice a perfectly good livestock animal. But in building this edifice of satisfaction, we block the voice of the Creator and can easily be crushed by the reality of His strong arm leaving us in embarrassment.
I was looking at the sky yesterday. It was different than the day before when it was clear. It was menacing dark layers of rain carrying streamers, blue and gray, moving contrary to each other. Could we control that? Is there one app I could download that would make any difference at all? When I'm feeling depressed, is there anything besides distraction to numb the awareness to make me feel better?
This dream world that results by shutting out the light of our creator is a world of our making. Not God's. We control our house temperature, flow of water, lights, answers to questions via the internet, entertainment, and our sleeping environment. We can work hundreds of feet up in an office building, not contact anything God created including the food we eat for lunch, and communicate with anyone in the world real-time. We fly sheltered from storms, sail in boats that rarely sink, and take chariots of steel that require no stable or hay. And we make nations fear us by the nuclear weaponry we stockpile. But it's only a dream that we have control over it.
For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God. (Eccl 5:7)I hate augmented reality. That's just a digital dream. If you want to augment something for me, don't make me carry around a piece of metal that talks to me. I want a relationship with someone who has a relationship with the living God. God has at least taught me that I get the most out of life when I have a relationship with Him. Augment my life with care, understanding, appreciation, support. Tell me a story that expands my reality.
Our non-godly perceptionWhen we live in our world, God has little chance at making us see physical things except in terms of our filters. Removing a filter, like a pair of gloves, means letting your hands get dirty. We look at another's life through their eyes and see the grungy family of angry kids or the dark depression of an unhappy spouse. There's life going on there in emotions and needs. So much life is occurring all around us at every second, but filters are so easily applied. Shutting the door, turning to work, ignoring a phone call, or finding a distraction making it too late to respond all are filters which drain the vibrant life from our everyday travels.
The peer pressure to ignore God is increasing. As more people depend on science to fulfill their needs and dreams, there's more at stake to defend the right to do as we please. We have businesses to keep afloat to support people and keep us financially secure. We have accustomed ourselves to a less active lifestyle. This dichotomy of life tears us between the easy road of commercialism and the dusty trail of an ethical and moral justice.
As God's mercy lets us travel down that road, we intimidate others into believing that we are doing the right thing and it's those religious people that have the old-fashioned ideas about God's power to change that is the less powerful option. Well, of course, it used to be that way, but now we have figured out why we are right and God was just a minor character in a play that has no relevance to our modern lives today. We're so much more civilized now.
We lie to ourselves because others do also. Just do a search for "the only ? you'll ever need" and fill in the question mark with anything you want. You'll find investments, beauty products, cleaning products, diet books, kitchen equipment and more. It's easy to let advertising teach us how to talk to ourselves. Then we start lying to God.
Is it not God that has the full control of life outside of our personal little realm? We just don't encounter His realm often enough to know it. We could pray more often or maybe just start to pray. Occasionally a person will step into a puddle of spirituality and it becomes a mystical image framed with a godless world view put into a picture album for posterity. But our spiritual lives should be more than that. We should be able to sense the divine in the clouds and lightning and wonder how it all works as one awesome unified system that we are invited to be a part of.
For I know that the LORD is great
And that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the LORD pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
Who makes lightnings for the rain,
Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries. (Psalm 135: 5-7)
Our need to relate to GodSeeing life represented in a film lets us escape the responsibility of a reply. That's why it's called an escape. But God expects us to reply because we are in a covenant relationship with Him, He tells us to act like we mean it by treating each other the same way. A cartoon character will never come back to apologize that they made you think the wrong way. Are you still wearing your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Mighty Mouse t-shirt? Enough already. What is the meaning of a friend who God has put in your path, if it's not in someone to turn to and talk with?
We have a need to be in covenant with God. His conversation and actions always plead "Return to me." It was after many weeks of living in paved and groomed apartments and working around too much unfriendly technology that my hands craved the gritty soil that I grew up around as a farmer. When I saw a cornfield one evening walking out of my structured environment, the need to connect was so strong that I went over, stood in the head-high rows, and knelt down to just rub a handful of dirt between my hands. There was life there. It revived me.
Hear our prayers, Lord God, king of the dirt, the corn, the clouds and the rain. How awesome is your power that both brings hurricanes and tornadoes, but still is merciful enough to wait for us to come back to your call in a conversation that has been going on for millennia. Direct our hearts to please you and provide for each other in what we need right now whether a simple conversation or a small meal. Forgive us for hiding from you or putting our hope in technology and our own ways. You will find a way to convince us, I know it.