What's More Interesting Than the Most Interesting Man in the World?
This is Day 25 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
The complexity of God is unfathomable to the human mind. He is a mystery, yet He reveals Himself. He is all powerful, yet He gives us free will. He created and controls the entire universe from the moment He uttered BANG and it burst into existence. Everything that happens He either wills to happen or allows to happen. A bird does not drop out of the sky without His knowledge. He created us to live with Him and enjoy Him. He commands an army of magnificent beings we call angels, but that we cannot even begin to comprehend. That army fought a war with a third of their kind who fell to earth and now continue to wage war against God by trying to turn us from Him. He came to earth to live among us as a human. Not a fully grown and powerful human, but as a tiny baby to a poor family in a nothing scrap of nowhere. He willingly died a horrible death at the hands of His own creatures. Yet He forgives us our sins against Him. He is generous with us even though we are stingy with Him. He wants to spend time with us, even though we ignore Him. He has guided humanity from its very beginning, to get us exactly where we are today. And He has a plan for us and the entire world, a plan we only know bits and pieces of.
God is the most interesting being that has ever existed, because nothing else would exist without Him. So why do we act like He is not interesting? Why do we act like He is boring, commonplace, banal? Why do we find it more interesting to read about football, or celebrities, or politics, or scroll Facebook, or play golf, or going fishing, or play videogames, or watch movies or read novels or anything else in the world than to study God and talk to God?
God seems banal only because we have allowed Him to become so. We have stripped Him of His power and mystery. We downplay the amazing aspects of His existence to concentrate almost exclusively on the morality aspect. All children want to have a real life encounter with Santa Claus, but how many want to have one with Jesus? Children get excited to write Santa a letter, but when it comes to praying they often just go through the motions. Why? Because we, the adults, have built Santa Claus up to be this amazingly magical person with flying reindeer, and elves, while completely stripping him of his Christian roots. Meanwhile, the stories about Jesus are all portrayed as cutsie little tales about a nice man who taught people lessons and fed them and healed them. That can't compare with Santa Claus, or Minecraft, or Mario Brothers, or Star Wars, or Avengers, or anything else. It's boring.
The problem isn't with God (it never is). The problem is how we view Him and present Him to others. Paul didn't tell cutsie stories of a nice man who taught lessons and fed people. Paul began with the resurrection. Jesus came back from the dead because Jesus is God who came and lived among us as one of us. That got people's attention. Furthermore, Paul taught them that if people turn to Him and serve Him He will bring them back from the dead, too. To people who had never heard this before, it sounded AMAZING and Christianity grew quickly. Today, in the Western world, these stories are so well known they don't have any impact on us.
It's time for us to rediscover the wonder and mystery of God. It's time for us to stop thinking of Him as boring and certainly stop teaching our children that He is. This Easter, when we teach our children that Jesus rose from the dead, we need to do it with wonder and excitement. Put them in the shoes of the disciples, who lost their teacher and friend only to find out later, like the end of a Disney movie, that He had risen from the dead! Remembering how amazing the story of the world's fall and redemption truly is, is the only way we will find God interesting again. That is how we will come to love Him more than our entertainment, our jobs, and even our families.
Today's prayer: God, please help me to realize how truly amazing, wonderful, mysterious, and awesome You truly are. And help me to pass that wonder on to others, especially my children! Amen.
R.C. VanLandingham lives in Florida with his wife and kids.He is the author of several books including the Christian fantasy books Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity, Peter Puckett & the Enchanted Chalice, and Magdalene Hope & the Elves of Evermore.