Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ruint for the Ordinary

The title phrase came up in a conversation with a new friend.  And I was told the first word had to be spelled that way to get the proper midwest accent.  My dearly departed mother would kill me for such an improper spelling, but that’s a story for another time.  If we’ve truly latched onto what God has for us through our pastors, through our personal study of the Word, and through our experience of God in our lives, that’s what we are – ruined for the ordinary.  Let’s explore that a bit and see what God has done for us.

Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”.  The Biblical equivalent is Matthew 18:3-4 (KJV): And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.   Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Think about what happens as we grow older and learn more.  There’s so much that’s amazing that we become blas√© about, take for granted.  When we think about being a small child or being with a small child, there’s always what seems like five thousand questions.  Questions that might even irritate us because there are so many and we can’t answer all of them.  Those questions come from a sense of awe and wonderment, an expectation of the miraculous.  The adults around us, by being “realistic”, squash that sense of wonder.  Or we lose that excitement as we learn about the inner workings of the life around us and become familiar.  It’s not meant to be that way.

Have you ever wondered why John 13:33 starts, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you.”?  I think most of us automatically assume it’s because Jesus is the master and the disciples are the students.  But I’m beginning to doubt that as the whole explanation.  Think about how many times the Gospels repeat Jesus’ comment that we need to be like little children.  Matthew uses the term “kingdom of heaven” for the result of being children, where the other Gospel writers say “kingdom of God”.  As much as that points to future possibilities, the original language also speaks of the condition of the heart.  Are we getting excited, yet?  We ought to be!

What Jesus is telling us is that we need to have child like faith.  The kind of faith that includes the awe and wonderment of a little child!  Look at my favorite verse, yet another time.

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
There it is – the “kingdom of God”.  Follow my train of thought, here.  We are to seek the proper condition of the heart.  And we’re to seek His righteousness.  What does that righteousness do?  It cleanses our mind, soul and spirit from the weight of “realistic thinking” and the results of sin, so that we can have the proper heart condition.  We get to return to that child like faith and wonder!  We get to be ruined for the ordinary!  That’s what God intended from the start.

If we go back to Genesis and see Adam waking up the first time, there’s awe and excitement as he takes in all that’s around him.  Adam reacts very much the same way when he sees Eve for the first time.  And that’s what God intends for us.  He wants us to see through the eyes of a child.  We need to look at things with simple faith, being awestruck by the wonder of God’s creation and the fact that it was made for us.  God intended that we enjoy being surrounded by His creation.  And we’re supposed to have His joy as we experience it!

God’s gift to us is being ruined for the ordinary!  That’s not in the sense of being so familiar that everything has to be kicked up a notch to gain our interest.  Nor is it having things “over the top” because our senses are so dulled by “realistic thinking”.  What happens, when we’re rightly related to God, is that the things that seem ordinary to others are things we see as extraordinary.  No matter whether our circumstances are good or bad, we get to latch onto God’s peace and joy.  Yes, we’re ready for special miracles.  At the same time, like Einstein, we see life not as though there are no miracles, but realizing that everything is a miracle.  Everything is beyond the ordinary, just for our enjoyment.

What are you doing, today, to become ruined for the ordinary?

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