Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

And You Don't Even Have to Dance Like Fred Astaire

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. – Isaiah 55:1-2

We have patent leather, fake fur, artificial flavors, and even imitation bacon bits.  So much of what we see is staged and choreographed and photoshopped.  Next to the dentist my wife goes to there is one of those places where they do Botox injections and other similar treatments which attempt to defeat the forces time and nature.  The other day my wife went to see her dentist, and I decided to wait in the parking lot because they had some television show blaring in the waiting room.  I hadn’t really noticed the “MAACO For Make-overs” place until a reasonably attractive lady got out of her car and, instead of going into the dentist’s office, headed in for a fresh paint job or something.  It left me wondering what she looked like before -- or if this was before. 

Most of us have come to understand that "livin’ on spongecake" is not nutritionally viable, long-term.  Eating things that aren’t really food can be detrimental to our health.  Even more dangerous to our spiritual health is swallowing that which masquerades as truth.  We have direct access to God through His word and through prayer.  We can speak to Him and hear from Him.  It costs us nothing.  The Lord offers us His grace, His mercy, and His forgiveness through Christ.  It is free to us because the price has already been paid on the Cross. 

Yet in our pain, in our hunger and thirst for righteous, in our craving for authenticity, meaning and purpose in our lives, we will waste our time and our resources pursuing illusions and sawdust lies that will no more satisfy us than drinking saltwater will quench a castaway’s burning thirst.  I am as guilty as anyone of letting the world tell me what will make me happy when all that makes life worthwhile cannot be bought with silver and gold. 

Life itself, represented by water in the verses above, is a free gift to us.  Wine speaks of the Holy Spirit which we receive by faith.  Milk and bread remind us of God’s revelation in its various forms, from nature to the written word to the Incarnation, open to all who are willing to accept the truth. 

We work and we strive and we battle.  You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask (James 5:2).  All we have to do is ask.  And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened (Luke 11:9-10).  As I have been told regarding the tense of the verbs in the original language, you could say, Ask and keep on asking, and you will receive and keep on receiving.  I do not think it is possible to max out because Jesus Himself said, To the one who has, more will be given (Luke 8:18).  

Why are we trying to live on lies?  Ask.


julie said...

Ringing the gong today. Thanks.

Don Johnson said...

Asking... heh.

The other day I was kvetching (over coffee of course) and said out loud, "How come God is so silent lately? What do I have to do to get his attention?" when on the radio, at that exact moment, an old Dylan song spun up with just the answer. You know, knock knock knockin' on heaven's door. Wife and I just looked at each other speechless-like for about 10 seconds and then burst out laughing.

Ya gotta love a God that can reach you with a silly knock knock joke.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Imitation bacon bits. {{Shudders}}

mushroom said...

Great story, Don.

Thanks, everyone.