Friday, February 5, 2010

Familiarity-The Death of Excitement

I checked G.K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man out of Biola's library yesterday, and I just finished the introduction. He speaks about familiarity, and how all too often with fallen man familiarity leads to fatigue. As an example of this fatigue, Chesterton says that if we could just see the familiar story of Christ in a new light, we would see how truly incredible and supernatural that story is. He puts the story of Christ in the terms of an oriental religion, and the results, to me at least, are mind-blowing. He says, "We should admire the chivalry of the Chinese conception of god who fell from the sky to fight the dragons and save the wicked from being devoured by their own fault and folly." It's not quite as impressive separated from the rest of the page, but I think it still works pretty well. Is what Christ did any less impressive than this Chinese god Chesterton speaks of? Of course not. But I'll bet a chill ran down your spine as you read about the god who fell from the sky to save the wicked from themselves.

I wish that I could always see the story of Christ for what I know it to be, the awesome story of a God who saw his beloved in chains, being led to the fires of hell, and cried out to his beloved, "I will save you." It is the story of a high and mighty God who become low and weak to save his beloved, the story of the Living One who died so that his beloved might live. It is, without a doubt, the greatest story ever told, and it actually happened. To us.

But I am familiar with this story, and I know how it ends, so I would rather play video games than read the Book of Books, which the God of the universe wrote through dozens of human authors over thousands of years. I would rather check my Facebook than talk to the Creator, who knew me and loved me in the darkness before created things.

Now, those of you who know me (probably all two of you reading this) will know that I don't have anything against facebook or video games. But there's a problem when I see either of those things (or anything) as more exciting than meditating on the ultimate love story between Creator and creation, a Father and His children, and a Lover and His beloved. What's even crazier is that the story is all these things at once, and more! And we can read about it, reading the very words of God, and we, fallen, sinful, and filthy, can speak to, and be heard by, the Most High! I try, every day, to remind myself of these things, to see them as they really are. I don't know if I ever will see them on this side of eternity "face to face," as Paul says, but at least we can strive to see ever more clearly through the grace of God.

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