Sunday, July 15, 2012

Living on the lifeboat: part 1

There is this old question where you are with a bunch of people are on a lifeboat: a stay at home mom, a CEO of a big company, a lawyer, an old man, a pregnant woman, and a preacher; seven in total. There is only enough room for six on the lifeboat. Who should get thrown overboard?
We can argue for hours about who we think is the most valuable and who we think is the least valuable, but the only thing we all seem to agree on is that we should definitely get a spot.

"After the world ends, when God destroys all our buildings and our flags, we will wish we had seen everybody as equal, that we had eaten dinner with the "unlovely" and "undesirable", held them in our arms, opened up our spare rooms and loved them and learned from them."-Donald Miller

There is a human obsession with ranking things and rating people. We endlessly compare ourselves to others. Are we cool or uncool, better or worse than that person? I am richer, she is prettier, he is smarter, we have better taste than so and so.  We so want desperately to be loved and valued. We are wired to receive worth from something outside of ourselves and it deeply compels us to seek it. We can call it the pursuit of happiness or self-actualization, but the reality is that we desire to be validated.
And it was in a garden, many millennia ago, that God saw the lovely couple he had made and declared them good. They were beautiful, content and secure because God had spoken to them; "You are loved" he said. Our hearts were made for relationship. We were designed for community, specifically with God and family and friends.
We have fallen out of sync with that relationship. The friendship with God, when everything was good. Now things are bad and we are surrounded by a hurting, broken mess of a world. The very values and principles that keep our societies and economies afloat are killing us. Slowly deteriorating our soul, the essence of what makes us human. We were made in God's image to live intimately with him, and in his absence we have made a mess. No longer do we see ourselves as beautiful, content and secure; we constantly try to climb the fictitious social ladder clawing over those above us and kicking those below us. We feel it is somehow vital to fight for our identities. To make sure we are not the least valuable on the lifeboat.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny, we were asked a similar row boat question in my 7th grade social studies class, " If you could pick only 7 people in the world to be in that surviving boat, who would they be?"
    I picked the 6 people George's family and an evangelist.

    Why? I'd been taught that without 'Jesus' they would go to hell.
    I couldn't bear it. My family would be fine, they were born in the right place and time.
    How I could believe something so evil about He who calls Himself, 'Love' still shakes me up.