Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Monday, June 06, 2005

Here We Are Now Entertain Us

As I examine the generation I am from, it intrigues me to see where we have come from and where we currently are. The greatest word to describe our generation is in the form of a question: “Why?” We are a generation that has questioned everything. We are a generation that has been given so much and hasn't experienced physical hardship. In the words of Smells like Teen Spirit which mirrored our generation, Kurt Cobain sings, “Here we are now, entertain us.” We are on top of the world, in control of our lives and have arrived as the greatest generation.
However, as I talk with my peers and examine myself, after questioning everything we have nothing to stand on. It is impossible to build on an absent foundation. The ramifications are endless and the results freightening.
How do we as Christians live in this world? How do we first figure out where we are in this world? We could put on a smile, say, “Jesus loves me,” and “Give thanks in all things,” as we scream inside “Help!” This façade, as C.S. Lewis writes, “is boy’s philosophies” and will not help a dying world. You cannot change the real world around you by escaping it in your mind.
So, we arrive at the foundational issue which asks the daunting question-why are you a Christian? It is at this question that our foundation has begun. I am not talking about the future as a Christian and the blessings to come (i.e. heaven), or the past and what our parents, grandparents and church fathers believed-I am talking about the present.
In our present state, there is a recognition that must be made by all Christians. In response to this question (Why are you a Christian?), a professor of mine had a simple, yet profound answer. His reply was, “Because I have met Someone who is greater than I.”
For me, it is hard to think that I am not in control. As a member of the generation who says “Here we are now, entertain us,” it disturbs me when my world is chaotic. I hate not being in control of my life. I hate the fact that this world does not continue for my sake, but for Something else. In the realization that God is truly greater than me, quite frankly it angers me. I want to be great, to be important, and to be in charge. However, my God is infinitely greater than me and I am jealous and envious, the same reaction Satan had. I want to be as great as He is.
It is at this point that true Christianity is solidified. I have a choice at this knowledge of Who is truly in control. One choice is to despise Him and try in my own religious brainwashing of going to a religious ceremony regularly, reading spiritual literature including the Bible and becoming a moral person. I think I can earn my salvation by my own holiness, which is the greatest sin.
Or, I could realize this fact and drop to my knees. It is this death to me that is undeniably terrifying. I am nothing apart from God. Subordination will be the well from where true action of Christianity in reading His Word, going to church and establishing morals in our lives, will flow.
So the question still remains- Why are you a Christian? Are you living a perfect, pious, moral life in denial that He is God? Are you escaping the truth by putting on a smile, singing praises to God, saying your life is great, but inside you are saying “Help me!” We do not serve a God who WAS and who WILL BE, but who IS as well. Why are you a Christian?


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