Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
The story of the “Tower of Babel” is well stamped in my mind. When I was a child, my parents gave me The Children’s Living Bible…a delightful rendering of the Scriptures, complete with full color, impressionistic-sort-of illustrations. As a child, I didn’t pay much attention to the sermons from the pulpit—I looked through my Bible at the illustrations, wondering what life would have been like in that Biblical world. The Tower of Babel was right there…one of the first two or three pages of illustrations—a tall ziggurat, climbing into the clouds…abandoned.
As I got older, I actually read the story from Scripture…how in the early days of humanity, men and women came together to construct a tower to reach the heavens…to reach God. This is when God ‘confused their tongues’—created languages. The project screeched to a halt…and humanity divvied up and went their way, everyone according to their own language groups. The Tower was stopped and humanity never reached God.
Many years later, I realize that we are still striving to build that tower. Babel is a human construct—a way of putting things—reality—together in our own way. The tower is our insistence on doing things our way, on creating our own world, of making our own way to God…of reaching the heavens. The Tower of Babel is about living in a human-made reality in place of the God-made reality. The Tower is about living in our own creation rather than in God's creation. We insist on living in a world of our own making.
Our creations are supposed to be steps forward as we reach for the heavens. Our human technology has produced a plethora of ‘labor-saving devices'. But, there’s a problem—with all of these labor-saving devices, we should be the best-rested creatures on the planet, but what we find are the ‘tiredest,’ longest-working, least-vacationing people in the world. We work and work to build this grand Tower, to create our ‘amazing’ reality…but we are no closer to God or the heavens than were the mono-lingual people of the young earth.
Likewise, we’re trying to build our own forms of community—virtual ones. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn—I’m a part of them all. Yet, they all leave me wanting. In the end, I feel that all that happens in these ‘communities’ IS babble. I have two Facebook accounts—one for our ‘missions’ side…and then a personal one for ‘Jon.’ I find that I have two personas—or at least I did until today. Finally, I’ve come to realize that those FB accounts were places where I tried to create a comfortable reality, where I made my own realities that were convenient to my own ends or to the perceived expectations of my readers. What’s missing here in all this paragraph?? God. I was wrapped up in my own reality rather than living in God’s reality.
This immersion in our self-created worlds is part of our difficulty in connecting with our Creator. So, how do we escape this massive human construction project? How do we connect with our Creator? In some way, to come degree, we have to walk away from the Tower. Some how, we have got to move towards God’s reality, God’s creation, God’s rhythms. Perhaps that is what Paul means when he writes about “walking in the Spirit”. Perhaps that is why Jesus was off in the ‘wilderness’ to pray and spend time with the Father. Perhaps that is why we find so many of the “leaders” in the Scripture out in God’s reality—creation—to recharge their batteries, to commune with God. Babel may be under construction again, but we don’t have to join the project. Perhaps today is the day to lay down the hammer…and seek a living God in His living Creation in community with living people.
Monday, January 7, 2013
My present intellectual diet:
Under the Unpredictable Plant - Eugene Peterson
The Next 100 Years: A Forecast of the 21st Century - George Friedman
Brother Roger of Taize: Essential Writings
Experiences in Translation - Umberto Eco
I hope that you are reading also. If you've found a really good book, share the title with us in the comments below.
Hoping you all are off to a good New Year!
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Happy New Year to all! I hope that you are as happy to see this year beginning as I am. 2012 was a pretty good year…but this year will be even better!
I wish you and yours the very best in the days, weeks, and months to come. May we live well, live to the full, and live lives that impact others.
More to come…!
Feliz año!! Espero que también estás muy contento ver el inicio de este año como yo. El año 2012 fue bueno…pero este año será aun mejor!
Les deseo lo mejor por los días, semanas y meses por venir. Que vivemos bien, que vivemos con abundancia, y que vivemos en una manera para impactar las vidas de la gente alrededor.