Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Everything Is Interesting

When a 14 year old girl in suburbia can type “I’m bored, plz txt” on her facebook status, I think it safe to say we have lost something. She certainly has. I mean - she is on the INTERNET. At her fingertips is the ability to communicate, learn and be entertained. She could spend an entire week on the Internet and never even come close to perusing all the sites she might have even a cursory interest in. Interest. That is what is lost – the sense that things are interesting. If she cannot be interested – in fact she is bored – on the Internet, why would we be surprised if she is bored in school or church?

But we cannot be too hard on her. I have trouble sitting in a waiting room for more than 5 minutes without needing to play/text/call someone/listen to music with my phone. I am not all that sure how it happened. I have some guesses on contributing factors but for the life of me, I cannot get my head around why we have so little interest in – well – everything. Maybe we are far too utilitarian. Maybe we are too used to instant access to everything. Maybe we are what is boring. Perhaps it is all of the above.

Recently someone pointed out how many interests I have. My first, gut-level response was, “Well, I am kinda interested in everything.” I know, sounds pretty pretentious. I felt pretty dumb saying it – like some sophomore in college who cannot make up his mind on a major and you just know he is going to end up studying Russian Lit and working at Starbucks.

But then I got to thinking, “is everything interesting?” Is it true? Can we actually say without equivocation everything is interesting? Is it going out on a limb to say without reservation, “everything is interesting”? Let me tell you a story…

About 10 to 12 years ago, I picked up a copy of a magazine called “Skeptic”. It was put out by…ummm, well…skeptics. And I read it from cover to cover. Fascinating stuff to be honest and I was surprised at how varied their skepticism was. But I noticed something running through the whole thing – it seemed they were only interested in being dismissive. My first thought was how “small” it is. There is nothing profound about being skeptical about everything and anything.

So I wrote them an email and told them. Email was still fairly new so I got a pretty quick response from the editor. His basic response was “we do a lot of things that are not profound…like go to the bathroom.” Crap. That sounded like such a good response. Immediate humiliation. After a day or two, I got to thinking through what sounded like a really, really good argument. “Really, going to the bathroom is not profound? What about for those who cannot because of sickness or disease? What if we could not ever rid ourselves of our own waste? Would I ever tell a person with a colostomy bag that going to bathroom is not a profound thing? Would I tell God this?” I wrote and asked him these questions – minus the one about God because he is, well, a skeptic. I got no response. Score.

That episode taught me two things. First, the standard for what is profound is usually subjective. Sometimes the very opposite of the conventional wisdom is true.

Those two lessons go well with the discussion about what is interesting. Now is probably a good time to bring in some objective “evidence” so as to nail some conventional wisdom on the cross.

The very first statement in the Scriptures is that God created the heavens and the earth. This is fairly significant on a variety of levels. But certainly if God creates something it is interesting. It is worthy of our interest to some degree. We should at least not be bored with it. Imagine this conversation -

Created Being: That drive through Kansas on I-70 is soooo boring. I prefer tress. There should be more trees.

Creator of Everything: I did that.

Created Being: Oh. Sorry.

That is not on my list of conversations to have with the Sovereign God of the entire Universe.

Romans 11:36 has a little to say on this subject, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” This verse not only tells us all things find their ultimate origin in God but if anything is done it is done by him and for him. I do not think it is pushing it to say that if a mite moves in Minnesota God did it. And he did it for his glory. And we should care if we are aware it has happened. Again, are you willing to label anything boring if God is the origin, means and purpose of “all things’?

Last verse. Colossians 1:15, 16, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.” The “him” is Jesus. The one who was born of a virgin in a barn in Bethlehem. The “him” is the one who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” He is the one who exhibited love like no other. He is the one who, though the King of the Universe, got on his knees and washed the crap off the disciple’s feet. He is the one who was whipped, shamed, tortured and crucified on a Roman Cross only to be mocked. He, the one who created the very nails piercing his hands is the one died this death so that we might enjoy his love forever. Through him, this One who created “all things”, we have forgiveness of our sins and the promise of eternal joy. In other words, Jesus – our Lord and Savior, Redeemer and friend, the one who is not ashamed to call us ‘brother’ – created everything. Is anything he created not interesting?

If anything has to do with Jesus, it is worthy of interest. And since everything is about Jesus, everything should be worthy of our interest. How could we ever be bored? We should be the kind of people that are interested in everything. We should be thinking deeply about how everything can tell us more about this amazing Jesus. We should be fixed on the pursuit of thinking about all things in relation to the One Who created them.

Everything is interesting.


Mr. Bausch said...

Love this! Thank you for posting!


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