“When we submit our lives to what we read in scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves. ”
― Eugene H. Peterson
A couple of days ago the new movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” began pre-sale of its tickets for the premiere on December 18th of this year. Two months away and it has become the largest pre-sale in history breaking records of major movie premieres 6 times over. Over $6 million has been spent on tickets to this reboot of what may be the best series of movies ever made, at least the most popular.
Something you must know about me. I’m a Star Wars geek. As a kid I used to love playing with my Star Wars action figures. Somewhere, in a deep dark attic there is a box full of Star Wars toys that I used to play with, gathering dust, waiting for an awakening. And now, The Force Awakens. Ha!
The third trailer for this movie came out over the weekend and I have to admit, hearing the music, seeing my favorite characters from long ago…I lost it. Tears welled up in my eyes and my heart grew faint as I watched in anticipation of what I’m sure will be a great film.
Which brings me to my thoughts this morning. All week long I have written about some very emotional and, I believe, compelling ideas about putting the soul back in your life, your family, and even your place of business. We all have a need to feel something that is transcendent, something that takes us away from the hum-drum way of life. Movies give me the transcendence. For you that may be the case or it may be something else.
Whatever it is, we all long to have the feeling that we are a part of a larger plot or a greater purpose. But for whatever reason, I think we all have this feeling deep within our souls that we are just a mess.
This morning I want to give you a few ideas about how to find something that lies beyond your ordinary range of perception. This is not about finding your religion. God knows we don’t need that.
- Set aside your pre-conceived notion of religion. One of the most troubling aspects of modern humanity is our unwillingness to accept that there may be something beyond us, outside of us, and external to our way of rational, logical thinking. If your experience with institutional forms of religion was rough, I want to encourage you that you aren’t alone. Most man-made forms of “transcendence” leave us wanting more, to say the least. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t something still there for you to be aware of. It may just be the one messy thing that brings order to your crazy life.
- Simplify your choices. There are only two realities. Two. The first reality is that there is truth and life. The second reality is that there are lies and death. In each reality, the two elements play to each other. Knowing the truth leads to life and in turn having life leads to better understanding of truth. In the second reality, where there are many lies there is death and where death is dominant, lies are not far behind. What you need is not to know all the choices out there, but to know the way through those choices.
- Don’t deny reality. Unfortunately, because there are many lies, there is much death. And death is constantly working its way into your relationships, your family, your community, and your business. Life is often challenged by the death of relationships. It is just messy. This reality can’t be denied, but it should lead us to search for something more.
- Take a good look at Jesus. Yep, I went there. There are scores of books that have been written about Jesus. The one most people forget about is the Bible. The Jesus that is presented to you in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is worth spending a whole lot more time listening to, reading about, and emulating. I’m not telling you to go to church. We can talk about that another time. What I am telling you is to do just what I said. Take a good look at Jesus. If you are soulstuck, it would benefit you greatly to study the one who talked more about the soul than any other human being on the planet.
- Don’t quit searching. If you are a good person, it probably didn’t just come to you naturally. You had to work at it. If you are a good parent, then you know that it requires discipline. If you are a good business or sales person then you know that that didn’t happen by accident. Soul-searching is just as much a discipline as developing the skills to be successful as a parent, a community leader, or a business professional. Don’t quit searching for transcendence. There is a reality that is outside your ability to perceive it physically. It calls to you everyday of your life.
Talk to me. Where are you finding yourself searching for something outside of yourself? How can we engage in a more meaningful dialogue about the things that really matter?