Silver Chair

Silver Chair,
how I hate you!
You’re always there, lurking,
at the end of every good thing!
(Stealing away every pleasure!)

Silver Chair,
how I hate your lies!
You tell me all this wasn’t,
while all the while I know it was! It was!
(You took it away!)

Temptation, come my way!
Lured and trapped,
sheep to the slaughter!

Silver Chair,
how I hate your words!
You speak to me of dos and donts,
but I know of your weels and your wonts!
(Cast it to the ground!)

Silver Chair,
how I hate your angles!
You make meaningless my pleasure
and you show me my measure!
(Burn bright to the ground!)

Temptation, come my way!
Lurid and tainted,
sheep to the slaughter!

Silver Chair,
trouble me no more!
You’re gone within minutes,
why should I care.
(Why do you care?)

Silver Chair,
how I hate what you show!
You show me what’s ugly…
you show me myself.
(Don’t show me myself.)

Temptation, come my way.
Bruised and broken,
sheep to the shear.

Silver Chair,
don’t leave me here!
You’re already gone,
you’ve left me alone.
(Don’t leave me alone.)

Silver Chair,
why did you go?
I want what you do.
Clarity. You do clarity.
(Clearly. You show me clearly.)

Temptation, go away.
Broken and beaten,
crushed underfoot.

Silver Chair,
you bring me clarity.
You put everything in its place.
All weights are set correct.
(Gravity sets all a’right.)

Silver Chair!
Reflector of my heart!
Don’t go!
You’re gone.
(I want to go with you.)

Temptation, get behind me!
Beaten and lost,
crushed under your foot!

Silver Chair,
you were never the thing were you?
You cleared the air, brought sanity to madness,
so I could find myself clearly.
(Clearly. So I could find You clearly.)

God,
have mercy on me,
a sinner!

 

Lives of Quiet Desperation

Henry-David-ThoreauMy father, on more than one occasion, has referenced this quotation in various discussions on purpose and meaning: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation“. I’ve been thinking about that lately. So, I Googled the phrase this evening and came across this enlightening write up, entitled Quiet Desperation, on the words, the man behind them, and where those thoughts can lead, either for good or for ill. Here’s an excerpt to give you a taste,

One night very early on in a life, a young boy lay back on the rocky New England soil, contemplating the heavens,  “looking through the stars to see if I could see God behind them.” This quest became one of the primary motivators of his life — one might say he never stopped looking into nature for the ultimate truth.

But what did Henry David Thoreau mean by his famous observation, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them”?

You may have seen those Facebook/Twitter/Instagram memes, the ones that say something to the effect of “Everyone you meet is battling inner demons that you known nothing about.” It’s so true. As much as we want to be open and free with our feelings and emotions with friends and family there are some things too deep, too subtle, too sensitive, to speak openly about. I think of the late Robin Williams. A man of laughter but a man of surprising inner turmoil to the point of ultimate desperation. If you don’t have a friend you can talk to, know that you have a friend in Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16,17

Soli Deo gloria

On Purpose

The following After Eden comic, for biblical creation ministry Answers in Genesis, was published on Saturday, October 19, 2012,

And the following is my comment on their Facebook post of the same comic identifying what I felt made this comic much better than it at first appears,

This question is actually better than it at first appears. Atheists will immediately respond that the recognition of their argument would lead to people living their lives as they truly wish, not ‘controlled’ by religion or fear of gods, and religious based conflict would stop. We would finally be ‘free’ to live in peace and we would go from strength to strength unrestrained by ‘artificial’ barriers. Utopia. But they rarely take the next logical outcome of throwing away an ultimate authority and throwing away purpose: there is then no reason to act in any kind of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way, and everyone would do what was right in his own eyes (see the Book of Judges for what happens when this is the case). Neither would we have justification for the government and law which puts restrictions on ‘bad’ behaviour. We can see the beginning of this kind of thinking in the last century with the courts having no real authority to condemn anything, instead relying on causes outside the control of the perpetrator like genetics, or up-brining, or mental illness. They can’t call it morally deviant, there’s no yardstick to do that with anymore. Thus, instead of the atheist’s utopia you actually get something worse. What the atheist can’t see or doesn’t want to see is that their utopian vision is actually dystopian.

Did Jesus wrongly kill the fig tree?

I came across Mark 11:13-14 in my reading today,

Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

My immediate thought was something bordering on fear because I applied the passage to myself – I must always be in season! I must always be baring fruit! God can come back and any time and what if I’m not helping build the Kingdom at that exact moment!

Now, all that is true in some regard. We are to be about the Master’s business and we are to be watchful for His return, which could be at any time. But what about sleep? Rest? Time to eat? Time for relationships? Time for fun? Time for reading? Time for education and learning? All of these could be considered taking away from the ideally direct tasks of the Great Commission, but, really? Withering a fig tree because it didn’t bare fruit out of season? Something doesn’t sound right to our sense of fairness and justice…

So, I did what I always do when I have questions about the bible: I googled it. After a quick (five second) google I found tektonics.org, which I respect. I  read their article about the same passage, Did Jesus wrongly kill the fig tree? And it seems there is a much more immediate meaning to the passage. Give it a read, here’s an excerpt:

A common explanation that the fig tree in question had not produced the “pre-figs” (somewhat edible, very young figs) that it should have borne along with the leaves. Hence, it was barren and useless – and thus became a prophetic symbol and an object lesson: That which does not produce fruit will be cut down – just like a weed.

This is correct, but incomplete. Throughout the OT, and in the NT, the fig tree as a symbol is tied in with expectation — and withering is tied in with judgment…

Give it a read, and then pause, and calmly think on it.

Selah.