Good Gifts

JetsonsI remember way back in 1964 during Social Studies class we figured out what age we kids would be in the year 2000. That seemed like a Sci-fi year to all of us as it was so very far in the future. We did essays on what we thought the world would be like in the year we would turned 50 years old. Despite the fact that all of us thought 50 was an ancient age, and it was hard for us to believe we would ever be “that old,” we began to imagine and dream what it would be like. Most of us thought it would be like the “Jetsons” cartoon on television replete with spaceship like cars, robots serving us, anti-gravity belts, instant food cooking, and a dog name Astro.

Now, we are all well past that 2000 year marker. While I cannot speak for my classmates, who could be inventors or scientists making stunning Sci-fi gizmos, I don’t have an anti-gravity car, nor can I transport to Hawaii in 5 minutes like Judy Jetson did for a beach party. But, we do have communicators (cell phones), nearly instant cooking (microwave ovens), video calling and a bunch of other Jetsons-like stuff. Too bad the robots haven’t progressed past vacuuming the floor as far as serving us at home, but they are in every industry so even that has come true.

Our imaginations as a generation of kids took us toward those inventions and technologies and many of them were created. It’s all pretty impressive what humankind has done and taken all the credit for.  Yes, I was being a little critical because, by and large, we have left out of the picture a very important component; the central reason we have been blessed with all these creature comforts. Left out by most folks has been the divine inspiration and blessings of the Lord God. There has been a gross lack of spiritual connection to the One giving all these good things to humankind. That Father God would be involved in inspiring invention and technology doesn’t seem to fully compute with our culture. Nonetheless, the Word of God says in James 1:17 “All good things come down from the Father of Lights above.”

Technological and scientific advances are a remarkable part of living in our day. Someone asked me if I was overwhelmed by all the advancements that occurred since the 1960’s.  “Not really” was my response. For me seeing what I imagined at the age of 14 come to pass is not what amazes me the most in my life.  No, the remarkable part of my life has been the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One through whom all things are made. (John 1:3, Romans 1:20) He is the most wonderful “good thing” that ever came down from the Father of Lights and He is at heart of every single invention and technology that has bettered our lives.

It was March 1990 that I met the giver of all good things.   Jesus revealed Himself to me, introduced me to my loving Father in Heaven and poured out His Spirit upon me. The 39+ years before that encounter with Him are to me a vapor, dust, and as Paul said: all my works are but “dung” compared to this life walk with Jesus. And, most assuredly NOTHING compares with the glory that awaits those of us who have been apprehended by Him and have yielded to His transforming love. No technology or invention or anything man has or will do holds a candle to Him.

Life for me now is not looking to futuristic things or running after the latest invention or creature comforts, though His gift of those to humankind is very appreciated. What would we do without electricity, air-conditioning, central heat, indoor plumbing, medical advances, and on and on?  Even so, life for me boils down to this: Christ Jesus is my Central Thing! What I want most, my deepest heart desire, is that I am free in HIM. I want to be so free in Him that my heart desire is always His heart desire and that there are no conflicts between us. I desire so much unity with my Savior that my opinion is His opinion, my words His words, my actions His actions.

To know Him, to truly know Him, is so much more exciting than getting the latest smart phone, playing around with the voice activated television or gaming device, or even taking a trip around the world in the latest most luxurious way. Why? Because none of those Sci-fi inventions come true can give me lasting peace in my inner being. They can bring momentary happiness, but not joy that strengthens me. They can’t help me to feel loved and accepted nor instill in me or give to me kindness, gentleness, generosity or gratefulness.  There is no grace, mercy or forgiveness that flows from what humankind has accomplished, only a greedy desire for more and better seems to be the result. All the good gifts inspired by God have not satisfied our souls or quenched the longing we each have to feel a part of something greater than ourselves.

GivingHandzHe inspired all these things and has blessed us with so much despite our indifference to Him. Instead of imagining more and better stuff all the time, or longing for the same, maybe we should refocus and simplify.  Let’s imagine the kind good things that would begin to pour out of heaven if we all stopped for a time a each day and thanked Him for what we have, for what He has done, for His inspiration, and for all the wonderful things He has given us.  Maybe He would begin to inspire us toward loving one another as He has loved us, toward living in a bond of peace, toward helping one another to be the best we can be in HIM.  Yes, just maybe He has a lot more good things that we have never been open to receive because we have been so focused on our stuff…

Imaging a world with their hearts turned toward HIM!
With love to all the saints,
Rev. Cheryl


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