Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Through New Eyes

When Aubrey and I began our blog way back in '06 I remember a funny thing happening. It didn't take long before I began to start seeing every part of life as being a potential blog post. I no longer lived life in a simple, happy-go-lucky, non-reflective sort of way. No, I began to filter my experiences through the lens of blogability.

The same thing happened after I signed up for facebook. Each experience, quip, or mishap, no matter how mundane prompted reflection: "Could this be turned into a clever status update?"

When Ken and I began blogging here at The Moose back in November, these silly reflections took a more serious turn. As I was putting more time into writing things of a more serious, edifying nature, I began to search my daily experiences for illustrative material. I began asking not simply, "Could this be turned into a blog post," but "Could this be used to illustrate a bible verse, hebrew word, or theological dynamic?"

Looking at our life through lenses is not bad. It's inevitable. We all do it. Sometimes its instructive to reflect on what lenses we filter our experiences through. Blogability? Facebookability? Tweetability? Other lenses are more serious. Vanity? (everything that happens is one more chapter in the amazing story of me!) Pessimism? (just a more depressing take on vanity) A Quest? (every experiences relates to my search for meaning in ______)

The Bible encourages us to wear certain interpretive lenses. Romans 8 teaches us about God's sovereignty, and encourages us to see our lives not as meaningless progressions of bloggable (or not) events, but as being guided by the hand of our loving Heavenly Father. Can I reflect on my daily events and appreciate that God is in control (even if I don't understand why things happened the way they did)? Can I learn to be thankful and even worshipful in the knowledge that God knows every sparrow that falls?

Other lenses influence the way we see the whole world. For instance, a Biblical lens sees all of history as broken up into periods of Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. This lens helps us to understand an important cosmic trajectory. Likewise when we learn to see the world in theological categories. This world is fallen, stepped in sin, yet being redeemed. The church, which is the kingdom of God, is growing, and slowly but surely people are being redeemed, and rescued from the dominion of darkness.

Biblical lenses help us to make sense of the world, even when we don't see the ultimate purpose behind every event. They give us hope, give us meaning and give us direction. And they help us to see the significance of every experience, quip, and mishap, no matter how mundane.

Note: I like that last sentence, but let me be clear. Saying that biblical lenses can help us to see the significance of every experience most certainly does NOT mean that we will understand just exactly why God sees fit to order our lives or the world at large the way he does. However, good Biblical lenses will help us to know that though his providence is mysterious, He is in control. And sometimes that is enough.

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