Friday, November 25, 2011

Family Drama

I'm reading through Genesis again as part of the Bible in a Year plan I'm doing.  I'm in the midst of reading about the family drama that was central to the beginnings of Israel.  As I noted earlier, this is better than an episode of Jerry Springer.  The birth of the 12 tribes of Israel was more complicated and dramatic than a group of five teenage girls all in love with the starting quarterback locked in an eight by eight room watching chick flicks.  But God used it all to His glory and ultimately our salvation.

Today is a day for football, leftovers, shopping and some serious drama.  People who go shopping may be sleep deprived when they encounter other shoppers seeking the same deals and all can easily become rabid in their competitive quest to win the prized Tickle Me Elmo.  People who have to work are aggravated they have to work with all the crazy people that show up in such a frantic state.  There is an increase in domestic violence cases starting with Thanksgiving - I guess the lumpy gravy can throw some people over the edge.  And that's just the major stuff that gets reported; probably every family has known its fair share of lower level drama over the holidays when we are supposed to be merry and thankful.

Sin isn't new.  It isn't a new invention we have brought upon ourselves in the 20th century.  Suffering was not a recent development in the evolution of mankind.  Sin and suffering have been around since Adam and Eve, but we have to remember that God has the power to bring amazing, incredible, unthought of and unsought after miracles out of this chaos we call drama.

I just read this article by Peter Kreeft.  I highly recommend it and look forward to its subsequent parts.

From the moment of our birth, human nature includes two incompatible elements – the presence of pain, and the demand for its absence. We all have pain, and we all hate pain. Buddha's First Noble Truth, and Freud's pleasure principle. What is pain? It is the disproportion between desire and satisfaction. In the words of England's richest philosopher, "I can't get no satisfaction." And "You can't always get what you want."

The modern secular West tries to get the satisfaction; the ancient mystical East tries to get rid of the desires. The West tries to conquer the pain; the East tries to conquer the fear of the pain. Our common problem is that our desires are greater than our satisfactions. The West tries to change that disequation by bringing satisfactions up to the level of desires – of course, this never works – while the East seeks the same end by the opposite means of bringing desires down to or even below the level of satisfaction. And this does work, but only for the practiced Yogan or enlightened Buddhist. East and West both give us roads for escaping the problem. They're opposite roads, but they both escape the disproportion between desire and satisfaction, which is the formula for pain, or suffering.
I love how he talks about both the West and the East and how different cultures attempt to solve the pain problem in different ways.  Nothing is sufficient without God though.  God can make sense of the drama in our lives.  God can make amazing use of the world's sins and sufferings, including yours and mine.

So today, let's try not to cause any drama, and be in service to our King.  Let's also remember that when drama comes, God will be there too.

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