Conversation, careers, and God
Over the years I have grown weary of all the God-talk, including my own. There’s often an emptiness and a lack of ringing reality about it all.
Depends who you are talking to and when; it isn’t always like that to be sure. But most of us are usually better at talking (or writing) than actually living. The living part – that is the hard part. But all the god-less talk isn’t much better either. Really, it isn’t. If you are like me, you have listened to enough secular sermons during the past 10 years or so to sink a ship. And a large one at that; about the size of the Costa Concordia. How this figure of speech got started, I have no idea. But you know what I mean. Day after day, god-less preachers pontificate habitually from some media and university pulpits. Wave after wave of endless chatter, produced by people who often appear to be warm and attractive and sophisticated and lively and completely oblivious to God.
While I have felt, at times, like giving up on the God-talk and completely tuning-out the godless-talk, I haven’t given up at all on God or talk. At the risk of engaging in more less-than-helpful God-talk, may I simply draw your attention today to God.
There is a great sense of dignity that comes from understanding humanity in relationship to God
And if there are too many “nots” in the previous paragraph for your liking, please understand that there are also too many for mine. For I don’t mean to suggest or imply that negativity is synonymous with loving God. But how else do you communicate that God is more important than everything else than to say that this and that are not as important as God? A rewarding career can be a very positive part of your life, but would you agree that it makes a lousy substitute for God?
The other substitutes we all try, every once in a while, don’t really work either. If you want to talk hollow, empty, lame, talk consider what we all usually tend to talk about a lot – ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. As a Christian, albeit a flawed and frail one, I have come to understand that there is a great sense of dignity that comes from understanding humanity in relationship to God. As I Christian, I can say that your life truly matters without talking nonsense. Your whole life matters: what you did today matters; how you feel matters; your hopes and dreams matter; your hurt matters; your job matters; your friends matter; your kids matter; your sickness matters; your culture matters; your nation matters, your words matter etc. But, at the same time, it is all secondary. You only matter because God matters.
But many people happily deny God and then talk as if their talk and their life really, really matters now. They talk and talk and talk (or write and write and write) about themselves. This is very strange, even bizarre. Consider that what they say and what they do amounts to very little within their own system. A stunning vision of a hill of beans comes to mind, as an eerie rendition of “Dust in the Wind” plays softly in the background. If excessive self-talk wasn’t so common and seriously considered nowadays, it would be quite comical.
Speaking of comics, Larry the cucumber and Bob the tomato are two of my favorite vegetables. If you are familiar with Veggie Tales you know that “Silly Songs with Larry” is the time in the program when Larry the cucumber comes out to sing a silly song. Larry is full of life. Larry is crazy. Whoever created Larry must be nuts. One classic production, as far as I am concerned, is Larry’s enthusiastic rendition of “The Sad Sabu, the Mad Sabu, and the Mute Sabu.” Larry is delightful, charming, hilarious. Larry the cucumber is many things during the “Sabu-moo-moo” sing-along, but he is definitely not self-absorbed.
A parable perhaps, for those who would like to see their career and their conversations come to life.
*Strong statements are made here and large worldview issues are raised. This is done out of a desire to encourage you to carefully consider the implications of your worldview. Communicating disrespect and causing offence is not at all the intent. Worldview discussion questions are available.
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