Why Is The World Like This Anyway? - Craig Lounsbrough
Why is The World Like This?
Why is the world like this anyway? Why is the world so much of what we don’t want it to be like, and a whole lot less of what we do want it to be like? Why is it so incredibly difficult to create the kind of world that we all would love to live in? How is it that we’re able to visualize what we would actually like the world to be like, yet we seem so incredibly incapable of actually creating the very world that we visualize?
Musicians have penned thousands of magnificent lyrics about such a world. An untold number of novels have spun inspiring stories about it. Endless movie makers have produced captivating films that have brought it to the big screen and have enthralled us with the possibility of it all. Poets have extolled its virtues in rhyme and pulpiteers have spoken of it in words both beautiful and compelling.
We know what we want. We’ve immersed ourselves in the idea of it. We sing about it, write about it, make movies about it, pen poems and preach sermons about it. So with all of that, why can’t we make it happen? Why?
In contemplating all of that, I would wonder if we are the problem. It seems that we are forever getting in our own way. We can be our own best visionary, but we can likewise be our own worst enemy. It’s odd that we can visualize great things but become the obstacles to those great things. We do that in virtually every area of our lives. We are creatures who possess great vision, but alone we lack the resources and the fortitude to sufficiently eliminate all of the things that would impede or ultimately destroy that vision. We can imagine glorious things, but we have a very difficult time accepting the fact that the worst of our behaviors will always sabotage the best of our dreams. We have been blessed with a brilliant visionary ability that is marred by the fallen nature of our being.
Some of us (possibly many of us) don’t necessarily like the idea of God. Many of us prefer to believe (in whatever way we choose to believe it) that, in a sense, we are our own gods. That we are capable and sufficient on our own…thank you very much. That the idea of a God suggests that we’re needy, or that we’re not quite as independent as our independent spirit would like to believe, or that we’re a bit more broken and a bit less able to fix that brokenness than we’d like to admit. That somehow we need this ethereal parental-figure, even though we are quite finished with the whole idea of being parented. That on our own, we’re incapable of getting past the things we’d prefer not to own. That our own sin and fallenness eventually crushes the dreams that we lovingly dreamt, which leaves us fearful of ever dreaming again.
We are left with the vexing reality that despite this wonderful ability to envision great and marvelous things, somehow we can’t quite get the job done. Human history has marched through thousands upon thousands of generations and we still can’t get it done. Endless centuries have come and gone, and the vision of marvelous things remains nothing more than a vision. We might achieve pieces and parts of it here and there, but it appears that we can never create the whole. Why can’t we change all of that? Why is the world like this anyway?
Are we so stubborn as to not see the fallenness of our nature? Doesn’t the evidence over untold millennia make it quite clear? We are made in the image of God, so we are capable of dreaming great things. But that image is fallen, so on its own it can’t achieve them. Yet, to think that in partnership with God those things are actually possible…well, I would hope that that might be the greatest vision of all. Why is the world like this anyway? Maybe you should think about that.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- John 16:33