People say that I look at the world differently. Positively, some compliment me for my ability to see spiritual parallels in everyday occurrences and activities. Negatively, some criticize me for sermonizing current events and pop culture. Whether it is admirable or annoying, it is the way I have always seen my surroundings – recognizing the gospel in the movies of my childhood (especially E.T. and Return of the Jedi), witnessing the ‘hand of God’ in a number of otherwise ordinary things, and appreciating the bigger picture displayed all around us. I readily admit that I may be odd, but I like it that way.
I’d like to think that God is still speaking to those He loves through the channels of nature and culture. I’d like to think that God has not changed and what was true in the days of the early church are still true today: that His truths can be transmitted through tales about weddings, construction projects, family dynamics and botany. There are references in scripture to contemporary writings and secular personalities; why can’t we draw insights of our Creator based on the same. Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling did not give us inspired writings, ut they might enable us to gain a glimpse of God’s wisdom.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
I subscribe to the premise that Paul is stating in this excerpt from his letter to the church in Philippi that there are a great number of resources God can use to share His truth with us. Not everything is beneficial (after all, some things are not noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy) but some secular things are all these things. The grace of God could be experienced by walking through a spring meadow or a winter storm, gazing upon the Mona Lisa or Starry Night, reading To Kill a Mockingbird or The Hunger Games, or watching “Les Miserables” or “Downton Abbey”. The One who spoke through a donkey can certainly speak through any number of authors, poets, musicians or painters.
So, I will continue to look for the spaces between the lines of our contemporary existence where God may be breaking through. Without a doubt, at times the connections will be strained and at other times the connections will be strong. I will continue to share where I see God’s fingerprints as He moves around us to reveal Himself. He can be sensed with every reed squeak played by a school band, every great work of fiction or fact gracing the bestseller list, every great composition heard on the radio, very personal victory and every personal defeat.
Maybe you, too, look at the world differently. Maybe you’re able to connect the dots of life to the revelation of God or maybe you’re not. Either way, perhaps God is seeking to break through to you also and using the things in your life to do so. If so, do me a favor and enjoy what God is showing you.