Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Appearance versus reality?

<idle musing>
Yesterday, as I was walking home, I saw a nicely lit Christmas tree. It was a tall pine in the park I walk through. The tree is between the sidewalk that goes through the park and the road. As I got closer, something seemed wrong. The front of the tree was fully covered with lights, but the back of the tree had none. Obviously, the people in charge of decorations were concerned with putting on a show for people who would be driving to the nearby shops.

Sort of like the post I did on veneer a while back, only here there is no load bearing. The tree looks good, but only from a distance. How typical of our shallow existence in this post-modern world. We look good, but only from a distance. Our christianity can look good to an outsider, but don't get too close, only one side is decorated; we never really died to self. We don't really believe in the radical power of the Holy Spirit to truly transform/make new/regenerate. After all, we have to live the christian life, and we know we can't do it! How easily we forget that the truly Christian life is lived by the power of the Holy Spirit through people who have died to self and its desires.

This seems especially pertinent after coming back from the annual exhibit of pride called AAR/SBL. Don't get me wrong, I love AAR/SBL, but the amount of pride exhibited there is enough to fill a building 10 times the convention center (and I'm not exempt!). The alternative is moment by moment dependence on the Holy Spirit; trusting him to direct our thoughts and actions...of course, that isn't academic, since you can't measure and analyze it. But, it is more real than most things we can measure and analyze.

Just an idle musing on the last Tuesday before December...
</idle musing>

1 comment:

Andy said...

I saw them decorating said tree the other day. The single-sided appearance makes sense, if you realize they were trying to decorate it using a cherry picker parked on the nearest road---pretty hard to get all the way around it with that setup.