As of late, God seems to be really having me focus on just how much we can make a true and deep difference in our world by how much we depend and give ourselves over to trusting Him, and His mighty ways.
As disciples of the Living God, we aim to dwell, constantly in His presence. No nasty thing can enter there… and so, I don’t know about you, but when I go into His presence, sometimes I have a pretty rough time.
There’s so many disgusting things in me, and when I try and go look at His face, they reveal themselves.
A thought occurred to me the other day. I was debating watching a certain movie with some of the teens in my house. This would have been a fun one; a bit edgy and maybe just over the line on the gore factor. But something inside of me was bothered.
These kids are looking at what I do as an example of what a ‘Godly’ man does. Whether they like it or not, our kids are always always learning from us, watching our every move.
Like I said, something about this particular movie bothered me inside, and I wanted to find out what. So I looked up the content on a very handy site. (It’s a tool, not a morality meter… it’s nice as a parent to know what is actually in a movie) Needless to say, this movie turned out to be full of things that I wasn’t comfortable showing to young people, let alone to watch myself.
I didn’t want to be entertained by people being mutilated. How is that any different than the coliseum. I could write it off as “They’re just actors” or “It’s just fun” but I just can’t. The further I get from watching violence and gore, the less I can handle it.
I don’t want to enjoy that… never. And if I’m numb with that stuff, then movies like “To End All Wars,” that tell a powerful tale worth cringing through, stories that give life.
So, I told one of the kids that I wasn’t going to watch it. She asked why. I thought for a moment how to explain it to her. My reply, “I don’t want to have to shut off my conscience to have a good time. I don’t want to take a break from being with God to watch a movie.”
She immediately cocked her head to the side. I could see her wheels turning. “Yeah, that makes sense.”
Now, the point of this is to not make rules about movies, I’m not interested in that at all. We each have our own capacities and conscience. I’m on the sensitive side of a lot of things. It’s the way God made me. I can’t expect anyone else to feel the same about the personal stuff I feel… But I have to pay attention to what makes me feel separated from God.
My point is that if I want to really know the Father, and really allow Him to draw near me and draw me near, I can never let myself take a break from being His beloved child. And to be honest, when you think about it, who would want to. I want to be in my Father’s heart… and I want to view things in that light.
What is He thinking? What is He doing? Where is He going? I wanna go there.
Sometimes it is to the movies with a friend. Sometimes to the slums. Who knows… but where He goes, I want to go. I want to learn to be a tool in His hands, and I want him to turn me in to an instrument of peace making in His mighty hands.
Today, let’s look at the prayer of St. Francis. And again, don’t just blast through and read it, but instead, take in each and every word and pray it yourself. This is real freedom.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me so love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.