Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blind, Deaf & Dull

Isaiah 6:10 (ESV)

"Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes"

It is difficult to find good TV shows for children today.
One third of the stuff out there is shameless promotion from a company that wants you to purchase its merchandise. (Yu Gi Oh, Sonic, Dora, Bratz)
A second third has too much violence or mystical mumbo jumbo (pretty much anything made in Japan) And of the remaining shows, most either highlight bad attitudes or are just too annoying for any parent to take. I even find all the wonderful shows that I loved as a child are not that suitable for my children, at least yet (Think Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, the 3 Stooges, Pee-Wee's Playhouse)

Veggie Tales can only last so long! So since we are not hip to modern TV features (i.e. DVR or TiVo or On Demand) we find ourselves at the local library more and more, picking out the few videos that won't hype up the kids or drive us crazy. There are not that many.

But one series that seems to be calm enough for the kids is a British cartoon called Kipper. There are no sales pitches, no eastern-religion, no violence or bad attitudes, and most important of all, it's not Barney. Its just the ordinary happenings of an orange beagle and his friends, and I mean ordinary.

One eight minute episode is entitled "Nothing Ever Happens" and showcases Kipper saying at least five times:
"What a boring day. Nothing ever happens. I mean nothing ever, really, happens"

This is great- a cartoon about being bored. But as the episode goes on, all sorts of crazy things are happening right around Kipper, only he's not paying any attention. Instead he just goes on saying what a boring day it is, oblivious of all the excitement that's right next to him.

In Isaiah 6:10 we see God's first post-vision message to Isaiah for the people of Judah and it's not a fun one. (But since when was the truth popular?) He is to declare to the people the fact that they will not hear or respond to God's message because they are spiritually blind, deaf and dull. Ouch. That's not what we want to hear. But before we can be hit with the Good News, we need to understand just how bad it is and how bad we are.
That total deficiency in perceiving and understand spiritual matters comes standard in human beings. We are born with our default setting to "off" when it comes to God. We don't naturally perceive Him or listen to Him or respond to Him. We are not just in need of some fine tuning. Its not just a matter of turning up our hearing aides or getting a stronger prescription for our glasses. We are "dead in [our] transgressions and sins (Eph. 2:1)"

Even for Christians who, through the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, are made alive in Christ (Eph. 2:4-5), it is easy for us to revert back to the not hearing/seeing/responding setting. And when that happens, we find ourselves not only aloof from the things of God, but also just plain bored. We wonder when God is going to show up, and act, and respond to our prayers, and give us direction, and help us. We want some sign or proof that God is at work, and then complain when we can't sense that.

In many ways, we end up saying or at least thinking the same as our friend Kipper:
"Nothing ever happens. I mean nothing ever, really, happens"

I think the real problem is not with our surroundings or circumstances, it's with our perception. God is always at work, Jesus continues to intercede for us at the right hand of the throne, the Holy Spirit does not take a day off, God's Kingdom continues to advance. But we are often blind or deaf or dull to that. Instead, our prayer should continue to be for Jesus Christ to once again touch our blind eyes, to loose our deaf ears and to revive our dull hearts (Lk. 4:20)

Remember: Most bored people are really just boring! But Jesus Christ is the only original thought that this tired world has ever known. He has come to make all things new (Rev. 21:5).

Lord, give us new eyes and ears and hearts to perceive You!

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