ENRAPTURED

In an age when a humorous image macro of a domesticated carnivore clad as a sea-faring buccaneer conveyed to you from an acquaintance via translation of haptic commands on the interface of an alien technology into machine language then to a digital binary language, then through thousands of miles of cables encircling the ocean floor and underground passages onto your similar gadget and undergoing the same process in reverse, then heralded by an alarm on that miracle of science only to be welcomed by a mere grunt and a universal symbol for feigned mirth because you treat it as routine and pedestrian, what would it take to convince you of miracles?

In English:

In an age when a funny meme of a cat dressed as a pirate is sent to you by a friend from his phone via the internet onto your phone and you receive it with a quick exhale of air and the cry-laughing emoji and take no note of the miraculous journey “travelled” by that meme, what would it even take to convince you of the power of the supernatural?

In Wingdings:

♦❒︎♓︎⧫︎☜ ❄♏︎⌧︎❄ ☟♏︎❒︎☜📬︎ ✞⬧︎☜ ✌●︎☹ 👍♋︎◻︎💧 ☞□︎☼ ♦👎 ☝♋︎⬧︎⧫︎♏︎☼ ❄❒︎♋︎■︎⬧︎●︎♋︎⧫︎♓︎□︎☠ 🖳︎✆︎♓︎☠ ✌☠ ✌♑︎☜ ♦♒︎♏︎☠ ✌ ☟◆︎❍︎□︎❒︎□︎◆︎💧 ✋❍︎♋︎♑︎☜ 💣♋︎♍︎❒︎⚐ ⚐☞ ✌ 👎□︎❍︎♏︎⬧︎⧫︎♓︎♍︎♋︎⧫︎♏︎👎 👍♋︎❒︎■︎♓︎❖︎□︎❒︎☜ 👍●︎♋︎👎 ✌💧 ✌ 💧♏︎♋︎📫︎♐︎♋︎❒︎♓︎■︎☝ 👌◆︎♍︎♍︎♋︎■︎♏︎♏︎☼ 👍□︎■︎❖︎♏︎⍓︎♏︎👎 ❄⚐ ✡□︎✞ ☞❒︎□︎💣 ✌☠ ✌♍︎❑︎◆︎♋︎♓︎■︎⧫︎♋︎■︎♍︎☜ ✟♓︎✌ ❄❒︎♋︎■︎⬧︎●︎♋︎⧫︎♓︎□︎☠ ⚐☞ ☟♋︎◻︎⧫︎♓︎👍 👍□︎❍︎❍︎♋︎■︎♎︎💧 ⚐☠ ❄♒︎☜ ✋■︎⧫︎♏︎❒︎♐︎♋︎♍︎☜ ⚐☞ ✌☠ ✌●︎♓︎♏︎☠ ❄♏︎♍︎♒︎■︎□︎●︎□︎♑︎✡ ✋■︎⧫︎⚐ 💣♋︎♍︎♒︎♓︎■︎☜ ☹ ♋︎■︎♑︎◆︎♋︎♑︎☜ ❄♒︎♏︎☠ ❄⚐ ✌ 👎

In Meme:

giphy

Ujuzi mingi huondoa maarifa.

This phrase directly translated from Kiswahili would be, “Increased knowledge takes away your sense.” A common saying similarly goes, “The more you know, the less you understand.”

The generation we live in, The Information Age, marks humanity’s over-saturation with information, the subsequent numbing to wonder and the never-ending quest for titillation.

We mistake voyeurism for curiosity and believe we desire to learn, whilst all we yearn for is to be Peeping Toms peering into the lives of others from the windows of our smartphones.

I just realized that I am not doing a particularly good job of endearing myself to you, reader, by kicking off this interaction with a vilifying tirade against you. I believe the aphorism goes, “Wine and dinebefore you dine.” (That’s innuendo, kids)

So kindly allow me to dial it back a fraction and ask some questions of you to know if I should carry on throwing shade.

Have you ever used the words “amazing”, “awesome”, “breathtaking”, to describe a meal you just had, or an experience shared with someone that would have been aptly described as “exciting”, “entertaining” or “enjoyable”?

Have you silently…or loudlycursed your network provider for the YouTube video buffering and losing you 5 seconds of your limited life span?

Are you (like me after posting this piece) constantly refreshing your homepage to see how many more likes you’ve gotten after sending out your latest selfie?

Are you someone who struggles to sustain a single meaningful friendship but have no trouble committing your time and resources daily to poring over the miniscule details of strangers’ lives?

 

In other words, are you a human being alive today in the 21st Century?

The times we are living in have brought out the best….and worst in us. Our endurance and longsuffering are weakened daily by instant gratification everywhere we look. We are children whose whole world is a massive candy kingdom. We are like Adam and Eve in Eden and our garden is littered everyhow with succulent, tasty-looking, fruit hanging on trees of knowledge of good and evil.

We have become numbbecausewe’ve been told our senses are hungry and need to be inundated incessantly with a constant stream of input. If it isn’t the endless scrolling on your favorite social media app, it is the music pouring non-stop into your brain through your earphones, or the advertisements on billboards and banners feeding your eyes whichever way you decide to look. We never even get a chance to breathe. We are eternally drowning in a sea of information, news, stories, gossip, entertainment, excitement…but we like it, because the waters lapping around us taste sweet – yet it still drowns us.

We are so caught up hunched over looking down at our devices, that we hardly ever look inwards anymore, or heaven-forbid, look upwards.

It may seem at times that God is a distant figure, an outsider even, to one’s life. He may seem archaic, and if you have the courage to admit it – not relevant. I know it has seemed that way to me at times.

Can we imagine that the God of nomadic pastoralists in the Middle East from 5000 years ago, has answers for me today in the hustle and bustle of life in this technological world?

Had Jesus come today, would he have worn skinny jeans like me, or understood my haircut, or seen the importance of my social networks? Would he?

We only refuse to give to God our time because we believe it is better served in other pursuits.

We hesitate to imagine that there exists something outside our senses worth anything. So, we live hedonistic lifestyles idolizing the pursuit of our senses’ amusement. We glory in the material, in our senses…we have made them our idols.

We praise beauty, because it is what we see.

We praise sex, because it is what we feel.

We praise wealth, because it allows us to sense more.

We praise those who entertain us, because we see and hear them.

THE PROBLEM WITH OUR SENSES

When I was about 10 years old, my greatest ambition in life was to own a remote-controlled toy car. I dreamed about it and built entire fantasies around it. Me and my toy car conquering the world. I never dared to imagine that it could ever happen. No…no…no. It was the same way you have that thing for*insert celebrity crush here*(mine is Mary Magdalene, if you are curious). You know there’s NO way on earth that you would ever be together. You know in your heart of hearts that if you ever met them in person, you’d probably clam up and promptly begin to sweat furiously from all the pores on your body (this is barring the fact that his/her security would have already bundled you away like last week’s garbage the moment you were in speaking distance of them). That is exactly the way it was for me and my dream car. I was afraid the reality of ever meeting it would be a pale shadow of the utopia I had constructed in my mind.

I however remember pestering my parents about it constantly. Telling them what I wanted, down to the exact specifications and even colour. I remember nagging them that it should under no circumstances have a cable connecting the controller to the car. HOW WOULD THAT BE REMOTE-CONTROLLED!? A part of me never imagined that it could ever happen. But I was wrong.

That Christmas, I remember waking up and running to the tree we had in the sitting room. (Yes, yes, my parents were extra like that). Thank you, mum and dad! I remember seeing a large box with my name on it. I tore the wrapping paper apart like I was deranged and there lay the most beautiful, green, four-wheel drive, miniature SUV in the planet. I was in love.

I think for that period of my life, I was obsessed. I took my toy car with me on walks. I would use it to carry things and send notes and whatnot from one part of the house to the other. Until the battery died. The controller used a 9-volt batterythat was rare then;and which meant replacing it meant waiting till a time that was convenient to my parents to go out of their way to the one store that stocked it. Well, that approach wasn’t going to cut it for me.

With a really good older friend of mine who lived with us then, we decided to improvise. Since he was the brains, he set about getting some electric wiring and hooking it up to the battery terminals on the controller. I was not knowledgeable in theMacgyver-ing he was doing so I observed dutifully in silence. He then switched off the mains, then set about unscrewing the light bulb fixtures. He proceeded to connect the ends of the cables to the exposed live and neutral wires. With a grin like a magician about to blow your mind, he then flicked on the switch. I didn’t know his trick would be to blow my toy to pieces. The controller sparked and exploded into flames. He tried to turn the switch off, but it was too late. My one true love lay there, dead and molten. Of course, I was livid, but that quickly turned into anguish – I went through all the stages of grief there. I was inconsolable for a few days as I wept my dearly departed toy car. I’m still healing to date, in fact.

***

God gave us our senses so that we could live and operate in this physical world. In that regard, we differ very little from all other living organisms. They too interact with nature via their senses.

But man, the culmination of creation, had something different put in him – the breath of God. A spirit to govern the physical creature it possessed. A spirit that made us creation and not creature. A line of communication with God.

The real problem begins when we attempt to maneuver in the spiritual realm through what we are accustomed to – our senses.

We end up like 10-year-old me, with a busted controller that’s up in smoke and an irrational fear of electricity.

God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.

John 4:24

When we attempt to “connect” with God the way we do with the rest of nature, we will undoubtedly flop. We wild despair when the prayers of our lips avail nothing. We will tire when we read Scripture through our physical eyes. We will be bored when we listen to hymns and preachings with our two ears.

But, we will never miss him if we earnestly seek him with our heart, our whole heart.

Therefore brethren, (I have always wanted to say that) let us look up beyond this realm of the senses. It is nigh impossible to live in this world today and not to be like it…but that is the Biblical command. We have a higher calling than what this world has to offer, so let us not settle for less.

It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

– C. S. Lewis –

Don’t be too easily pleased. Let God in and he will blow your mind. I promise.

 

 

 

One thought on “ENRAPTURED

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s