I was recently reflecting on how I was created. Have you done that?
I obviously know that about 55 years ago a sperm and an egg came together. The necessary ingredients belonged to my dad and mom, which is a bit too much information for my old mind to dwell on, but it happened and I am grateful for that. However, I was actually talking about something bigger, more majestic and more cosmic.
I am a follower of Jesus. I don’t always know what that means, but it does imply a significant amount of faith. A follower of Jesus is also a follower of God (since they are one and the same). I know that as a follower of God, I believe God; He is trustworthy. God is a promise maker and a promise keeper. He has never broken a promise. I also know that he has a book, a love letter and an instructional manual that we affectionately call the Bible.
The Bible is a great source of all kinds of information. I know that the more I spend time reading the Bible the clearer some things become. I equate it to a proximity principle. The closer I am to my God the more I understand Him, the more He rubs on me, the more His presence impacts me and the more I do love and understand Him. For example, I am married to my wife Lisa. I know that the closer I am to her, the more time I spend with her, the more we do life together, the more we know each other, the less we misunderstand each other. We fight less, we make love more and we certainly laugh more… it’s called doing life together. Do I do life with God or is He simply a factoid in my life? I simply check the box and say, “I believe in God.” Done! I certainly hope not.
Ok, let’s go back to my original reflection… How was I created?
I thought about the original created man and woman. They were perfect, without sin and were designed to never die. The original human design did not have death as part of its design. Seriously? God created me to be limitless, with the sole exception that he, the creator would always be the Creator, and would always be acknowledged as such. God did not create me to be His equal but to be the object of His desire, His insatiable desire.
I want to pivot for a second. I must admit that I am fascinated with the advancements in technology. I am fascinated by how much information is being generated, transferred and accessed with technology. For example, Martin Hilbert, a professor of communications at the University of California, Davis, and his colleagues wrote in a 2011 science paper that he and his team had calculated that the information capacity of the world’s analog and digital storage was 295 optimally compressed exabytes. To store 295 exabytes on CD-ROMS (those round discs we used to insert into our computers) would require a stack of discs reaching to the moon (238,900 miles, or 384,400 kilometers) and then a quarter of the distance from the Earth to the moon again. That is a lot of discs. The advancements in technology are allowing us to dream in ways we have never dreamed unless you were Jules Verne. Robotics, self-driving cars, colonizing Mars, health care advancements, access to state of the art education for all, drones delivering pizza, etc. I have more information at my fingertips then I ever thought I would have. We are living in the knowledge age, and that is quite intoxicating.
Equality and death
Is it possible that mankind continues to seek equality with God? We are actually no different than Adam and Eve in their quest to replace God with themselves. Today we don’t run around a garden naked (well I guess some do) but we do skip through the world with our fingertips euphorically believing that we can do anything if we simply put our mind to it. We are seduced by the idea of no limits.
However, in Genesis 5 a list of people are presented by name, heritage and age of death. Death became a constant in the human race. We don’t think much about it because we are so familiar with the concept of death, but remember this was not in the original design. God had not planned for Adam and Eve to die. However, in Genesis 5, one name is mentioned where death is not the final outcome. Enoch is his name, and the Bible simply says, “He walked with God and then was no more.” I find that fascinating. The implication is that death is a constant in my human feeble life; however, with God there is no death. I am reminded that my limitless God can do anything through me. I am limitless simply because of His power in me.
Therefore, as I go back to my original thought process. I am reminded of the simplicity of God’s invitation towards me (and frankly all of us). He simply invites us to walk with him (like Enoch), and as we walk, we are no more… In other words, I fade into Him. My life truly becomes a reflection of His life, my capacity to love and forgive and discern become unlimited because I am in Him. I increasingly become aware of His voice, His presence and His will because the confusion of who is God in my life fades away as I fade into Him. God has simply invited me to follow Him and my response is to simply accept.
Stephan N. Tchividjian is the president and founder of the National Christian Foundation South Florida. Visit southflorida.ncfgiving.com to learn more.