First published in 1985, “For the Man Who Has Everything,” is a comic book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman paid a visit to Superman on his birthday. When they arrived in Superman’s Citadel (The Fortress of Solitude), they found him in a vegetative state with a large alien plant stuck to his chest and the tendrils wrapped around his body.
As they analyzed the situation, the alien Mongul stepped into the scene. One of the few villains whose strength equals that of Superman, he revealed that the name of the plant is Black Mercy and that it has put Superman into a deep coma. The plant is empowered to feed the coma-stricken super hero an extremely realistic and plausible dream based on his “heart’s desire.”
What more could Superman want??? He had it all: fame, fortune, stature. What’s wrong with that? Superman’s dream, his “heart’s desire,” was of living a normal life on his long-destroyed home planet of Krypton, happily married with two children.
In our day there are few people with such humble dreams. Most, no matter what their level of wealth, spend a large percentage of their time striving for more. For example: we are perfectly satisfied with our personal automobile because it services our needs, gives few problems, it’s reasonably economical and very nice looking. But our neighbor just bought a brand new Widget with all the bells and whistles and parks it in the driveway next to us. Now we suddenly remember that our car is four years old! It doesn’t have two TV screens in the back seat and we didn’t get a GPS system with it. It just isn’t adequate anymore and never mind that it’s paid off! I can afford it. “Honey, let’s go shopping for a new CAR!”
The writer of Ecclesiastes said, “I had everything! All the property I wanted, I had the gardens landscaped beautifully; I amassed silver and gold for myself, even bought and sold people as it pleasured me! I became greater by far than anyone before me.”
But hear his pitiful conclusion:
“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
And this was the reward for all my labor.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
And what I had toiled to achieve,
Everything was meaningless,
a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.”
You may not be Superman, but you ARE somebody’s hero! And I will just bet you that someone you are close to would be a lot happier spending a little more time with you than having you continue being an absentee mom or dad, husband or wife because you are trying to get ahead in life. While you are thinking about your “heart’s desire,” remember that money does not make you wealthy any more than age can make you wiser.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
GospeLines Prayer:Father, help me to know the difference between money and wealth and let me not prize this world’s riches above that which is eternal. I beg Your forgiveness for all the years I have wasted trying to get ahead. May my remaining days be long enough to teach my loved ones about those things which really do matter and may their knowledge of true wealth spring forth eternal that we may celebrate together in Your everlasting kingdom. Amen and amen!
“God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
You find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to Your word,
You let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.”
Psalm 23:1-3 (The Message)
Do you awaken in the middle of the night replaying yesterday’s events over and over and/or contemplating those items on your to-do list for the day ahead?
It happens more often than most of us want to admit.Our minds are cluttered with noise.According to a recent sermon by Rev. Muse, with all the noise in our lives, we have so much static we often miss the voice of the Good Shepherd.
As Rev. Muse explained, there are many voices in the world; any one can lead you in any direction if you listen to it. We sometimes choose to listen to certain voices—(1) voices of greed, (2) voices of temptation, (3) voices to keep and not share our resources, and (4) voices of low self-esteem, to name a few.
The voices of the world are a real and present danger.We need to be still, close our ears and minds to all of the noise – from well-intentioned friends, family or complete strangers.The only voice that matters is God’s direction for our lives.We are His sheep and He will guide us on the path He has planned for us.
Some of us have also been busy attending pity parties we can ill afford.They leave us blind.The Good Shepherd promises us an abundant life and protects us through His gift of salvation.Open your mind and ears, live by faith and lean on The One and Only – The Lord!
Whose voice do you follow?If you hear and respond to anything other than the Lord’s, you’re in dire circumstances for HE is clearly the Good Shepherd.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, there are far too many distractions and our minds are cluttered with too much noise.We have listened to those who “promise” they can provide, only to be disappointed time and again.You are the one true God and we stand firm on Your promises.You are our deliverer!
Thank You Father, for Your steadfastness and for providing all of our needs.We don’t need another thing.I thank You for the gift of Your son, who died on the cross for us and our sins so that we may have a more abundant life.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, November 25, 2009
“This Little Piggy”
Since 1728, precious little toes have been squeezed by the gentle hands of loving parents while they recited the familiar Nursery Rhyme,
This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
This little piggy cried…
“Wee wee wee,” all the way home.
The meaning of the poem doesn’t matter to a toddler (and it shouldn’t)! They know that their little giggles make everyone happy and they welcome the sweet attention from the game.
No one thinks much about the little piggy going to market. That isn’t a grocery store, but a slaughter house… and he won’t be coming home. And little piggies don’t eat cows, either! Probably the one who ran home crying just escaped the butcher’s knife at the “market” but not soon enough to miss seeing his little brother meet a cruel fate. Ugh!
I remember another pig story from my childhood. When someone of questionable character was mentioned in a positive light, people might say, “Yeah, but if it looks like a pig, smells like a pig and oinks like a pig, IT’S STILL A PIG!”
Grown-ups are usually given lots more wisdom and discernment than kids. God just made it happen that way. As we get older we are more cautious, more judicious in our choices, and less open to new-fangled stuff. We know that things aren’t always as they seem!
Today we are smack dab in the middle of a huge spiritual revolution in this country and some of us don’t even know it. Many of us have found a new passion for God and we’ve experienced a taste of something fresh. The flood of new spirituality has taken hold of millions of solid, God-fearing Christians and we are looking for a place to call home.
Our denominational churches just don’t know what to do with us. We are less interested in form and structure than we were in the past, and we see the movement of God being more spontaneous, with fewer rules and less hierarchy. We want to share our mystical experiences with people of like Christian beliefs, but find it difficult for anyone to listen to us. The traditional church is fearful of anything that will disrupt the status quo, and I understand that. But the church needs to realize that for people like me tradition is necessary because it offers stability and roots, something the spiritual revolutionary needs desperately. Yet the established church looks upon the new spiritualists as a threat. And that is both sad and dangerous. There are millions of folks who are in this “searching” category right now and we long for a place to call home again.
Herein belies the danger. Although my soul is soaring in places which I never knew existed, my theological roots are unchanged. For those millions of people in this world who are seeking to express their new-found experience, and find the ho-hum, stale, traditional church disinterested in listening, their unsettled biblical foundation makes them ripe for whatever may come along that sounds good.
Most recently, people have been chasing a theological pig running loose that doesn’t look or smell or oink like a pig! It will tell you anything you want to hear, and its message makes so much sense that you will want to hear more. It is being preached by some of the most charismatic people in the USA, and their financial base is so huge there is no way to ignore it. They are quickly sucking up all those nominally Christian, spiritually minded folks who have been turned off by our traditional churches.
I received a beautiful power point presentation from a friend tonight, which has a fabulous message. But I noticed that it never mentioned Jesus Christ. It talked about being kind to others, living an abundant life, sharing our resources with each person we meet, etc., etc. It had a lot of the right words, but when I went to the source I discovered the author to be someone who is leading people to find god (little ‘g’) by finding themselves. She offers me a world with lots of benefits and “abundance” but it’s a world without Jesus!
One large group which is growing faster than the speed of light is right out of the New Age Movement. They have over 3 million followers already, thanks to a television celebrity who uses her afternoon time slot to feature the guru she is following. “What about Jesus?” a member of the audience shouted. Her response was, “What ABOUT Jesus? Surely you don’t believe there is only one way to find God, do you?”
So here is my point. My dear “friends of the spirit,” do not give up on your traditional churches just yet. Please allow them another chance to hear you. There is no future (literally!) in the counterfeit message of feel-good theology which says stuff like the new heaven is inside you! IT IS NOT! Your only hope is still Jesus and He alone will fill your empty life with what it needs.
Don’t be the little piggy that’s looking for an easy solution just to end up in the slaughter house. Call your former church and your Christian friends; tell them you want to come home! You will be glad you did.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, this little piggy wants to go home. Humble my mystical passion so that I will not write off my more traditional brothers and sisters; and give me an appreciation for those who have stayed the course in keeping with their unwavering theology. Renew my heart to accept Christians who are unlike me. And restore Your unconditional love for me to embrace the church of my childhood and grace enough for them to love me back so that we may learn from each other. Amen and amen.