Wednesday, September 15, 2010

so much better

As you may know by now, I read 2 magazines: Sunday Life and Good Weekend, which come with our newspaper. The other morning I woke up and (on some strange impulse) grabbed the nearest magazine before I picked up my Bible. I read about

  • the couple who pledged to create themselves "by the grace of God and Goddess" into "soul partners", who "felt the polarity with all the starving people in the world" as they waited hungrily for their meals in an expensive restaurant (oh, dear)
  • the blog where men and women share stories of losing their virginity, and the emptiness of most of the stories (apparently, first-time sex is often a let-down, which is unsurprising when it's reduced to a rite of passage with a stranger)
  • the sadomasochism and lesbianism which have become an inseparable part of many pop videos, thanks to Lady Gaga's "extremely empowered" sexual aesthetic (apparently great news for women, who are no longer sex objects shaped by men but are freed...for this?!).

Feeling a little revolted, I put down the magazines. I looked out the window at the gum trees, listened to the birds chattering, watched the sunrise lighting up a nearby building, and soaked in the spaciousness and stillness. I picked up my Bible and turned to 1 Peter. After all that sordid, empty reading, God's word was like a well of clear water. As Peter says,

...you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you...The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled...
(1 Peter 4:1-11)

Sometimes the world seems dangerously attractive, with its promises of freedom and pleasure. But when you look deeper, what you see is emptiness and foulness. It's hard to believe that I'm ever attracted by the ways of this world, for they have nothing to offer me. Against this sordid backdrop, it's clearer than ever that God's ways are wholesome, good, loving and true.

images are by en.en from flickr and from stock.xchng

4 comments:

Sarah said...

Great post, Jean. I really needed to be reminded of this today.

Rachel said...

Hear, hear.

Jenny said...

When you read all those stories it is all so messy and confused - I feel desperately sad for people. I praise God for his grace in saving me each day so that through his spirit I can be 'clear-minded'. What a gift it is to know how to live life well and live it to the full through Jesus.

Louisa said...

What a striking contrast...how beautifully timed that you would read both on the same morning and be reminded of how much better God's ways are. thanks for reminding us too!