Thursday, April 10, 2008

Christianity or Chaos

I saw a quote today from British writer and satirist Evelyn Waugh with an attached photo that looked like a man's physique. So, I went to the wonderful world of Wikipedia and learned that Evelyn was a man! (His first wife was also Evelyn - how's that for confusing?!)

Although his quote was interesting, it was his biography that captured my attention. Born in 1903, Waugh was a proclaimed agnostic through his late twenties, but converted to Catholicism in September 1930. As a writer, his conversion was discussed (even maligned) in the public press, so in response to the gossip, Waugh printed an article entitled, "Converted to Rome: Why It Has Happened to Me." Waugh explained that his faith was not about ritual or submission to the views of others, but rather, he felt he'd made a choice between Christianity or chaos. In his opinion, materialization destroyed or at least damaged what created Western Civilization in the first place. The increasing need for "stuff" made no room for the God who created the world. "It is no longer possible ... ," he wrote, "to accept the benefits of civilization and at the same time deny the supernatural basis upon which it is based."

I wonder how many believers, particularly in the U.S. and especially in the so-called "Bible Belt" have made so much room for the things in life (objects, people or activities) that they have no room left for a vibrant, active relationship with God. As a result, their lives are in chaos, because they have so many things to balance and maintain. I think that's why Jesus said to seek his kingdom first, then he'd add everything else - he knows how much we can carry - a light and easy burden (Matthew 11:28-30).

My friend Larry reminded his Bible study class on Sunday that if they don't have time for relationship with and service for God, they are too busy. God is not a God of chaos, but Satan revels in it. He loves to see us weighted down and pulled in every direction. What "other" things need to be purged from my life? How would civilization itself change if Christ-followers truly believed that God is enough to satisfy all our hearts really desire?

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