It’s been a hell of a weekend.
And when I say ‘hell,’ what I really mean is &*$&!&$%#*.
Geeks of Christ is about to get a little personal.
This summer has been challenging. Mrs GoC and I have been trying to help this person and we’ve been met with rejection, rage, and ungratefulness. It’s a whole thing that I’d rather not spill all over the internet. There was a period of about two months of intense focus. That ended. Then this weekend was intense. And now we’re just waiting for … well, if you’ve ever tried to help someone that didn’t want help, you know what this period is like. It’s nerve-wracking, but it’s also a little peaceful.
In the weeks requiring our more intensive attention, I had no choice but to turn to God with every free breath. I was forging into new and scary territory. There was no time for goofing off, for serving myself, for thinking about anything but this person God put in our path. So I prayed. Constantly.
Things have calmed down on the home front. With this new (and probably temporary) peace at home, my body is telling me just how tired it has become. So I was super-tired last week and ready for an epic crash this weekend. Didn’t get to.
But I have noticed in the past week and this past weekend, my free moments were not spent in prayer or reading the Bible. Once I was a little safe, I reduced my interactions with God.
Instead: Star Trek on TV, Star Trek on lunch breaks, Star Trek comics before bed. As if He gave me great challenges over the summer to make me really appreciative of the great Star Trek.
I mean, maybe He did. But the times of hardship forced me on my knees and the result was having deep and frequent interactions with His son (me). Being relieved of some of those burdens (even if just for the moment), I didn’t stay with Him. My free time was finally mine again.
There’s a place for Star Trek in the life of a Christian. It’s the little triangle with sprinkles and candies on the top of the food pyramid. And even then, watching Star Trek is not meant to be indulgent. Watching Star Trek is not a 45-minute license to disengage with life. It is entertaining. It can be relaxing. And those two purposes are excellent ways of enjoying Sabbath peace. But the most important use of Star Trek, or any show or movie or book, is to ignite our imaginations with the reality of God’s work in our lives and on our world.
I admit that I have been indulging in Star Trek for the past week and a half. I’ve been allowing myself to get lost in a comfortable, familiar world. (Last night, I picked up my Star Trek comic and said, “Let’s see what Jim’s up to.”)
One constant theme in the conversations my wife and I have been having over the summer is God’s plan. What does He want us to accomplish here? Does He just want her safe? Or does He want her to be saved? Are we prolonging the inevitable?
We never came up with an answer beyond, “Do this thing now and be nice about it.” But we imagined the ways God could use this or that action to send ripples throughout all of history and bring His mysterious plan into reality. Maybe this young woman’s child will do something wonderful for God’s Kingdom. Maybe these challenges really are just to bring my family closer to God. Maybe there won’t be any good results for a thousand years, but by preserving this person’s life for a couple months we’ve ensured the continuance of her line, from which will spring the Martin Luther of the year 3013.
In the midst of the Star Trek indulgence, I convinced my wife to watch one with me. The next one on my queue was “The City on the Edge of Forever.” The mysteries of the universe are confronted head on in this one. There is no simple ‘right thing’ to do. History must progress with the failure of the Nazis. And that cannot happen without the death of a good woman.
It’s a tough pill to swallow. Doing the right thing is always the right thing. That’s why it’s called the right thing. But given a glimpse of how the vast network of temporal events build on each other, Kirk is quickly overwhelmed. With JUST A GLIMPSE, he sees the terrible responsibility of God.
I may have avoided God by indulging in the fantasy world of Star Trek. But there is no place I can hide from Him.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
(If I boldly go where no man has gone before…You are there, waiting to bring me close.)
I chose to use this thing as an idol. God chose to reveal a truth to me through it.