An Alien in a Strange World

26th June, 2013 - Posted by Claire Larsen - No Comments

I don’t mind sitting in waiting rooms waiting for my car to have its oil changed. A good book and a couple hours with nothing to do but read — what could be better? Except … when the waiting room has a large TV with the sound penetrating every corner in the room, and no where to escape, the two hours are very long.

Today in my frustrated efforts to read that last few chapters of Dennis Johnson’s book The Message of Acts, I could hardly concentrate for the screaming voices of teenagers welcoming Miley Cyrus. When I heard her sing words something like, “I can do what I want, I can say what I want, I can live in the house I want,” my first reaction was to scream inside my head, “No you can’t. It’s not all about what you want.  What about God and what He wants?”  I thought about all the young kids jumping, screaming, and waving their hands. Do they think the same thing?  Where will listening to those words lead those young lives?

A few minutes later the GMA host interviewed a few of the teens there in Times Square. “What do you think of Miley Cyrus,” he asked the teens one by one.  One young man, probably no more than fifteen, answered, ”I love Miley Cyrus. She’s my life. She means everything to me.” And I almost cried.

How can a twenty -year-old pop singer with spiked blond hair and six-inch heeled black hip boots gyrating in a provocative way merit the worship of a young teen?  Has he nothing bigger and more meaningful to hang his life upon?  Where is Jesus?

As I drove home I realized anew the truth from 1 Peter that I am an alien and a stranger in this world.  In and of myself, I’m certainly no better than any of the worshipping teens in Times Square. But in Jesus, I have something so much grander, more purposeful, and longer lasting to make the center of my life.  But how rare I am.  I really am an alien for how many people understand that there’s no person alive that I would wait in the dark streets of New York City from midnight onward just to get a glimpse of the person singing high atop a city building. The teens interviewed had been waiting since the wee hours of the morning, some since midnight, to hear their idol sing for five minutes.

I’m so thankful for Jesus. I’m thankful that He’s the center of my life. I’m thankful that I have a purpose higher than worshipping a mere mortal who performs and then gets rich by the adoration of her fans. I’m a stranger in the world that God made, not impressed by the glitz and glamour of the world’s stars, and I’m longing for another world where God is worshipped and adored and where I can fulfill the purpose for which I was made — praising the God who made me and redeemed me.

Am I an old fogey?  Am I out of step with the world around me? Most certainly. Am I judgmental of those who are deceived and who worship these gods that come and go? No, but I am saddened that so many are clinging to something that will never give them what they’re expecting. They will never be satisfied.

But, because of God’s grace, I have the satisfaction of knowing Jesus, the confidence that He will never become yesterday’s news, and the hope that I’ll be with Him someday in the future.

 

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