“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” (Romans 1:21-23)
Have you ever found yourself caught up in a really good TV show built around an ongoing mystery? The show Lost is an example. When it was running live, it was a huge phenomenon. Hardcore fans were obsessed with figuring out what was going on on that island. After every episode, they would get online and start taking apart the clues. What was that book Ben was reading? Is the name of that new character an anagram?
Of course, what they were really trying to figure out is what the show’s creators were up to. They wanted to know what those guys had in mind. To figure out the mystery behind a show like that, you have to start with the assumption that someone is creating the show and that they have a purpose. And when the mystery begins to fall apart and get tedious, you blame the writers (not the island).
Paul’s point in this passage is that you cannot hope to understand real life if you don’t start with the idea that somebody created it and is running the “show.” It would be like thinking that Lost was somehow happening all on it’s own without a storyteller. You’d end up looking to the created things (Jack, Ben, the smoke monster) for answers instead of looking to the writers. You’d be a fool, Paul says.
Eliminate God as the starting place, and all our knowledge is out of context. We come to the wrong conclusions about everything.
Think: When you are watching (or reading or playing the game of) a good story, how aware are you of the storytellers? How much do you wonder what they are up to in telling this story?
Pray: Ask God to help you filter every attempt to understand the world through the truth that he created it and deserves to be glorified and thanked.
Do: Write out Proverbs 9:10 on a piece of paper and memorize it this week.