Tuesday, March 10, 2009

we are made of corn

Americans in general want things three ways: cheap, quick, and without any sacrifice. I can say this because I am an American. Fast food, microwave meals, convenient stores, drive-thru, wal-mart, email...this is what we have become. Don't get me wrong; I don't think all progress is evil. With three kids, drive-thru gets my vote. And I don't know what I would do without my mp3. But I wonder if we as Americans are missing the point in many ways.

I watched the film King Corn last night (yes another documentary). The basic idea from this film is that most of what we eat in America comes from the corn produced in Iowa. Not sweet yellow corn you would first think, corn that has been genetically modified and sprayed with powerful herbicides, funded by government subsidies. This is the corn that ends up in almost every processed food Americans eat today (mainly in grain fed cattle or high fructose corn syrup; yikes!). And though there are a plethora of discussion topics from both nutritional and political standpoints, I want to mention how this reflects on the spiritual state of our nation as a whole.

When Jesus walked this earth he confronted the religious elite on many occasions regarding their hypocrisy. In the book of Matthew chapter 23 he says, "Woe to you...hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind (religious man), first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also." (vv. 25-26)

Too often in America we are concerned with the external. It is just like these crops of corn from this film. Externally this abundance of corn looks delicious, yellow and plump. But it isn't edible! Even the farmers do not eat it. It is made to be processed. Likewise without much expense or sacrifice, we can look pretty good. Whether it is cheap versions of expensive clothing, constructions of big homes with slab foundation, or genetically altered "foods", resources are at the tips of our fingers so we can externally "fit in". But the problem is that cheap clothes fall apart, slab homes cannot be crawled under for maintenance, and processed foods have lost the nutritional benefits God designed.

Now, relate this to our spiritual state. Sadly, most who call themselves Christians in America bring this mentality into their walks with God. We tend to want sanctification cheap, quick, and without sacrifice. The easy thing is to dress pretty and go to church on Sunday morning. But actually spending time alone with God, waiting, listening, praying, reading, that is more difficult. Standing for God's truth in love when someone you care about is straying, that is hard. Obeying God's heart for holiness and humility when the world at large mocks righteousness, that's a challenge. We can quickly become like the hypocrites Jesus confronted, concerned more with the external than the internal.

If we truly want the life of abundance found in Christ, then it is going to take sacrifice. It is going to take time. God is patient and wants each of us to come to Him, to know Him, to sit with Him and hear His heart. He has created you, and me, with great purpose and design. Unless we seek His face we will never experience the fullness He promises.

Oh, sweet friend, stop and sit at His feet. Sacrifice some sleep, computer time, or TV (any toes stepped on? also, yikes!) to hear His voice. He is worthy and He is so very good.

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