Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The tempation of being awesome

I've seen a few things over the years. I meditate sometimes on the tangles people - me included - can get themselves into. Usually, right inside, at the heart of the tangle, is a lie. A big fat deception. One of the tangles Christians - and not only Christians - can get into is the desire to be awesome.

I've been looking around, and can confidently declare that wanting to be awesome has become an epidemic. It is highly contagious. The blogosphere is full of the confessions of addicts:
'Please help, I desire to be awesome and unfortunatley I am already light years ahead of all my professors.'

You have to feel sorry for the poor guy. Here's another:

'I have an intense desire to be awesome at everything I do. I'm finance major who likes to read books on leadership and just about anything else.'

There are also pages of advice out there in the ether on how to be awesome. One expert suggests fireworks: 'Irresponsible use of pyrotechnics is clinically indistinguishable from being awesome.'

Wikihow - a site I never knew existed - explains how to create your own clique at school by manipulating the desire of others to be awesome: 'Do you want to be in that clique but don't know how to get your friends to commit? Heres how to subtly make your friends want to be awesome...'

In the Christian faith, people interested in the prophetic and the miraculous can succumb to this epidemic big time. The goal of seeking prophecies, healings or other signs of God's grace can end up being reduced to the pursuit of personal awesomeness. Other more ordinary souls, who at the start simply want to lead some people to Jesus, or to become good preachers can end up in this trap. It becomes not enough to lead a healthy church, or to teach faithfully, they long to be an AWESOME leader, or an AWESOME teacher.

It's a very bad deal. A very unawesome dead end to get into.

The scriptures have a simple, ugly word for this 'wanting-to-be-awesome' condition. It is pride. And the fruit of pride is complete and utter unawesomeness - fallen people embarrassing themselves before a holy, righteous and ... totally awesome God.

There is a lot in the Bible about awesomeness, but the truth which undoes the lie of this condition is that Only God is Awesome. He is the Awesome One. Our goal should never to be awesome, because all the awesomeness is totally, only and forever His. If someone does not believe this to the depth of their being, then the entangling desire to be awesome can overtake them and bog them down in spiritual irrelevancy.

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