Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: OVERLOAD (10/06/16)
TITLE: Worldly Overload
By Mike Hill
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Success and subsequent growth came fast, spurred on by a tawdry TV show and articles about the southern roots of its “hip cuisine.” Once a destination where families toured music venues, attended music fan festivals, and enjoyed a musical theme park, the evidence now before me testifies that the newcomers are not the visitors of the past.
Bright flashing lights and loud thumping music thunder from places where families used to bank, shop for furniture, and buy feed and seed. Before me is a scene reminiscent of the “Pottersville” scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I find myself overloaded with emotions – few heart-warming.
Every other door is a bar or a bar masquerading as a restaurant. The city erected barricades between the sidewalks and the roadway. Too many intoxicated patrons were stumbling into the street.
Once a culture where the plumb line of truth was prominent, this new “vibe” is disconcerting and disturbing. Heretofore the city consensus ruled that right was right and wrong was wrong. We now find these moral and upright ideals crudely tucked behind the sofa cushions.
It seems that many have become the subservient children of the modern world, tangled up in evil, concerned with selfish, useless, and petty things. A life devoted to the love of moral values is rare. Many seem almost incapable of understanding, or, maybe worse, unconcerned with anything that is vital to a life well lived.
“Why the bright lights?” With brains on brooding, wanton overload, is their purpose to cover the irksome lethargy of modern life with noise, excitement, and apathy? Sin must inherently be vapid and tiresome as it is often in the accompaniment of glitz and sensuality! If sin is so fulfilling, why is there usually a search for next bigger thrill? Could the life of the unrepentant sinner be one of boredom, melancholia, and the fear of desolation?
Many proudly parade their unbelief openly as their grandstand play. Those same rarely have earned the right to skepticism. Often, thinking prowess sufficient to form a cohesive theology of irreverence has not been exhibited. Faddishly claiming impiety is slothful, hip, and simple crass ignorance manifested in natural people lost in a fog. Not knowing their left hands from their right, many live with the credo “If I have to die—what of it? What do I care? Let me die, then, and I’m finished.”
“Above all, else, guard your heart [and mind], for it affects everything you do.” The writer of Proverbs 4:23 lays it out in as simple and concise a way as possible. It is about us humans acknowledging our flaws and imperfections. It is about our inability to block out the evil around us and our connections to it. Overloaded with worldly influences, we are not capable of handling it alone. The sad evidence is prominently lying all around us.
Evil has been allowed to enter and alter the minds of unbelievers. Sin, boredom, unbelief, and depression dwell within a man’s heart until he discovers the secret to living a life in the light of the Lord. When we allow Christ to dwell within us, a fundamental change occurs. That hole in our soul that we were trying to fill with the glitz, noise, and carnality will fill with something pure – forever. Joy is not something around the corner to be found! Found within, the joy of living as Jesus lived just needs some nourishing!
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