|A Bear In the Bedroom|
|Written by Dan Curry|
|Saturday, 27 February 2010|
2010 A.D. : There's A Bear In My Bedroom
Many of the people that read the Bible sometimes, go to church sometimes, or visit Christian websites struggle with having faith. They may say that they try, but it's just hard to have faith. They want to believe in Jesus, but aren't quite certain.
To them, I offer this: Being convinced and being certain are two different things. And Yahweh purposely doesn't show Himself to all of us every day. He knows that we would all believe then, for the same reasons that any child quits doing wrong when their parent shows up angry and ready to punish them at the scene of their misdeeds. Both a child that loves good and a child that loves evil will see the benefit of not doing evil at a moment like that.
To find out which child would prefer to be acting evil when you're not around you have to teach the children right from wrong, then sit back out of sight and see how they act. And Yahweh will know which we are. We won't be able to hide our ways from him. How often do kids really truly fool their parents? For a while they might, but not for too long. And Yahweh is no ordinary Father, either. He's not deceivable.
However....even for sinners like us, Jesus provided a way out. Only it's not a way for everyone....it's for those that have faith. Which brings us back to the subject: What if you don't have faith?
I suggest you do this: Decide, being totally honest with yourself, if you may not just be saying that 'you try to have faith, but can't! ' as an excuse. Maybe you just don't want to give up your personal sovereignty over yourself. Maybe you are just stubbornly saying "It's my life, and I'm going to live it how I want to."
What if an everyday worldly situation provided you with as much evidence as Jesus has...would you quite readily have faith then? Let's consider an imaginary situation, and as you read it, consider your own personal journey towards choosing to have faith that Jesus is who He says He is:
A man finishes up and walks his customary 12 blocks home. But today's walk home is not typical. Two blocks away he sees police cars at the drug store that he walks by every day, and bottles of various drugs have been scattered outside. He hears someone saying that an hour earlier a large animal has walked into the drug store and gone on a rampage in the psychotropic drugs section.
Eight blocks from home he sees a bear track - a pretty large bear track - in the mud beside the sidewalk, right there in town. He has seen bear tracks in movies and on TV. He has seen bear tracks on hikes and walks, etc. He is certainly no stranger to bear tracks. If anyone in town has seen bear tracks, it is him. And they are pointing the same way he is walking.
"I think there is a drug crazed bear in my bedroom.", the man says.
***Wait, what is this man doing? How can he know at this point that a bear is in his bedroom? There is not enough evidence for such an assumption. I don't think that any reasonable person would have believed such a thing with only this much evidence. I will change this man's words.***
"I think there is a drug crazed bear heading the same way I am.", the man said to himself. Better!
When he had walked to his front gate, the gate was knocked down, there was a tuft of bear hair on the top of one of the picket fence boards, and more bear tracks led around the corner towards his front door.
"I think there's a drug crazed bear in my bedroom!", the man said to himself.
***Wait, what is this man doing? Sure, it appears that there has been a bear on his property, but he doesn't have enough evidence to assume it's in his bedroom, or even in his house. He should probably keep his eyes open though. There may be danger. But I am going to change his words to something I think is more reasonable for him to say, given the evidence we can see that he actually has before him at this point.***
"It looks like there has been a drug crazed bear here on my property. I better be careful. It may still be around." Better!
The man walks around the corner of his house. He sees that his door has been knocked down, there are bear claw scratches above his front door from a pretty tall bear, and there are muddy foot prints leading into his house, but none leading out. His house, in violation of all local codes, regulations, and ordinances has only one door and no windows. He'd been meaning to remedy that.
"I believe there is a drug crazed bear in my bedroom", he tells himself.
***Wait. What is this man doing? I would grant that most reasonable people would be quite convinced that there is a potentially dangerous bear in their house at this point. There is certainly quite a lot of evidence to suggest that. It doesn't look, from what we can see, that going into his house is a good idea at all right now and he should probably call the police and tell them about this. But, why does he think the bear is in his bedroom? It could be in any room, couldn't it? I think I will change this man's words to something more reasonable.***
"I fully believe that a drug crazed bear is in my house!", the man confidently predicted. Better!!
He entered his house. The refrigerator door was open, there was bear hair and bear droppings and torn open food containers everywhere in his kitchen. A glass mayonaisse jar was broken on the floor, there was some blood. It was a mess.
He called for Tuffy, but Tuffy did not come running to greet him as he customarily did. Then he saw Tuffy's collar on the floor, and there was a little bit of blood on it. That did not seem good to the man.
He had only 5 rooms in his house. There was no bear in the kitchen or living room, he could already see that much. He walked further in and opened the door to his small but tidy bathroom, and saw that there was no bear there, not even behind the shower curtain.
He opened the door to the guest bedroom, but it was empty and undisturbed. This left only his own bedroom.
He walked over to the door of his bedroom, and saw that the door was slightly open. He usually closed the doors when he left the house, though in truth Tuffy was clever and had sometimes managed to unlock a door.
It was dark inside the bedroom (no windows in his house) and the light switch was across the bedroom on the far wall. He realized that he would have to walk in and turn it on if he wanted to see clearly.
He put his ear up to the crack of the slightly open door and he heard deep throated grunts and growels - with an occasional snarl and roar. It sounded like a pillow was being ripped apart.
He put his nose to the crack, and it smelled like the bear cage at the local zoo. He knew; he had often taken Tuffy on walks there. He looked down and saw muddy bear prints leading to his bedroom door. He also saw bear hairs drifting slowly out of the room through the cracked open door.
"I think there is a drug crazed bear in my bedroom, but I haven't actually seen it, and won't know for certain until I do.", the man said to himself. "Until then, it's really only a matter of faith in the evidence, and I'm not sure I should bother the police on a mere assumption." So the man began to reach for the doorknob so he could enter into his bedroom and go see.
***Wait, what is this man doing? Doesn't he see that his life may be on the line here? I know that he hasn't actually seen the bear, but doesn't he know that there are men born blind in this world. Blind men know many things for certain, yet have seen nothing with their eyes! With so much evidence, wouldn't any blind man know quite well at this point that there was almost surely a drug crazed bear in the bedroom? Doesn't this man know that the bear might kill him if it is in there? Bears are a large and dangerous animal, and this one may have taken psychotropic drugs.
And at this point, any reasonable person would, for the sake of their life, decide to just have faith that there really was a bear in their bedroom, and that they better get the heck out of that house...quickly!! I am going to have the man say different words, so that he will live.***
"I can't see the bear in my room, but at this point it would be insanity to assume there isn't a bear there. If the bear is in there, and I go in there, at that point I am within his reach, and it could go badly. But if I call the police, I think they will understand why I called. There is so much evidence that the bear is in my room that any reasonable person would be convinced of it at this point. Yes, I am going to just have faith." He quietly closed his bedroom door, then left to stand outside and make a phone call.
When the police answered he said "Yes, hello. This is Johann Karllsen. I am the retired bear handler from the city zoo. I am afraid I have to tell you that my old pet bear Tuffy got out again today while I was visiting my former co-workers at the zoo. And I think he is probably the culprit you are looking for concerning the drug store break-in incident. He loves those psychotropic drugs, but I never let him have any because they affect his moods so unpredictably."
"Anyway, Tuffy has returned to my house and is in now in my bedroom I think. Once back home he ate some food out of the fridge, which he knows he isn't allowed to do. He also ate a full jar of Mayonnaise, I saw, and broke the jar. He loves Mayonnaise, but I never let him have it - it upsets his bowels. But with the drugs and all, I guess he wasn't thinking about all of the trouble he'd be in."
"He'll pass out in my bedroom pretty soon and sleep it all off; that's what he always does. But the reason I'm calling is that he may have cut himself on the Mayonnaise jar, and I'm concerned. I saw he had slipped out of his collar, and there was a little blood on it."
"He has no teeth as you know, so I was wondering if you guys would mind coming down to my house as soon as you can? I want some help to wrestle him down and make sure the cut isn't a bad one. He gets his head and collar stuck in those Mayonnaise jars and he panics, you know. Sometimes the glass cuts him when the jars break. It looks like that may have happened again, so if you'll be kind enough to come I'll be waiting outside my residence. You've been here before, so I know you know the way. Thank you very much."
The end. (Of the fictional example.)
Anyway, concerning having faith in a thing, especially a thing with very serious ramifications, I believe that we all make leaps of faith on a regular basis about situations; such as about what information sources to believe in, about what risks to take in our investments, about whether to risk marriage with someone, about whether to drive tired, driving over the speed limit, about deciding to have more children when our finances are still a little shaky, about getting a risky surgery performed, going bungee jumping, and a host of other things beyond these.
Some people you know may become Christian without giving it the full amount of thought that the decision seems, in your opinion, to deserve. But like our man Johann Karllsen who saw the first foot print 8 blocks away and decided to believe there was quite possibly a drug crazed bear in his bedroom, the quick deciders may know things you don't know. They may have seen something that seemed to be a miracle, once a long time ago. Or they may have had a beloved grand father who was a Christian and told them why they should become one. Some memory or knowledge like that may lie within them that allowed them to have faith fairly quickly.
And if you - the doubting Thomas - ever do decide to believe, you will probably want others to believe also. And there will be some that will frusterate you, some who won't believe no matter how much evidence you put in front of them. You will look at them and think "What is it going to take? Do you have to have God come down and personally beg you? He is God!! You are lucky to be invited at all!"
But, in a way, God did come down and nearly beg us in person...in the form of Jesus His Son.
Some are like the man that stands at the cracked open door smelling bear and seeing hairs float by, who never the less decides he can not be sure until his eyes have seen. But it will be too late to escape the bear's clutches if you wait until you are close enough to literally see the bear. (metaphorically speaking, of course.)
I think that we decide to go ahead and commit to many uncertain things in our lives with much less evidence than we have for believing that Jesus is the real deal, our true Lord, our Savior, and the Son of God, and the one and only path given to sinful man by which we may be saved.
The good thing is that once you take that jump, make that personal commitment to Jesus, and decide to have faith in Jesus and get baptized, I think that many Christians, myself among them, would assure you that the evidence just comes rolling in after that. I think God purposely waits until we take a chance on what we cannot see. But then, when we do, he gives us many reasons to see we have chosen rightly. Yet still, I have not laid eyes upon Him. So I operate on faith. But I don't feel that way. I feel certain now.
There is so much of what a reasonable person would call 'circumstantial evidence' for believing in the Lord that I think anyone who looks at it all and decides not to believe has ulterior motives....like not wanting to fall under anyone else's authority in most cases, I would guess.
But be smart and believe the evidence: the natural world, even in it's fallen state, is astounding. The scriptures speak of all of time, and have stood, never disproven and much confirmed, for around 3500 years, as they speak of nearly 6,000 years of humanity falling short when left unguided. The scriptures tell us about the future - accurately. Who but the creator of time can see through time? And haven't you ever had an answered prayer?
The power of God and Jesus has been evident in all places where His Holy Word has been carried. The sick were cured, injuries were healed, birth defects set right, and even the dead have been raised in all lands where Jesus's name has been carried. And our consciences bear the truth in every human heart. It says "The heart of man is desperately wicked at all times, and we are greatly in need of our Father's purity, wisdom, righteousness, and love - and yes, His sovereignty in our lives. " The Holy Spirit has testified to all of the truth, but we have listened only a little.
There really is a bear in the bedroom - for all of us. We will all have to face the bear one day, and be judged. But it could be a bear that loves you, if you make your life choices carefully! Build that relationship with Jesus now - in faith - while there is time. It won't be possible to create a relationship with Him from scratch once you die. Not for those of us born in the Christian age, anyway. Not for those who have rejected their chance to seek Jesus.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 June 2013 )|
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