Why you should pass on apple pie
… and focus, instead, on the banquet table of God.
This week, I stumbled here, into the words of John Piper:
The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable and almost incurable.
~ John Piper, A Hunger For God, p. 14
It’s true. I’m often repulsed when I turn on the television. Some days I scroll through news headlines and I feel a sense of foreboding so great I’m paralyzed to take the next step on next week’s plans or summer’s family trip. Last night we watched lovely shows on PBS. We laughed heartily, felt happy and then … the British comedy we enjoyed was followed by a documentary on how members of the Texas state school board argue and banter and attack each other over evolution and creationism and intelligent design in an effort to turn out an ideal science textbook for millions of students. A textbook that is then produced for the rest of the nation. (You want to know what your children are learning? Ask Texas and California — evidently they make decisions that affect the rest of country.)
But it wasn’t so much about education to me, as it was about the faces of good and evil, sitting right there in comfy leather chairs … the agenda of some to disprove a God they cannot see while openly admitting we do not yet have “the science” to say how life began. Somehow, though, they’re sure God certainly could not have done it. It would be ironic and hypocritical and funny if it wasn’t so clearly, painfully, and openly evil. “For all the ill that Satan can do …”
But there is hope in the trouble and a light in the midst of the world’s darkness.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven … ”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
We are in a season that demands action. Life is struggle — sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes exhausting. We wrestle with thoughts and ideas and points of view. We brazenly battle things beyond our control. And that is good and that is right and that is how it is supposed to be. We must be impassioned by the good, the noble, the right, the pure and the lovely before we can wage war on the ugly, the awful, the sinful and the things so displeasing to God above.
“… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” ~ Philippians 4:8
Think on these things.