One thing is for sure…there is no way I could be a mentalist. You know, guys like Patrick Jane who have the perfect hairstyle and can pull off cool mind reader stuff by pure powers of observation.
Me? Definitely not the ‘I don’t date but I still highlight my hair’ guy. And definitely not the one with the mental prowess to solve seemingly unsolvable crimes. My powers of observation are so poor that I once looked for my cell phone around my house for 15 minutes while I was TALKING TO A FRIEND ON IT!
Yep, and I’ve gotten lost in Wal Mart, and most recently completely missed the day that my wife changed her hair color. (hint for guys in the future…this is a bad thing)
So perhaps some of you can relate? Either way, it’s fascinating to see Jane at work and The Mentalist plot lines weave themselves into an odd and interesting combination of (to me) Sherlock Holmes meets Scooby Doo.
In a major way, I’m thankful that I wasn’t endowed with serious mental muscle - because it is oftentimes those abilities that keep people from solving the most difficult dilemmas known to humanity.
And what are those dilemmas? Simple…finding the answers to these questions:
• Who am I?
• Why am I here?
• What happens when I die?
Oh there are ‘answers’ a-plenty for these questions, but if you haven’t noticed, the majority of them just don’t seem to be working.
Of course the ‘smart’ answers go something like this:
Who am I?
You are a product of undirected evolutionary processes, and you my friend are a soulless machine descended from primal and primordial life forms.
Neat - huh?
Why am I here?
Pretty much you’re trapped in a closed and predetermined universe, so your hopes, dreams, ambitions, and accomplishments will go to the grave, so go out and live the dream baby!
Speaking of the grave, what happens when I die?
Just that…you die. I guess you’ll ‘live on’ in the memories of your friends and family, but in terms of “you”…”you” are gone, out of here, departed, whacked, toes up, and extinct.
Again, these are the ‘smart’ answers. So I guess I must be an experiment in artificial stupidity, because those answers just ain’t working for me.
So let me give you the ‘not so smart’ options. You know - the ones that are roundly made fun of and soundly mocked by many of our planet’s brainiacs.
Who am I?
You are a totally unique individual made in the very image of God (Genesis 1:26 -27), and you were handcrafted by Jesus Christ:
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed (Ps. 139:13-16).
Think about it, out of billions and billions of people on planet earth, there is no one like you. Being made in God's image means you have infinite worth and value. So much, in fact, that God Himself came to earth 2000 years ago and died a cruel and horrible death. Why? Because God chose to die rather than live without you!
Why am I here?
Two answers to this one. The first applies to those who are separated from God…and they need to trust in Christ as their only hope of salvation. Why? Because apart from a relationship with the Heavenly Father who created us, our lives ultimately make no sense and really have no purpose.
For those who have trusted Jesus, check out this job description:
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago (Ephesians 2:8-10).
God saved us from a meaningless and purposeless life so we could follow His amazing and perfect plan…and believe me, it is better than you could imagine.
Finally, what happens when I die?
That’s up to you. You can’t avoid death, but you can avoid being separated from God for eternity in a place called hell by simply trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. At that moment, death changes from life’s ultimate tragedy to humanity’s greatest destiny.
So…what say ye? Are you too smart to solve life’s ultimate questions? Or are you ‘dumb’ enough to figure out how to find value, purpose, and hope for eternity?
The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18-20).
The choice is yours, but please don’t let your brain get in the way of your soul finding salvation.
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Oftentimes the Christian faith is seen as a ‘blind leap in the dark’ - as if the truth of the gospel has no rational evidence. This week, talk to your friends about how coming to Christ through faith does not mean we turn our brains off, and challenge them to research the truth claims of Christianity for themselves. Be sure and follow up and pray for an opportunity to share the gospel.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
But let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,"
declares the LORD (Jer 9:24).
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:21).
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong (1 Cor 1:27).
Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.