advice, Bible, Christian Life, Christianity, contentment, despair, devotional, experience, fear, fulfillment, God, Grannies Gone Wild, hopelessness, inspirational, Jesus, motivational, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, New Testament, Old Testament, Rainbow Dash, unhappiness, Word of God
Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Grannies Gone Wild”
Rainbow Dash learns one of life’s basic lessons in this episode about older folks: they know a thing or two. After trying to simultaneously ditch Granny Smith and her friends in Las Pegasus on “safe” activities while unsuccessfully trying to sneak a ride onto the Wild Blue Yonder for the bulk of the episode, she learns only late in the trip that the Gold Horseshoe Gals are Las Pegasus VIP members which allow them priority seating on any ride–meaning she spent a great deal of time worried for nothing because she never asked them for any help. Granted, it was likely Rainbow thought they wouldn’t be interested in the ride in the first place, but seeing as they had a lot more experience being around Las Pegasus than she did she might have bothered chancing some advice.
When all of us are growing up, we all go through that phase in our lives where we start growing more knowledgeable and self-sufficient, and at that time we look back on parents, older family members, or simply older individuals around us and figure “they just don’t get it”. We start thinking of them as outdated, obsolete, or applying a mindset of a different era to modern problems. We tend to often conclude, as is the egocentric view of most young adults, that we somehow got it right and they never did because they’re idiots from an idiot era. It not until we get a little older that we start to realize some of these older folks actually do know a thing or two, and we find ourselves going back to them for advice or, at minimum, their own experiences on things we do that are new. That’s not to say that the older generation didn’t make mistakes of their own or that they always know best, but often when it comes to things like doing home repair, buying a car, looking for a life partner, or especially raising your first child, they tend to have quite a bit of experience and know-how that we could learn something from.
The tendency to consider sources of advice obsolete and outdated isn’t limited to adult figures and older people, however. It also applies to certain traditions, beliefs, or philosophies. And among those things, for both Christians and non-Christians alike as they get older, is the Bible. And it’s a fair point to make. There are quite a lot of things in the Bible that really don’t apply anymore. One can point to the obvious being most of the Law in the Old Testament. I’m not about to ritualistically kill a bull or a goat the next time I go to Church or lose sleep over wearing clothing that’s made of two different kinds of thread.
However, there is a lot more in the context of the Bible than just that which now seems to make the bulk of the content antiquated. We aren’t living in a society that’s mostly poor with just a few rich people in power. We aren’t in an era where the only medical care we can get is prayer and animal sacrifice. At least in the Western World, we aren’t in a society where women suffer dishonor for not being able to get pregnant and are dependent on males. We aren’t surrounded by temples devoted to idols from every nation for a thousand miles. We aren’t an agrarian economy where marriage is mostly a land and business deal and children are raised up for extra farm hands or insurance on the family legacy either. Hence, critics of Christianity often raise the point that what is said in the Bible doesn’t really apply to modern society any longer, and that many of its precepts and concepts are archaic and obsolete.
I will agree that traditions and customs shouldn’t always be upheld, especially if they are only being upheld for just that–tradition and custom. That includes religious ones. There are a lot of older practices and beliefs that we would honestly all be better off without. And it is indeed true that a lot of things have changed throughout history. Technology has changed. Countries have changed. Society has changed.
But the reason so many Christians still defend the Bible and look to it for answers about people is that we believe human nature doesn’t change, whether it be now or thousands of years ago.
Everyone wants food, water, and shelter and those needs tend to take priority, but people aren’t satisfied with just having those needs met. We’re all social creatures. We all feel the need to be understood by someone else. Maybe some of us like large social gatherings and maybe we don’t, but all of us want at least one person to fully understand us and accept us for who we are. Nobody wants to be completely alone. Everyone wants to feel loved. Everyone will eventually have to come to terms with their own mortality. Everyone will have regrets in their life and wish they had done or hadn’t done something. Everyone will go through a dark period when they feel alone or helpless without any control. And everyone will sit down one day and call into question their own worth as a human being and the value of their own lives.
Society has indeed changed, and science and technology has enabled us all to live easier, more comfortable, and more connected lives than earlier generations ever dreamed possible. But you need only look to those around you to see that none of this guarantees happiness. None of it guarantees peace of mind. None of it guarantees a feeling of self-worth. Those of us in the USA live in a land of abundance, comfort, and plenty. And yet we still deal with depression, drug addiction, alcoholism, and abuse because we still have needs that this alone doesn’t satisfy. Celebrities who make more money that I could ever dream of somehow still go bankrupt because nothing they can buy gives them happiness. Politicians who have power and respect the likes of which most of us will never come close to possessing throw it away on illicit sexual relations and affairs because it still doesn’t bring them satisfaction out of life. In spite of the fact many of us in the Western World live in reasonably safe societies where we don’t have to worry about starvation, homelessness, or joblessness, we still commit suicide because we still feel hopeless and worthless.
Christians feel these things the same as everyone else, and that is why the Word of God is as valuable to us today as it was over 2,000 years ago. We believe it holds the key for a human being to become complete and fulfilled because we believe that it was written by the Creator of human beings–that because the Bible is the Word of God itself that it holds the key to having not only a fulfilling life in this world but in the next one to come.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”” (Matthew 4:4)
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
I can’t speak for every Christian, but for me personally the various things of this world often do leave me temporarily enthused, happy, or entertained, but they don’t grant me fulfillment and they don’t satisfy my desires beyond temporary boredom, recreation, or relaxation. And they don’t support me when I feel I am crushed beyond measure, facing horrible odds, in fear for my own life and safety by powers beyond my control, or I’m at my most depressed and hopeless. It’s this book, this book that many non-Christians scoff at as being an antiquated set of millennia-old fairy tales, that sustains me. And it’s this same book that’s changed my life, many of my family member’s lives, and countless other lives for the better.
For those of you looking for more in life but think that the Bible is nothing more than worn-out words by doddering old folks, I invite you to “taste and see” (Psalm 34:8).
Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for your Sacred Word, which brings life to all who look to it. Please give me a deeper love for it so that, by examining and studying it, I might better understand you and make choices that lead to greater life for myself as well as greater building of the Kingdom of God. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”