Of dreadful fruits, I dare say it has caused more mischief, chaos, destruction, grief, corruption, depression, pain--to name a few--than about anything. The "extraordinary" disease I'll call it. . . .
I recently saw a Christian-based news report--an interview with a pastor lamenting the problem found especially among the youth he deals with. Reflecting the same tendency prevalent in the secular culture, Christian youth also evinced an almost desperate need to be "extraordinary" . . . to do something "amazing" . . . to do and be something uber "awesome" for the Lord . . . to "stand out". . . .
The Facebook/Twitter/Instagram culture has obviously exacerbated this ego-driven fever which has been around since Eve decided to do something "unique" and "special" by defying her Creator. In fact, it was already a derivative, childish and shallow urge . . . and nothing new at all . . . as Lucifer and his fallen followers had previously paved the way to doom, death and futility in their own foul effort to assert something novel and autonomous on the burning wings of self-adulation.
And here it is now in full blazing vainglory practically everywhere you look. Everyone wants to "change the world" . . . "make a difference" . . . leave a legacy . . . do something "extraordinary" in life! And then post it for all to see, to be envious of. It's like a fever one catches . . . or a consuming fire that needs to be fed constantly, yet only grows more voracious the more it is catered to. A few minutes of fame, of notice are never enough. The goal must be set again. There is no peace . . . but instead a driving, compulsive need to be noticed, lauded.
And since in reality, God chooses but a relatively few for publicly prominent roles, the desperation to be seen as "special" . . . provokes many to ply avenues of remarkable shame and abject degeneracy so that at least they will be recognized for that!
It is not enough to live where God has put them, attending to the quiet, mundane duties of the day--honoring parents, raising children, working for a wage, paying attention to the "small" things of life . . . contributing as a thread in and to the intricate, God-ordained tapestry of the whole. . . . No, rather than "beginning at Jerusalem" . . . at home . . . attending to the people and places that are already immediately in their sphere, they neglect these and look to the far off horizon where supposedly great feats and extra-ordinary "accomplishments" and "missions" might be attained--the type that will be talked about, noted and praised. Meanwhile "the cobblers wife goes barefoot."
"Physician, heal thyself" . . . yet the one who would save and heal others ignores and disdains the matters closest at hand, which, while not "Facebook worthy" and not bound to attract much if any attention, yet actually are the priceless opportunities the "still, small voice" is constantly prompting to be met.
It is not some odd, recurring coincidence that so often we see the "movers and shakers" in the world--those who are "leaving their mark", famed and adored by masses . . . in private are miserable wretches and have left suffering and wreckage throughout their lives among those closest to them who should have been the most protected and cared for. It is par for the course! For when one strives against the Creator's design, demanding a bigger, "better", more "prominent" role . . . in service of self love, adulation and self rule . . . the original and most deadly sin starts hacking a "new" way--against God's spiritual blessing and into the land of strife, war, degradation and deception.
We truly are each special, unique and in our own, individual way, the apple of our Father's eye. And this is knowable in the quiet, noble state of prayerful submission to that Father's will. He may or may not have a part for us at the fore of some temporal stage. The rebel who loves his or her self above the Father rejects such acquiescence out of hand and instead enters the church of "I did it my way", "follow your heart", "be true to your self" and instantly begins to neglect or abandon the sacred responsibilities (and thus, blessings) He has already put in place to be fulfilled.
The mayhem and suffering so prevalent and ongoing in the world--despite the relentless efforts by "special" people to "make the world a better place" . . . is but the result of millions and billions of ungrateful, self-centered, childish, deluded dreamers clashing with one another to be noticed atop the dung heap that is The Fall.
"Look at me! Look at me!" they shout at each other, none seeing any other but themselves. Meanwhile, the meek, the shy, the weak, the poor, the abused, the steadfast, the "unremarkable" are trampled or shrugged off in the insatiable race to "do something amazing" . . . which, even if achieved, only garners resentment, jealousy or indifference from all the others doing the same.
It is a tendency and fact most lamentable among those who purported follow Jesus, Who came as a servant, lowly, washing the feet of His disciples. The Lord's work and call--while it may occasion "extraordinary" events and acclaim, most often is found in small attentions, humble details, unseen, unproclaimed and rarely noticed at all, except by He Who sees all.
Lost in the trance, fevered and chasing chimera after chimera . . . the "extraordinary"--diseased have apparently forgot . . . "blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the whole earth."
"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." -- Matt. 6:1