Sunday, May 22, 2016

“Pie In The Sky?”

The idiom “pie in the sky” refers to a future reward after death, making up for a mundane, meaningless life here on earth.  It can also mean an unrealistic dream or vision.  I can recall a number of times when people have said to me, “You are reaching for pie in the sky.  Get real.”  Used in this sense, it parallels the idea of living in an “ivory tower,”  which suggests that a person is living in a protected environment, such as a church or a university, separated and unaware of the realities of life.   Some have said that I live in an ivory tower.  Still others have said I’m a bit “addled” (off my rocker) and others have gone so far as to say, I’ve got “a loose screw or two” (I'm thinking, maybe more than two).

Am I reaching for “pie in the sky” when I rant and rave about life, politics, society, religion, etc?  Am I unaware of what is real?  Do I live in an ivory tower?  Am I just a dreamer when I suggest “Love is at the heart of all things?”  Is it all fantasy—a way of escaping reality?  Yet, on the other hand, perhaps it is what is real?  Maybe the World Beyond (God) is really what is real, and the world we live in, is the unreal one?

Organ Pipe Cactus National
 Monument, AZ
Of one thing I am sure this morning as I ponder all of this:  The way we have ordered our society is fundamentally different from the way in which God conceives it, and the way in which God longs for it to be ordered.  This does not come out of my own “astute,” or as some would have it, “pie-in-the-sky” or “addled,” mind—it is the Judeo-Christian faith!  Therefore, it is the duty of God’s people to attempt to “overthrow the existing order” (that command comes from the Bible, by the way).  How?  With love—not a sentimental or affectionate emotion—but the love (agape) of God operating in the human heart, mind, and soul.  This love makes no distinction between friends and enemy; it is directed toward both, without expecting any good in return from either.  All distinctions disappear in the context of this loving:  east/west, republican/democrat, liberal/conservative, old/young, south/north, neighbor/enemy, rich/poor, black/white, muslim/jew/christian, etc.  It is this kind of loving that can and will cause the old order to pass away and give birth to the new.  Call it “Pie-in-the-sky,” or a crazy idea, or a lunatic’s ranting, if you like—but I’d much rather we try, together, to love as Jesus loves.  It is not an easy task to love like that!

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