Girls Are Cute and Atheism is Strange

Well……….it was my junior year of college when I fell head over hills (mountains, for accuracy) for this girl in my math class. It was literally my first legitimate big crush on a girl. It is safe to say that I was a slightly late bloomer. Most of the class periods would consist of me glancing over and daydreaming about her – wondering where our first date would be.

ImageConsequently, I ended up with a “C” in the class. Each night I would think to myself, “Tomorrow I am going to ask her out. No fears!” I would even rehearse the lines I planned to say in  my head. However, as class ended each day, I’d freak out inside and digress my plan into just trying again tomorrow. Long story short, I did nothing for the entire semester and it crushed me for about a year afterwards, ha.

During that semester I found myself watching drastically more chick flicks than usual. I needed ammo and ideas for this girl! Also, my IPod playlists consisted solely of extremely cheesy loves songs. My favorites were:Image

Teddy Geiger – For you I will

Train  – Drops of Jupiter

Plain White T’s – 1,2,3,4

Shawn Colvin – When you know 

Liz Phair – Why Can’t I breathe

The list was endless and continues to this day. The Disney movies that I watched that semester seemed better than ever. My DVD player was constantly playing ‘Serendipity’ and ‘P.S. I Love You’.

For some reason, the words being used in those songs/movies triggered off this emotion of “recognition” inside myself. As weird as it is, it is no longer even about the girl. There was something very deep inside my soul that recognized what was happening as if…maybe…I was created to feel that feeling. That feeling of a real, everlasting love that can successfully fill me up with everything I need. Weird huh? It’s like there should be a powerful being that can do this….

Switching gears,

Where did those feelings and reactions come from? There should be an origin of the intrinsic feelings of romance, happiness, sadness, laughter, satisfaction, mourning, etc. It is in our nature to try to find out what is behind everything in the universe. For thousands of years mankind has been trying to figure this out. This self-will to search for truth is given from God so that we may eventually seek Him (Acts 17:27).

Atheists have desperately tried to answer this question. There are many types (Marxists, Freudians, Naturalists, Relativists, Anti-theists and others) but for the most part they all believe in some sort of Big Bang-type creation from nothing and macroevolution. However, by believing in this, it would seem that they then inadvertently contradict themselves and cannot answer these simple “why” questions (let alone our existence). Unlike machines, we always seem to care about something. In order to believe what they believe, they must agree that our existence was an accident based off of a meaningless causation. Without a God creating the universe, we should not be able to say that something is good, beautiful, or true. We are simply matter in motion and chemicals firing off in the universe. If this is the case and everything is meaningless, then conversely what they claim and anything we do is not meaningful. We know this is not true. But without objectivity, the ability to judge, I should not be able to have a crush on a particular girl as opposed to another girl. Those cheesy love songs and movies should not have triggered off any meaning in my brain at all.

So where is the truth?

The truth lies within our living God. Being made in his triune image (i.e. from the time of Adam and Eve) our souls remember that at some point of existence there was once a perfect and infinite love that did fulfill us. It is seen in the first two chapters of the Bible. Every chapter after that is God’s story of bringing us back to that point of perfection. Ecclesiastes 3:11 mentions how we have an emptiness in our hearts that can only be filled by eternity. The reason we enjoy good food, but still are left wanting more is because of this missing piece in our hearts. When Adam and Eve ate, there fullness resulted in complete joy in the food and glory to the divine Father that gave it. It was perfect…until sin entered.

Luckily, Jesus fills this gap (John 10:10). This was done to create gratitude for his name and, in turn, give us fullness of joy. And at his second coming our fullness will be complete. It is a “double-grace”. We have gratitude in that Christ died for us and hope in that he is returning. It is a double-grace equal to double dessert. And faith binds the two together.

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Glory, Creation, & Clemson Football!!!!!

I went up to Clemson this past weekend. Clemson just breeds awesomeness. I have always been an avid people watcher/learner. There is this strange, immense amount of joy that comes from seeing other people experience just an ounce of happiness. Now that I’ve been a graduate and away for 4 months, it seems as if the ability to observe people and vividly comprehend & appreciate their uniqueness has magnified.

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After the Clemson-South Carolina game, some friends and I were journeying by foot back to our car and were reminded of just how crazy traffic is after games. Especially night games! While downtown we could see a far-out view of all the cars in traffic ahead of us. It reminded me of something C.S. Lewis once wrote. He compared the concept of  “the traffic flow of vehicles on roads”  to  “God’s creation of the flow of rivers”.  Now this gets beautiful when it’s fully thought about. We just need to practice the fun, vivid Christian imagination that we all have. Christianity is never meant to be boring. It is meant to be repeatedly awe-inspiring.

Here’s what I mean. We are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

Anything true of the “whole” will be true of the “part”. So if the entire Pacific Ocean is salt water, taking a small bucket of water from the Pacific Ocean will contain salt water. The purpose, meaning, and direction of the universe will be seen inside of what each of us do everyday. Any subset of the universe that God has created (i.e. people, rivers, trees, clouds, passions, video games, high school proms) will have some qualities and/or desires similar to that of God.

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We create things because we were created by The Ultimate Creator. Creativity, imagination, and beauty are God’s imageness in us. God is the master architect of creation. So since he created us, we display his qualities (even in things we create ourselves). People invented cars and even this can show traces of God’s influence.  If you look closely at cars moving together in a pack, they mimic a natural river flowing on its own water-path. My friends and I were literally able to look at the traffic in front of us collectively acting as if it were a calm-flowing river.  I for sure need to wake up and open my eyes more.

Not only do we create, but we also constantly exalt (i.e. glorify, praise, honor, rejoicing) things because we were created to give glory to God (Isaiah 43:7, Matt 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12, Habakkuk 2:14). During the football game this Saturday, I couldn’t help but notice this and laugh. By just taking some time to closely observe things around me the joy of everything was seen.

There were a number of girls with their arms tightly wrapped around their boyfriend’s arm due to the cold weather. That brings a certain type of honor to her boyfriend. It shows an appreciation for him and what he can provide.

Similarly, I can watch my guy friends that may have girlfriends whenever that girlfriend is around them. Some of the guys…I can see it in their eyes, just in the subtle ways they look at their girlfriend when she is not even noticing. It’s as if they aren’t looking at her in a physical sense, but looking at her soul. They are involuntarily rejoicing in the fact that they are in love with the soul of their girlfriend. Now my one favorite couple….. it really is all over his eyes when he looks at her. As plain as day. You can see joy, love, worry, and passion all at once in his eyes.

Friends that haven’t seen each other in a long time joyfully yell each other’s names in unison and hug before/after the game. Sometimes being so noticeably overwhelmed that everyone around them stops and looks.

Strangers sitting next to each other automatically are unified friends because they share a common bond. They give high fives when things go well. When they’re sad because Tahj Boyd got sacked…they’re sad together.

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In a broader way, we can look at the 80,000 Clemson fans yelling and screaming for a victory, bringing glory to the football team. All the while we can look up above the stadium into the night sky and witness something more intricate. The infinite number of bright stars, in their own uniqueness, scream for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 15:41, Psalm 19:1). It’s a funny irony though: how as we cheer for our football team, the stars in sky are simultaneously cheering for our Heavenly Father (Romans 1:20).  They’re picking up our slack as we cheer for a little football game.

Clemson will sometimes loose and let us down. Boyfriends will many times be dummies. Girlfriends have cooties ALWAYS. Friends will let us down. Strangers come and go. Cars will eventually die on us and end up in junkyards. But our holy & perfect God, so focused on the glorification of himself and of Jesus Christ through the fulfillment of the work done on the cross…never fails. He wins. And he loves us. We rejoice in that and put our hope in it. That is why Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

So let His name be lifted higher and higher by us. The rivers and our own man-made cars are already lifting his name high. The stars are doing the same. ALL of creation was meant to do so. Focusing on Christ will always guide us into more joy.