“The world is not true!” My five year old spoke truth. Whether in the manner of a million monkeys writing on a million typewriters or in the manner of the young speaking the unvarnished truth, I do not know. But he is right.
Life is chaotic. This pandemic has reinforced that. We are daily reminded of the looming unpredictability of death. Yet as a Christian, I know that death is just a temporary bug in the system.
A favorite, though dark, episode of Star Trek: Voyager comes to mind. In Oblivion, the crews seems to be going about business as usual until crew members health starts to unravel. They are breaking apart at the cellular level. Spoiler Alert! It turns out they are copies of the real crew and starship, a kind of biological photocopy produces spontaneously and unwittingly when they visited an alien planet. Though they and their ship looks and sounds exactly as they should, they are not their true selves. They are rapidly decaying and eventually destroyed, with only an intergalactic space puddle to show for it.
I know not everyone is a fan of ficiton and nor especially science fiction, but I find fiction has the ability to get us close to the truth in a way nonfiction does not. Nonfiction is just strange.
Our world is in a state of decay. It is a groaning world.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
And we are part of that creation. Yet we have hope that the copies of Voyager do not.
“Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
What is also interesting about this episode of Voyager is that there is a period of disequilibrium when the signs of cellular decay present themselves but are yet unexplained. But this passes. Once they understand their condition, the crew works diligently to preserve this life they have. A knowledge that our world is decaying should not immobilize us or sap us of motivation, rather it should spur us on to joining in the plan of the Creator to rescue his creation from wasting away.
Lord, we are yours. Save. Make New.