verb (used with object) stupefied, stupefying.
1. put into a state of little or no sensibility; benumb the faculties of; put into a stupor.
2. to stun, as with a narcotic, a shock, or a strong emotion.
3. to overwhelm with amazement; astound; astonish.
That was my reaction when I read two articles this week – I was stupefied. Consider:
These articles are exactly what they seem – no misleading headlines or other trickery – they are “arguments” for precisely the stances they claim in their heads. My faculties were indeed benumbed as I tried to make sense of that which is so nonsensical. Does not changing the climate, for better or worse, affect everybody? How is gender involved? Not have kids? Isn’t that the most fundamental thing we humans do? Moreover the line between justifying the cessation of reproduction and the justification of ending existing lives is a dangerously thin one.
We are truly adrift.
The devotional that landed in my inbox yesterday morning is well worth reading in its entirety. It makes plain where we began to go so wrong. Written discussing Matthew 23:8-12 –
Jesus startles with his vision of human leadership. It’s hard to imagine leadership more radically different from what people have envisioned or practiced throughout human history. In a world where “the greatest among you will be the greatest among you,” Jesus teaches that “the greatest among you will be your servant” (23:11). It is difficult to get our heads around what he means, much less to put into practice what he says.
After some prior specific critiques of religious leaders in his day, Jesus comes to the heart of the matter in today’s text. Jesus levels the most damning charge of all: no one is worthy to be called a leader—not others, and certainly not we ourselves. Our brightest and best efforts are insufficient. Our gifts and positions as leaders can fool us into thinking that we are adequate to fulfill the call to leadership. Yet we are not.
We have come to think so highly of ourselves and our abilities. We think we understand the climate, but do we really when our ideas about it lead us in such directions? We want to lead the world to a better place, but how can the cessation of reproduction and nonsensical adages comprise leadership?
As I considered these matters another Bible verse came to mind:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
From this passage I draw two thoughts. Firstly, when we unhinge ourselves from God, we loose his higher perspective. It is little wonder that such inanities begin to flow from our minds.
Secondly is the assurance than in spite of the inanities, God is at work. He has a plan behind it when things like this confront us. We may not know what it is, but it is there. My job is to rest in His hands, not try to be sufficient to answer such silliness. My job is to serve.