Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Default to Babylon
Computers are strange birds. Ours suddenly began defaulting to some obscure search engine called “Babylon.com”. Probably one of my boys downloaded something of a gaming nature and Babylon snuck in to take over as the first port of call. Default. Having no idea what to do with these inventions of microchip and mind, I’m no match for the thing. I’m stuck with Babylon when what I want is AOL.
Today I was lamenting to my husband about my own “soul default”. My tendencies to fear and negativity were hardwired both by DNA, and the "software" of the events and relationships that have formatted my life, in particular those tender years of childhood. It occurred to me, most likely because God put the “aha” connection in my head, that my default could also be called Babylon because of all that word means to a child of the living God.
Babylon became a powerful ancient empire, and in the year 587 BC the Jews of the Kingdom of Judah were forced into exile, far from their beloved promised land and under the thumb of a first rate tyrant, King Nebuchadnezzar. It would be many years before Judah would return to Israel, and in the meantime the holy city of Jerusalem would be seized and utterly destroyed by pagans. For the Jews: Captivity. Bondage. Again. The children of Israel must have harkened back to a theme they knew well from their grandmas and grandpas, from their Passover remembrances and their Torah. Perhaps they suffered more this time, recalling the 400 years they bent their backs for the pagan worshipping Egyptians.
Babylon was no place for the chosen people. God never intended for His own to live in captivity to liars, abusers, and tyrannical despots. And He doesn’t mean for us to live that way now. Of course in a free nation our captivity is spiritual. Still, is prison any less miserable when it’s inside of a heart instead of a city? But how does one live otherwise, when the default position is so diabolical and deep. How to change? How to truly change…
I’m wrestling this one out day by day, friends. I open my eyes in the morning, and each day I know I have a choice. I am a free woman because of the nail scarred man of Nazareth. I have a choice to boot up my mind and leave it on the default setting of anxiety and pessimism, or I can go to manual and set my own disposition for the day…the hour…the minute. I have to be extraordinarily intentional or it’s Babylon for me. I have to have the word of God planted in my mind and the Spirit of God coursing through my veins or I will be a slave to the horrors of self. If I look down the barrel of my problems, (and believe me the past 2 plus years have been replete with them, but that’s another story), I am sorely tempted to go to default. If I take seriously the words of Jesus: “Peace I give you, my peace I leave with you…” I find I can choose a different setting. I will have to fight for it, but it’s SO worth the battle. By the power of that Divine Spirit within us, we can ship out of Babylon every morning, and go rebuild our cities. Go home to the place we were born for. Go home to “the life that is truly life”. Not pain free. But meaningful. Peaceful. Dare I say…beautiful.
We cannot do it without Jesus, and we cannot do it without one another. Praise God for His mercy, we don’t have to. We may be “strange birds” too, but we are not computers. We have the power to choose.
Your friend on the pilgrim road,Loriann