A few days ago, I received a text from my twin brother on Instagram. The picture of his cat Sophie laying on the couch and Terry’s socked foot protruding from his chair sets up the message. “Happy New Year. We’re in our place watching Wheel. Getting ready to fall off the fiscal cliff.”
Not sure if you get Terry’s humor but I started to laugh out loud. What, an oxymoron? There’s something about watching Wheel of Fortune and waiting to fall off the fiscal cliff that gave me a good belly laugh. It was as if Terry was saying, “Yeah, right The Fiscal Cliff – yada, yada, yada.”
Frankly, I’ve been so bored with all this fiscal cliff talk, as if we’re being managed to think what they think (whoever they are) is absolutely the most important thing to think about. Their solution seems irrelevant because there’s always going to be another manipulated cliff we face in this country, whether it’s due to leadership incompetence, impotency or just plain ole systemic instability. Now I’m speaking generally because I know there are many good men in leadership but I think the overall cumulative effect of our countries leadership is disheartening. They need more of our prayers.
Wherein lays the problem?
James says, “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or, take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” James 3:3-6 NIV
He talks about having a tongue disorder when we fail to recognize how DIRECTION, or where we’re going in our hearts and minds (motives), is disregarded for what we can only see with the naked eye.
If we don’t see how there can be a world we can’t see but is just as real as the one we do see, we’re doomed. Medicine knows this is true. We can’t see the forces of infection at work until we see something visual and feel something visceral that says, those forces are active. That’s why I go to the dermatologist every six months for the rest of my life. If I don’t, I’m a dead man walking because of skin cancer. DIRECTION is everything. Something is going on inside my body and I don’t like that direction. My choice is to do something about it because I’m going in a different direction.
The tongue disorder of James 3 is about understanding the direction anyone heads with their inmost thoughts and desires and eventually witnessing the results of that journey – a tongue that sets the world on fire.
We are facing a spiritual and moral cliff today. That’s been going on since the beginning of man. The Bible says we’ve all sinned and have fallen short of perfection. We’re in trouble because of something we can’t see that’s going on inside us but never the less is real. Anyone falling off the spiritual and moral cliff will regret not paying attention to where we go in our hearts and minds – the unseen world of our soul.
I guess that’s why Terry’s humor about the fiscal cliff struck me. That cliff comes nowhere close to what can really destroy us. The spiritual and moral cliff we all face is the one that will, because it’s generated by an unseen and active force inside all of us called sin – a spiritual reality pictured as an unruly tongue disorder.
That’s why I believe the modus operandi for believers is to keep looking deeper into the whys, or the DIRECTION of the whys and where those whys take us. Hopefully, then, we all see we need Jesus and move toward real, deeper personal change.