So Much Drama

from Aug 23, 2014 Category: Articles

It is certainly possible to underestimate the importance of something. In fact, I confess that I’m inclined in that direction. When my car makes a weird noise I’m inclined to believe that if I ignore it, it will go away on its own. When a pain or illness comes upon me, I simply assume that time will heal it. It usually does, but sometimes what I think is nothing turns out to be something.

That said, there is a strong challenger pushing away from my ostrich tendencies, my Chicken Little tendencies. As often, if not more often, as we deny the waves around us in order to stay on an even emotional even-keel, we seek out roller-coasters for the sake of a jolt of emotional adrenaline. We turn molehills into mountains so that we can triumphantly plant a flag through the thrill of victory, or so we can crash and burn in the agony of defeat.

Small children, I suspect, are more easy-going. Most six year olds have simple needs, and the quiet confidence that those needs will be met. It is when we enter into junior high that suddenly our language grows more purple, our proclamations more passionate, our lives tragedian. Whether or not some girl likes me becomes the great mystery of the ages, my plan to find out becomes a daring adventure on par with Indiana Jones. When I find the answer I hope for I reach the third heaven, but if not, alas and alack, thither down yon abyss I plummet.

I don’t begrudge kids learning to calibrate as they mature. What frustrates me is when we don’t grow out of this awkward phase. We find we like being the center of emotional gravity and so turn up our angst. We elicit sympathy from our friends, and find it much more pleasurable than their displeasure. And soon enough, knowing we will begin each conversation with a sigh, our friends sigh when they see our name on their cell-phone.

Maturity is supposed to bring perspective. We’re supposed to learn first that we’re not the center of the universe, and second, that today is not the very lynchpin of history. We learn that we’ve survived previous Armageddons, and so we don’t panic every time there’s a blood moon. We’re supposed to think of others more highly than ourselves. That means not just their characters, but their circumstances. My friend Naing in Myanmar is engaged in spiritual warfare day by day that I have only sampled. My friend John Barros, ministering now at the Orlando Women’s Center, is preaching his heart out for the sake of literal bodies and eternal souls. Meanwhile, I’m worrying about how much feedback this blog post will get.

There is real drama in this world, and it is most potent when it crosses over into that world that lasts forever. That includes, of course, not only the winning of lost souls, but the pruning of found souls. The value of this life is found in preparing us for the next. I pray I will learn to embrace that drama, as I look to that great climax of the one true drama, the marriage feast of the Lamb.

R.C. Sproul Jr. is rector and chair of philosophy and theology at Reformation Bible College. Originally published at RCSproulJr.com