From a Distance - A Glimpse at Modern Spirituality

Do you remember this hit from the 80's?   Bette Midler singing about how beautiful this world is from a distance?

From a distance the world looks blue and green,

and the snow-capped mountains white.

From a distance the ocean meets the stream,

and the eagle takes to flight.

 

From a distance, there is harmony,

and it echoes through the land.

It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace,

it's the voice of every man.   (from elyrics.net)

This seems like a pretty song.  Catchy, flowing melody soulfully sung.  Seems innocuous enough...until these lyrics:

God is watching us. God is watching us.

God is watching us from a distance.

It
has only been recently that the full meaning of this lyrics made sense
to me.  I stopped singing along blindly long enough to let what is
being said fully sink in.

God is watching us. God is watching us.

God is watching us from a distance.

Yes, God is INDEED watching us, but NOT from a distance.  He is here WITH us.

Romans 8:28 (New International Version)

  28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

God
does not sit on His throne and just watch the little "ants" below.  He
is not a passive observer.  He does not leave us to just fend for
ourselves.

Hebrews 4:12

 For
the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged
sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and
marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.

Recently,
this song and everything it stands for has really gotten under my
skin.  This feeling came to a boiling point as I watched Oprah
interview Whitney Houston on TV the other day.  They were discussing
prayer and talked about how they felt a connection with EACH OTHER
while they were praying the night before the interview.   I was taken
aback since prayer is connecting and communicating with our Father in
Heaven, not with the cosmos, not with those who have passed away, not
with each other - our Father in Heaven.

 

This song and this interview are just two shining examples of the modern culture of spirituality. 

  • the belief that we create our own truth
  • the belief that all religions and all beliefs are good - as well as the belief in nothing being good
  • the belief that all beliefs are "equal" and the differences don't matter

This list could go on for quite some time.  If we study
different beliefs, it is obvious that they cannot ALL be equal and
correct.  I will not delve into the specifics of various beliefs here 
- that is for another time and place.  I will say that in these times,
we need to realize that the terms "spiritual" and "religious" do not
necessarily mean "washed in the blood of the Lamb Christian.

As
we ingest popular culture and the media, we need to realize that
terminology may not mean what we think it does.  When someone says they
are religious, a Christian, Catholic, Lutheran, spiritual .... or many
others, they may not mean what you THINK they mean.  We need to guard
our hearts and minds.  We need to filter information through what God
says in His word.  His WORD is our foundation, all other books,
messages, songs, are just secondary. 

 

As Bette Midler sings,

From a distance you look like my friend,

even though we are at war.

From a distance I just cannot comprehend

what all this fighting is for.

we
need to remember that even when things seem to be their worst, God is
doing what is BEST for us.  He is not sitting by simply watching.

Luke 11:11-13 (New International Version)

 

 11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If
you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him!"

Give your heart to
the One that loved you enough to send his only Son to die a horrific
death on the cross so that you may have eternal life.  Give your heart
to Him and guard it from the things of this world.

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