The article was about Danny Boyle and his new film “127 Hours.” While this movie about a rock climber from Colorado who listens to jam bands seems a little intriguing I am sure it is just another movie I will skip.
I am not a big movie guy. It’s not that I think there is anything wrong with going to the movies. I can count the times I’ve been to a theatre during the last few years on one hand. Usually when I do go I feel like the best part is the popcorn!
As a great friend would often say, “Well, that’s enough about that!” Okay, back to the point of this post. The movie, “127 Hours” is the story of Aaron Ralston, the canyoneer who got his hand stuck between a boulder and a canyon wall in Utah while climbing in 2003. After five days with barely any food or water he decided to perform a backcountry arm amputation to survive.
Ralston wrote about his experience in 2006 in his book, “Between a Rock and Hard Place.” Boyle became obsessed with the story and decided to make the movie.
There was a quote in this article from Boyle that caused me to think about where we are as a society and to a large degree what seems to be happening in the church.
Boyle said, “I’m not really a philosopher, I’ve got to be honest, I’m a visceral man. I want you to feel the film. I don’t want you to think about the film intellectually…”
That statement presents a real conundrum for me. One of the reasons I don’t go to movies very often is because I don’t want to think intellectually. But I also don’t want to “feel deeply.” It seems that most of my life is comprised either of “thinking intellectually,” or “feeling deeply.” So my thought is, I don’t want to do that during my down time.
Having said that it seems that this is a caricature of where we are in our society, and as I said earlier it seems this is where we are in the church.
Perhaps there have been times in the history of the church when some have attempted to stifle feeling and emotion. When feeling is taken out of our faith it causes great harm to our walk with the Lord.
The Word of God speaks openly about the need for heart in our spiritual walk. “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Jesus told a wealthy young man that he needed to love God with all of his heart, as well as his soul and mind (Luke 10:27).
He also commanded us to worship God in “spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) Whether you believe spirit is a reverence to the Holy Spirit or a statement about our attitude, they both would include feeling. If an individual can bow at the cross of Jesus without any emotion there is a problem somewhere.
The problem in our day seems to be the other side of the coin. While there seems to be more heart, is it possible that we have excluded the head? Have we developed a religion that says, “Don’t think about it intellectually, just feel it?” We must remember that the same Jesus who said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart,” also said, “Love the Lord your God with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) He also said, “You shall know the Truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)
Brethren, can’t we be more balanced? Can’t we find a happy medium? Can’t we think intellectually and feel deeply at the same time? Jesus looked at those He loved and wept about their spiritual condition. He loved them and taught them.
When we worship the Lord we should use both head and heart. We should use our head to assure that we are worshipping in a way that pleases God. We should use our heart to help us praise Him and bring glory to Him.
Preachers can’t we “preach the truth in love?” (Ephesians 4:15) It seems that we sometimes find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. We desperately need to find the balance between head and heart. We need to help our brothers and sisters find this balance as well. Our world needs to see Christians who think deeply about Scripture and Christians who feel deeply about what it means to be a Christian.
Dear Father in Heaven, help us to be balanced in our approach to Scripture as well as our approach to our walk with You. Help us to think about what Your Word teaches and help us to feel deeply about our commitment to You. Dear God, forgive us when we have failed you and failed those around us. Help us to love you more and help us to live in such a way that we glorify You every day. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.