I mentioned in a previous post how the Gospel is the great equalizer. But the Law is also the great equalizer. I mean, who hasn’t broken at least one of the ten commandments? Most of us, at some point, in some way, have broken all of them.
Reminder: I’m still on the bad news piece, but stick with this post because you’re going to learn a super interesting way to think about these things.
Paul says in Romans 3, “It’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else?”
Let’s zoom in on that sinking boat.
Donald Miller, my favorite author, fleshes out this idea of a sinking boat in his book, Searching for God Knows What. He has a chapter called Lifeboat Theory. It’s based on the old ethics question, if there’s a lifeboat full of 6 different people, who do you kick off first? Or, for those who used to watch Survivor, who do you kick off the island?
The whole exercise is designed to make you think about who you value, why you value them, and ultimately, in a very sadistic way, who you’d prefer to see die first. What Miller mentions in his book is that we’re constantly living in this lifeboat, this sinking boat, day by day. We all have a death sentence, we’re all terminal. So now we’re fighting for who should get the most attention, the most likes, the most follows, the highest approval ratings. And somehow, we think that the more of those we get, the better off we’ll be.
The problem is those things will never fill us up. They’re like social crack. You need more and more likes for the same dopamine rush.
How we posture ourselves toward one another is fundamentally broken. As Miller illustrates, if I can dunk a basketball, if I’m more handsome, taller, thinner, smarter, wealthier than the next guy, somehow I’m better in the eyes of society (or at least that segment of society that places more value on that). Do you see the conundrum?
We’re all standing on the same level ground, lined up like little army figurines in the universe. We’re roughly the same height, give or take a couple feet. We’re wearing roughly the same clothes, some just have designer names and some have Walmart names. We’re doing roughly the same things, some posed holding a gun, some posed with their hands up or motioning to go here or there. In the light of the entire planet and the entire universe, our species is on level ground. So, the problem isn’t having more or less of something. The problem isn’t looks, money, IQ, or status.
The problem is a missing connection.
We’re like a dead phone separated from its charger.
A plant separated from the sun.
A puppy separated from its mom.
Our little army figurine hearts are all longing for this connection, this acceptance, this hope and love — most of all love. We’ll go anywhere looking for love.