The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 8/24

Posted on | August 24, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 8/24

AUGUST 24
scripture reading: John 8:31–47

Blissful Ignorance,
or PainfulTruth?

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)

Would you rather be ignorant yet happy, or know the truth and live in pain? Though few people think in these terms, this is precisely the choice that every human being must make. It is a sad commentary on American culture that many today value happiness over almost everything else. Reality is just too difficult to face; the truth is just too painful to accept. So people look for the illusion of happiness in a bottle, a television screen, a hobby, a video game, or a relationship. Ignorance is bliss . . . or so we imagine.

In the movie The Matrix (1999), the main character, Neo, is confronted with a choice. Although he doesn’t realize it at the time, the destiny of the world is
hanging in the balance.

MORPHEUS: Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain. You feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. There’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is. But it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. . . . It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

NEO: What truth?

MORPHEUS: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage, into a prison that you cannot taste or smell or touch. . . .

As Neo seeks to comprehend what he has been told, Morpheus offers him a choice: a blue pill and a red pill. He must choose and he must choose now. If he takes the blue pill, he will continue to live in his deluded understanding of existence. This means he will be relatively happy, but a slave to the lies he has chosen to believe. If he takes the red pill his eyes will be opened to the truth. He will be able to see the world as it really is, in all its brutality and cruelty. Having his eyes opened will make life difficult and at times almost unbearable as he confronts the hard realities of existence and the battles that he has been called to fight. Though the red pill will make his life more difficult, it will also set him free!

When the Israelites were set free from Egyptian bondage, things got worse before they got better. Trapped at the Red Sea, the people complained to Moses, “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:12). In other words, they would rather live as slaves than die as free men. They prefered the security and predictability of bondage to the burden and responsibility of freedom. No wonder they wandered in circles for forty years!

What about you? Which pill would you take? Do you prefer blissful ignorance or painful truth? You must choose. You must choose now. Not to decide is to decide.

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Live Free or Die.
—New Hampshire State Motto

point to ponder • Where are you living in denial: closing your eyes to a truth that is difficult to accept?

prayer focus • Someone (yourself?) who prefers the illusion of happiness to the reality of truth.

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