Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"My95" and Eli Stone

And afterward I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions (Joel 2:28).

I’m voting for Eli Stone as the poster child for “my95.” The chances of getting buy-in from our session may be slim – but I’m casting my vote anyway and declaring that Eli Stone captures the heart of “my95.”

In case some of you don’t have the slightest idea who Eli Stone is, I applaud your lack of interest in TV watching. Nevertheless, allow me a brief introduction.

Eli Stone is the lead character in a new TV series about an Associate in large law firm (Eli) and the sudden onset of visions that impact his life in very concrete ways. Eli’s physician brother diagnoses a brain aneurism and explains the visions with science, an anomaly in the brain. But that doesn’t cut it for Eli. The visions are too purposeful – as if something is guiding him, directing him, working through him for greater things than simply making massive amounts of money.

Granted, Eli’s visions have nothing to do with Jesus. Whereas Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up and John on Patmos saw a slain lamb seated on a throne, Eli Stone sees George Michael singing “You Gotta Have Faith.” On one level, perhaps several levels, the premise of the show is absurd. I think most of the large Atlanta law firms would have fired Eli after episode one. Absurdities aside, the show is good entertainment and it even has something to teach those of us who are trying to sort out all the implications of following Jesus in the work place.

Eli is a man who sees that there is another dimension to life, a spiritual dimension that is constantly invading the work-a-day world. Spiritual realities shape litigation and litigation has spiritual implications. The same can be said for any endeavor. The workings of God’s Spirit shape meetings and lesson plans and struggles to get car seats properly installed. And all of those things have spiritual power in your life – they are the raw material God uses to shape the image of Jesus in you.

Visions of the Cherubim and Seraphim, or of George Michael for that matter, are not likely to interrupt our days. Eli Stone offers us little in that regard. But what we can do is live every day expectant, filled with wonder. Eli Stone spends a good part of every episode walking around stunned, slack jawed, mouth hanging open with amazement. We should all go through our days with such a sense of wonder.

As you go through this day take a careful look at what’s around you. Pay attention to who is around you. There’s always more going on than you can grasp as you move quickly from one task to the next. Your world – the office, the school, the home – is inundated with the presence of the Holy. This is truth, not television.

Ever present God, give me eyes to see what you are doing in the familiar rhythms of my day. Give me a heart that is expectant and a mind full of wonder. Above all, let my soul be full of love for you and for your world. Work through me in ways that exceed anything I can imagine. I will be your glad servant this day, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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