Parable of Spiritual Surrender

I’ve been looking at the story of Abraham and Isaac, and what it teaches us about spiritual surrender and release. Naturally I started to think about my son Jonathan and Batman.

When my son Jonathan was younger, from about 18 months until he was around 10 years old, he was completely and absolutely obsessed with Batman. I have never seen anyone so obsessed about anything for so long with such intense moment by moment faithfulness. When our youngest son Josh was born at home, after a short time we brought the other boys in to meet him for the first time. It was a sacred moment. As we stood around the bed marveling at this new life, this new addition to our family, after a time Jonathan asked in a whispered tone, “Dad?” I answered, “Yes, Jonathan?” He said, “Does he like Batman?”

Right around his tenth birthday, Jonathan discovered music. He began playing the guitar, and before too long he began to show prodigious talent. He is now one of the most naturally gifted musicians I’ve ever known. It was right at that time that he lost his obsession with Batman. He doesn’t hate Batman. He kept many of his favorite Batman action figures. He still likes to watch the excellent cartoons and the movies. However, he no longer obsesses; months if not years have gone by where he has not mentioned Batman. His master passion has moved on to something greater, more mature. He has not turned his back on his batman obsession, he has simply moved forward to something greater as he has grown up.

Our obsession with using our morals to prove our worthiness, and our lust for smaller and perhaps sinful desires, is our Batman. We spend so much energy playing these fears and passions against each other within us. It is not that morals or desires are wrong. As worshippers of the Almighty we do not hate morals or life’s pleasures, but neither do we worship these things or let them drive us. Our passion has moved on to grace. We are taken up with the wonder and beauty and worship of the true God, the One who created all things. It may take a very great event like Abraham’s experience or Job’s to dislodge our more youthful obsessions, but God intends to move us on to the splendors and beauties we were ultimately created to enjoy.

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