Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where Was God In This?

Let me preface my comments by saying that I by no means intend for this to be insulting or mean-spirited. What I will write is nothing more than an observation and is not an observation of the subject, but of this world in general.

I just finished watching the story of Randy Pausch's last days prior to his death. If you don't know, Randy Pausch is the man who is famous for delivering a very inspiring and touching final lecture when he found he was dying of cancer. If you do not know the story simply Google "The Last Lecture." It is a very moving story and should be shared. I truly feel sorry for his wife and their children and if by some strange chance you are reading this, I would ask you to stop now.

As I watched this very well put together memorial to Randy I noticed that he held many things in his life close to his heart that I do. His family was obviously very important to him as well as how he positively affected the world around him. However, as I sat and watched something became apparent to me halfway through the memorial. I had not heard God, faith, belief, or Christ mentioned once. I am not saying they weren't but if they were, I missed it. At that point I began really listening for any semblance of belief in anything other than the strength of man. What I heard was multiple swear words and a man and wife who think/thought they had it all figured out. I make no assumption of this man's faith in God, but I can say that I have not seen it. It could be that the editor of the memorial edited all those parts out, but I think back to the now famous "Last Lecture" and I can not recall faith in God being a prevalent theme. To many, Randy Pausch's story represented something good in this world, but to me it represents what is wrong.

At the end of the piece was an interview with Randy a few days before he died. There he sat, scared and dying. Yet, he continued to rely only on himself and his strength. I at this point was dumbfounded that this man, who has been at the crest of eternity for months now, still found himself strong enough to handle this problem on his own. How sad and if my assumption is correct, I grieve for his soul. This man was given an opportunity to teach a message of hope and salvation and of eternal life but his story ends with nothing more than a resounding reminder of how helpless we truly are. Again, his strength was admirable, but how much could he have done for the kingdom during his pre-death media blitz. Now, there is no epilogue of hope to his story, just an ending. While to many their final memory of this man is his message of how to live life, to me it is one of how truly weak I am without Christ and God. The memorial showed multiple interviews with family and friends who talked about how strong Randy was but no mention of where he drew his strength from. I firmly believe that this man was convinced that he needed no strength other that his own and just as the serpent fooled Eve in the garden that reliance on her own wisdom was the only thing necessary, Randy was fooled too.

Again, I hope that I am wrong and if you know of error in my thinking, I implore you to comment and correct me. Until that time I will grieve over the fact that many churches are using this man for inspiration and teaching. I think his language alone when faced with eternity would void such but again, that's simply my opinion. I ask all of you to not lean on your own knowledge and thought for strength but instead follow the example of the Psalmist in the 71st Psalm who writes;
15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And Your salvation all the day, For I do not know their limits. 16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. 17 O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
How nice would it have been to hear Randy Pausch declare God's wondrous works.

In conclusion, Randy ends his last lecture by stating that his message was for his children. I still don't know what message that was. I only wished that Randy knew that the message we should be able to leave our children has already been written for us. Philippians 4:8-9
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Can you leave that message in truth with your children today?

1 comment:

Robbie Mackenzie said...

I completely agree! I watched it also on youtube and he mentioned specifically that his lecture was not about religion. He poked fun though and said: "But I have had a bed-side conversion...I bought a MAC!" Everyone laughed except in the audience but I did not smile. If I were in the shadow of death the only thing there to pursue me would be God! Without him I am nothing. Thanks for your post and I completely agree.