A century ago, the world made bread to avoid starvation. Today, it’s a hobby. For most of history we sought water in order to survive. Today, our problem is choosing the most fashionable bottled mineral water and the perfect slice of lemon, along with the most socially appropriate carbon-zero recycled straw to go with it.
We have become like the man who said to his soul,
Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry. (Luke 12:19)
…which puts us in the running today, for the reply Jesus gave back then.
Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ (Luke 12:20)
To his credit, at least he prepared his own stuff.
We have outsourced most of our daily problems to someone else and the result has been an even more devastating false sense of security.
Someone else takes care of our heating, our water supply, our sanitation and garbage disposal, our chicken sandwiches, and our Evian. Someone else is responsible for our power supply, education, clothing, hair-do, and the very roof over our heads.
All of which has left us with nothing to do but issue directions from our lofty throne while we focus on playing our Nintendo Switch, whatever that is, and monitoring our TikTok, whatever that is.
It is this way because we are deeply sinful and deeply enslaved. We are slothful, lazy, and self-indulgent and our resident overlords know it.
As Chesterton said somewhere, “Free love is the first and most obvious bribe that can be offered to a slave.”
We want safety, security, freedom, and this is what the world promises.
The irony, and it is to be expected in the world God made, is that when we operate on the world’s terms, the obverse is true. Far from making our lives safer and more liberating, we find ourselves becoming more fearful, more vulnerable, less safe, less liberating and more likely to contract a nasty case of herpes.
Our world pumps us with artificial sweeteners which, in the end, leave us weak, contaminated and enslaved.
We have been spoon-fed for so long that we have now become infantile and were the local supermarket to shut down for a week there is a good chance we would be found throwing a tantrum.
“Ah, we’ll see”, says the septic in denial. Indeed you will.
By all means, make your own bread and fetch your own water. But the solution is not self-sufficiency. The solution is diligence and contentment.
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labour, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (Ephesians 4:28)
But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. (1 Timothy 6:8)
This world is not safe, not easy, and not here to cater to your sinful appetites. Our ideas of living a life of ease, complete with home delivery, are an illusion, they are artificial. They are more fragile than you can imagine. Their end is bitter and they are not to be trusted.
But God can be trusted.
God in Christ has given you a new heart. A heart that is not so easily sold on the shallow offers of salvation made by this world. He has given you His Spirit and the promise of contentment in all things as you look to Him.