On my drive this morning I listened to a very interesting discussion on CBC radio’s program, “The Current.” It was an interview with Kevin Ashton, the co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Auto-ID Lab, and the man who first coined the term “The Internet of Things.” His book, with a clever title and cover page, “How to Fly a Horse” is just out of the press. You can watch a brilliant promotional trailer of his book here.
Ashton brilliantly argues that creative genius is a myth, which perpetuates the idea that a few people are born genius and that creativity just comes naturally to them in a flash of inspiration. We have unthinkingly bought the idea that only a certain geniuses and whizzes are blessed with a rare ability to see and imagine the wonderful things in their minds and bring awesome stuff into being. He “showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary and usually uncredited acts that lead to our most astounding breakthroughs. Creators, he shows, apply in particular ways the everyday, ordinary thinking of which we are all capable, taking thousands of small steps and working in an endless loop of problem and solution. He examines why innovators meet resistance and how they overcome it, why most organizations stifle creative people, and how the most creative organizations work. Drawing on examples from art, science, business, and invention, from Mozart to the Muppets, Archimedes to Apple, Kandinsky to a can of Coke, How to Fly a Horse is a passionate and immensely rewarding exploration of how ‘new’ comes to be” (source: http://www.howtoflyahorse.com/about-the-book/).
But why am I saying all this in a Lent devotional? Well, it is because many of us also unthinkably believe the myth of saints, holy men/women, and high-flying celebrity pastors.
Most of us believe some people are born with certain magical powers and spiritual gifts that we, as ordinary believers, cannot possess.
Most believe that only a few gifted preachers and pastors should pray for healing our diseases and solving our problems. Many of us, therefore, do not even pray for ourselves as we believe that God only answers the prayers of certain holy people.
Most believe that only a specific group of us are called to be missionaries and evangelists and unless they do their job, the mission will not be done. That is why many of us have outsourced our responsibilities to these “gifted” holy men and women instead of participating in the mission of God ourselves. We readily write a cheque for mission agencies when our own church should be participating in the mission that God has called us to.
Most believe that only a certain few are chosen by God to have the gift of the Holy Spirit; therefore, many of us do not even try to ask and pray to receive the Holy Spirit for our walk with God.
Most believe that only a few people are called to live holy lives and to be declared saints by a church or some ecclesiastical authority.
We conveniently ignore what the scriptures declare for ALL followers of Jesus Christ. For example,
We are ALL “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” and should clothe ourselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12 NRSV).
We are ALL “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours” ( I Corinthians 1: 2NRSV).
The Apostle Paul and Peter always refer to us as “saints” and the chosen ones whenever they address the followers of Christ. Check out the first few opening verses of all their epistles to different churches.
The Apostle Peter states,
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (I Peter 2: 9 NRSV).
And then Peter goes on to urge us:
“Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (I Peter 1: 13-16 NRSV).
We are all equipped and empowered by the grace of God to reach the highest level of excellence in everything God calls us to do. He has already sent the Holy Spirit to guide and help us to be His witnesses on earth. Therefore, let us get back to the Bible, learn who we are and from it and how we are supposed to be living today. And what better time to begin this, than with the Lenten season we are in! Stay blessed.