“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10 (ESV)
Way back in the 80s there was a game for the Atari entertainment system that I used to play for hours called Pitfall (pictured at left). One of the great things about the game was that you could run underground for what seemed like forever so that you could avoid all of the normal obstacles that were in front of you aboveground. Sometimes all that running would work and you could jump ahead in the game, climb up the ladder to aboveground again, and keep going. Oftentimes though, you’d run straight into a brickwall and have to retrace all of your steps.
For some reason I thought of this game this week as I was thinking about a new movie that’s set to hit the theaters. It’s called “Eat Pray Love” and it stars Julia Roberts. It’s based off a book of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have to admit I haven’t read the book but was saddened to read an article in the New York Post that focused on it. It seems there have been many people who’ve tried to follow in the author’s footsteps and taken extravagant journeys to faraway places, all in pursuit of some type of happiness or enlightenment. They get connected with “gurus” who are supposed to help them achieve these things. The author of the NY Post article explained that “…they become enlightenment junkies, spending all their time and money in pursuit of what they come to believe is the path to happiness: more and more meditation and Guru worship.”
I have great sympathy for anyone who got involved in this. I spent many years with self-improvement books and trying to “feel good about myself” as well. Like the game Pitfall, we can try to do an end-around what our real problem is (sin) and think that our own self-worth and enlightenment will deliver us. Eventually we hit the brick wall. And ultimately, by the grace of God, I came to the end of myself and my own strivings and realized that it’s all a dead end if the peace I was looking for is not found in Jesus Himself.
I’m concerned that because of the starpower involved in this movie that many will set out on the same ill-fated journey. Satan has his claws deep into the entertainment industry and this could be another example of the “flaming darts of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). I will be praying that those who go to see this movie looking for enlightenment and inspiration will instead look elsewhere. I pray that instead they would ask God to reveal Himself to them, and discover the only source of peace this world will ever know.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” – John 6:37