A desperate atheist is forced to call upon God for help!
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” Matthew 5:13nlt
Despite the name, no – this is not a cooking blog! I will leave that to my talented gourmet-chef children to write. I am interested in the call of God for His people to be salt, giving taste to a culture that is diminished by insipid materialism – salt serving as a preservative in a decaying society. In a day where individuality is allowed only within strict parameters of a rigorously enforced culturally correct “norm”, I would suggest there is the possibility for a liberating and meaningful life for every person and not just the socially, financially, intellectually or politically advantaged. But this idea is based on sacred reverence for both God (first) and man. And not just any God, but the One who revealed Himself in the Scriptures and in history as intensely interested in us, His wayward creatures. But indeed reverence for any man, whether we like him or not, agree with him or not, respect him or not. This God I serve requires above all else a willingness to put Him first above everything: our opinions, our feelings, our culture, our natural inclinations and affections, our comforts. If we were to see Him as He truly is and ourselves as we truly are, this would be a no-brainer. But we are veiled in our perceptions, much like the movie “The Matrix” so artfully illustrates. And God hides Himself (for the time being, at least) so that we are free to ignore Him if we wish. What we now see is like the sketch or shadow of the true picture. Photographers developing their images see the darks as lights and vice versa in the negatives. So with this world – things are not as they seem! Good thing too, for on the surface it seems certain that mankind is doomed to a miserable self-destructive destiny. And so it is – apart from the intervention of the Divine intention for a pitiful fallen creation as ourselves. But for those who have found Him, we delight to live out a life that not only emancipates our own hearts, but influences those around us.
My own life history illustrates this on a miniscule scale. The allure of pleasure, success and reputation drew me to an atheistic hedonistic lifestyle that quickly enslaved me to despair and destruction. In short, I screwed up my marriage, my career and my life in general. Helpless for the first time in my selfish overachiever existence, I desperately threw words into the air: “God- if You are there, I need help!” What an atheistic hypocrite – calling for God! Before being an atheist hypocrite I had been a religious hypocrite, going through the motions of calling on God, but mostly from superstitious apprehension. Because I saw so much pretense and pride in the church people I was around, I became antagonistic to “religion”, and used it as an excuse to be my own god. That did not work out so well! Forced to recognize my need and helpless to solve the problems I had created, my desperation was answered, to my utter amazement, by a Person Who had been just waiting for the invitation. He was there with open arms. I smile as I recall the incredible tide of events that led me to say to God “I had my life for twenty-five years, and I don’t even have the will to live any more. I give it to You to do what You want to with it.” How honored He must have been to have won such a prize – a broken, despairing confused nobody who had been distributing literature touting Jesus Christ as an alien astronaut from another galaxy. This was His lucky day! Now years later I marvel even more at His willingness to befriend such a wayward stubborn person as myself, but it shows Who He is – the FRIEND of sinners. This is the short version of my journey to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Because God is willing to get involved with each person so intimately, conversion accounts vary wildly. But like the facets of a precious jewel, each story reflects differently the twinkle of a profound Light that shines on and can save our darkened souls as well as a desperate humanity. Not only the intimate God of the individual, Jesus in fact calls Himself the “Light of the world”.