Video Redemption

I’ve often heard it said that people have a “God-shaped hole” in their hearts, and that they try to fill it with various things, none of which are a perfect fit, and thus leave them unsatisfied.  I had never really liked the metaphor because it’s rather lacking.  It makes people’s struggles seem very one-dimensional, as if all I have to do to solve all my problems is to merely turn to God and all of a sudden I won’t want those other things because the “God-shaped hole” is now perfectly filled.  That, of course, is simply not true.

But what is true, is that people look for redemption (that is, a way to escape/forget about/feel good about their problems and sins) every day.  And the world offers up its solutions. Below is one such solution that jumped out at me.

To be with family for Christmas, my wife and I traveled from Dallas to West Union, Iowa. We set out at about 4:45pm and arrived in West Union at about 8:30am the next day, driving straight through. We did this to surprise my wife’s family because they did not know we were coming. At about 8:20 or so we rolled into West Union and stopped at a gas station for one last pit stop. As I wandered the isles of the gas station as I waited for the bathroom to open up, I was intrigued to find the following lone slot machine:

Video Redemption - A gambling machine in a gas station in West Union, Iowa

Ironically, if you were to take the word “Video” as a Latin word (which, it comes from the Latin directly) and translate that into English, you would have the game be called “I See Redemption” (thank you to Mrs. Treat’s Latin class!).  What’s ironic about that to me is that I too see redemption, but not from a gambling machine in a rural American town.  Rather, I see redemption from one who was lifted up in the desert, that all who look upon him may be healed (Numbers 21:9, John 3:14).

I pray that in the coming year of 2010, each of you will look upon the Messiah for redemption, and turn away from the solutions of this world.

Peace to you,

James

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