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Do You Feel a Sense of Cosmic Disinterest?

December 24, 2012

There is a story about Thomas Edison that is worth passing along. When he was 67 years old, two of his six factory buildings burned down. All his work, notes, experiments, etc… were inside. It is said that rather than freak out, Thomas called his son and told him to round up his mother and her friends because “they’d never get to see another fire like that one!”

Edison’s attitude was remarkable. He wasn’t concerned for even a moment about his own problems. In fact, he told his son that the fire was a blessing. His exact words were, “There’s value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God, we can start anew.” It was about three months after this event that he invented the phonograph.

The point I am trying to make is that Edison had the right outlook on life. Rather than sweat any details, he just went with the flow, not letting anything ruffle his feathers. That got me thinking about myself. I don’t have that kind of mindset. I am a pessimist by nature. But as a Christian I need to learn to be an optimist.

Now, don’t misunderstand. I know that God loves me. But let’s face it, God is a busy guy and He’s got other things going on. So though He loves me, I have never had a sense that God cares about the minutiae of my life. This belief seems to be reinforced regularly by the fact that God answers a lot of my prayers with “No.” My warped thinking is that if I am serving God and if He really loves me, He should be answering my prayers with “Yes” more often than “No.”

In other words, I know God is out there and I know that He loves me, but I live daily with a sense of cosmic disinterest. I know God has saved me, but I am pretty much on my own day by day.

I realized this today as I was driving home from church, and it startled and then dismayed me. If someone asked me outright whether I believed this I would say absolutely not. But I can’t deny that I do have a sense of this cosmic disinterest. And now that I have realized I am suffering from this perverted thinking, I have to ask myself why.

The answer also dismays me. It is because I am thinking only about me. When something happens I am automatically concerned with how it will affect me. When I want something it is all about whether God will give it to me or not. So everything is about me. Surprise, surprise.

The way to fix this is to rotate my thinking 180 degrees out and 90 degrees up. I will get my reward in heaven. And I firmly believe that it will be grand. While I am on earth my job is supposed to be to glorify God. I should stop focusing on what I want and wait expectantly for what God wants to do through me.

When things happen to me, rather than focus on how it affects me, I should take the optimist view and wait to see how God is going to work in that situation. Rather than wonder what will happen to me I should be asking what God wants me to do. This is Thomas Edison thinking.

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