I read in a magazine where a man in Southern California was sitting in a hot tub and had a vision of blowing all the smog out of Los Angeles. Realizing  this is a normal vision for someone in California it still begs a question. Wouldn’t that be like trying to blow all the dust out of Kansas? Whatever the case, I personally don’t care for the image I now have of a man sitting in a hot tub having visions. He surmised it could be done with huge gusts of wind. I pictured him surrounding the city with Academy Awards acceptance speeches and guest speakers at college graduations.

His vision was actually quite interesting. It involved placing giant bellows at strategic locations throughout the city. A bellows is a fireplace tool that you squeeze together to blow air over the coals and help get the flame going. Of course in the hands of an amateur it also is capable of blowing ashes all over the den and if placed in the correct anatomically sensitive spot can send a surprised and somewhat irritated Chihuahua airborne.

He based his idea on the chaos theory of complex systems in mathematics. This theory basically says that complicated phenomena such as hospital food, a teenager’s mood swings, and how women can carry on 3 different conversations simultaneously while men are doing good to make a complete sentence without using the words, football, remote control, or bathroom, are all affected by seemingly unrelated events. My idea of chaos has always been less complex. I think of a painting and pizza party for 35 unattended preschoolers inside a china shop with no bathrooms.

The chaos theory says there are certain days when all the right meteorological and liturgical factors are in place, thus enabling a large bellows to create a wind current strong enough to sweep the smog out to sea. To create enough wind current to get rid of all the smog in Los Angeles it would take 300 giant bellows the size of an aircraft carrier, 1 national political convention, 3 episodes of The View, or 20 Baptist preachers.

Where do these ridiculous ideas come from? I haven’t heard such a far-fetched notion since God devised a plan to save the world from its sin by sending His only Son, Jesus, to die on a cross. Can you imagine? The people in Jerusalem certainly did not buy into it. Even some of his closest followers failed to believe it. It was a chaotic time. But out of the confusion of the cross  comes the reliability of the resurrection.

God’s notion to give us a second chance is the story of Easter. It is the story of rebirth, a notion conceived in Heaven. God takes the spiritual smog in our lives and blows it away, not with a bellows but through the sweet breath of the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells a questioning Nicodemus in John 3:5, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”  (NIV)

God’s notion was for us to “born again,” but because we often slip into our former attitudes or habits and away from the Word of God we discover part of the lifelong process of being born again . . . having to continually cut the unbiblical cord.

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