Express bus to the funny farm?
Manic Heights isn't such a bizarre neighborhood. As a descriptive of American life it isn't meant to be negative or pessimistic, or used in some dooms-day woe-is-me scenario. To live in Manic Heights doesn't mean that we're one-flew-over-the-cuckoos-nest wacky or on a express bus to the funny farm. In fact, if the people who study and research such things are right, Manic Heights is just another new normal community. I mean, get real for a minute---
a majority of Americans are frantically busy
anxiety marks the personal boundaries of most American citizens
we keep the doors to our houses locked most of the time
a majority of us are on-again, off again spiritually
one in eleven families rents storage space for their accumulation of stuff
stress relief is a major medical and pharmaceutical industry
50,000,000 Americans eat one meal at a fast-food restaurant every day
we have a corporate level of attention deficit and lack focus, and lack focus
one third of us are sleep deprived, running on empty most of the time
Just to mention a few. They're just snap-shots of a population living on the edge. Manic Heights is where most of us live.
Jesus, the Apostles, his followers, and early church believers lived in Manic Heights too.
They ministered and served in a time when humans---
chased after material things (Matthew 6:32)
became entangled in human pursuits (2 Timothy 2:4)
sought the approval of men rather than God (John 12:43; Galatians 1:10)
practiced the acts of the flesh with relish (Galatians 5:19).
First century people were anxious (Matthew 6:25); hurried (Mark 6:31); aimless and frantic (Matthew 9:36); confused (Acts 19:32); uncertain about the future (Philippians 1:6); contentious (Luke 11:17); envious, boastful, and proud (1 Corinthians 13:4); and 66 books of depraved human nature. Jesus went into that world with a redemptive mission that he finished (John 19:30). He introduced truth, grace, faith, hope, peace, and joy to the people in Manic Heights.
What is more, he sent his disciples into Manic Heights with the same message and promises. He said---
Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.
John 20:21, ESV
And, here's a significant truth. We're not supposed to simply reside in the Manic Heights neighborhood. Jesus sends us into Manic Heights to let our lights shine there---
In the same way let your light shine before others, so that they kay see your god works
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16, ESV
Hey kids! The people in Manic Heights are our neighbors. Yes, we're to be in that manic world, but not of it (John 17:14-15). And, that may be the sad reality about life in Manic Heights today. In so many cases you can't distinguish the believers from the unbelievers.
Sometimes, sadly, that light just doesn't shine.
It's Manic Heights. Welcome to the neighborhood. No, it's not an express bus to the funny farm. It's our mission field, where we must shine.
Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_gurb'>gurb / 123RF Stock Photo</a>