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Blue-Swayed Hues

There’s a story on cnn.com this morning about people suffering with a sense of depression after having seen Avatar, the new James Cameron movie featuring an idyllic existence on the fictional planet Pandora.

The article states: James Cameron’s completely immersive spectacle “Avatar” may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.

To cut down on the irrelevant comments, I haven’t seen Avatar.  I probably won’t for a variety of reasons, one being that it is interminably long.  My friend Tony twittered throughout it and emerged a much older man.   My thoughts this morning aren’t about a movie, but rather about the longing of peoples’ hearts for a world beyond our own.

I’m reminded at times via email and twitter that a fair number of people read this who do not share my faith – and as a result, probably don’t have a grid for the Biblical otherworld that is coming, not in a mystical or metaphysical, pie in the sky sense, but in concrete reality.

For too many decades, the church has portrayed that world as a cloud based harp jam populated by Cupid-like creatures that appear like poster children for that great Hallmark in the sky.   No wonder Cameron’s world intrigues people – it involves real beauty, battle, passion and the best of humanity backed by a rocking soundtrack.

In reality, the world to come has more in common with the world we know than most people realize.   While redeemed souls certainly go to be where Jesus is right now, the Book clearly says they’re coming back.

When they do, we’re not going to Heaven, but rather Heaven is coming to earth.   Jesus will establish a profound, concrete melding of the spiritual and the physical in the form of a thousand year reign that takes place not on a supernova or in between our ears, but on real continents, in real cities and over real men and women.

In that kingdom, you will do work and find it fulfilling (look it up; Adam did work before the curse – it’s the striving that came with sin).   You will visit real cities and accomplish real things.  Some of you are sitting on dreams and prophetic words that, for all practical purposes, will never happen in this reality – but they will in the next.  Possibilities abound given righteous rule, supernatural empowerment, and a millennium to work it out.

In addition to being slightly longer than Avatar, this kingdom will make Pandora pale in comparison.  We’ve never seen a ruler who didn’t have at least a sliver of self serving motivation.  We’ve not known a moment of peace since the apple was eaten.  We’ve not experienced the fulness of knowing God – the smidgen we do know and experience is just a down payment.  There’s more.  And it’s coming.

Here’s a shout out to James Cameron for reminding us that we were meant for more…even if it makes peoples’ hearts ache a little.

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18 Responses

  1. Quality.

  2. Amen and very well said and framed! Thank you!

  3. that’s awesome. how we need to be reminded of the hope to which we have been called. eternity!!! amen and amen!

  4. […] asked Randy Bohlender of ihop fame how most folks there in Kansas City fast.  His response really irritated me. […]

  5. Appreciated this post. Very impactful, as always; BUT………… Blue-swayed hues – LOL!!!!!!!

  6. But that’s my favorite part….

  7. I read that article this morning too and thought the exact same thing! I sometimes find myself wanting to ‘live in another world’ but I am so excited looking forward to the world when Jesus reigns.

    Maybe then I’ll be the 7-foot blue man…

  8. Completely true and on point! The books “The Sacred Romance” and “The Journey of Desire” where both catalysts in bringing this understanding to the forefront of my mind and heart. The Lord keeps teaching me how to allow my heart to passionately long for heaven and correctly stop trying to make this transient place my home. It has been a life-changing, life-giving understanding for me.

  9. I was afraid that if I said the title was my favorite part, people would think I was not spiritual enough. You know, that fear of man thing – Ha! Ha!

    “Blue-Swayed Hues” should be inducted into the Title Hall of Fame. : )

  10. I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie, but I’m a big fan of this post. I’m sharing this one. Thanks.

  11. And I agree about the post title. Clever.

  12. amen, amen. that is exactly what i was thinking as i read the cnn article the other day.

  13. Amen brother! So it will be and I long for it every day. GREAT post!

  14. hmmm. Interesting post from one who refuses to see the movie. Personally I loved it, and I spent the majority of the movie thinking, “Man, if this gorgeous world can come out of some man’s imagination, I can hardly wait to see heaven! It’s gonna be spectacular!”

    Rather than being depressed I was uplifted and reminded of the great adventure that awaits us…

  15. @Connie – Like I said, “My thoughts this morning aren’t about a movie, but rather about the longing of peoples’ hearts for a world beyond our own.” I’m not writing a movie commentary and am glad you had the response you did to the film.

  16. “Possibilities abound given righteous rule, supernatural empowerment, and a millennium to work it out.” – love it!

  17. Great post. Going as a status update to facebook. Man, I can’t wait for Heaven to come to earth! one thing though:

    You said that “Heaven is coming to earth. Jesus will establish a profound, concrete melding of the spiritual and the physical in the form of a thousand year reign that takes place not on a supernova or in between our ears, but on real continents, in real cities and over real men and women.”

    This i believe, and look forward to with great anticipation. But in all that I’ve learned, I’ve not known what is supposed to happen at the end/after those thousand years. This may be a topic more suited for email than a thread of comments on a blog.

    Again, great post.

  18. Randy, I’m sure you didn’t intend for this but your post actually motivated me to see the movie. I saw it last night and it did indeed stir up that deep longing for fascination and for the Age to Come. I don’t even have to move to Pandora to get an environment like that. What’s coming is better than Pandora and it’s coming to me! 🙂

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