I have not seen Bird Box, the Sandra Bullock film on Netflix everyone seems to be talking about. And maybe it’s just as well. Because there seems to be a trend of people trying to drive blindfolded. After all, Sandra Bullock did it. And she’s a movie star. Surely that makes it a sensible thing to do.
Perhaps you have heard of “food deserts.” The term refers to places where people have limited (or less) access to grocery stores and other sources of healthy food. Now there are “food swamps” — that is, where food is plentiful, just not nourishing. Food swamps feature lots of gas stations, fast-food joints, and other places that promote obesity and bad eating habits. No farmer’s markets or kale smoothie shops, though.
Studies differ with regard to whether proximity to grocery stores is actually an indicator of general health. (They sell Snickers bars at Publix, you know.) But there’s certainly a case to be made that the food’s quality may be as much a factor as its availability.
“Food” is relative — whether the food is carnal or spiritual. We can pat ourselves on the back all we want for “going to church” or even “reading the Bible.” But if we are not nourishing our spirits, what good is any of it? A preacher who does not “preach the word” (2 Timothy 2:2), substituting human philosophy and personal opinions, may be doing more harm than good. Reading for five minutes just to say you did it, without an eye for application or contextual understanding, may be feed a sense of “fullness” that is completely misleading.
With that in mind, consider the following spiritual nutrition tips:
I have been preaching some sermons lately about the lessons we can take from the movies — combating real-world monsters, the difference between “sci” and “fi,” that sort of thing. It’s basically a naked attempt to grab the attention of young people with a spiritual message that, in the absence of sparkly vampires and talking turtles, they might ignore. Future sermons are likely to include lessons on the vigilante mentality (action movies), the false allure of “love at first sight” (romances), and the willingness to take a stand for principle (westerns). Y’all come.
Alfred Hitchcock was fond of telling journalists of his long-standing plan to make a movie in which Cary Grant was on the run from the bad guys and had to hide in Abraham Lincoln’s nose (the one at Mount Rushmore, of course). He would give himself away by sneezing. The film could be entitled The Man in Lincoln’s Nose.