A Place I Used To Know

  Theology is a good thing. But like every good thing, sex, tobacco, alcohol, humor, relationships, water, etc it can be dangerous. The hard part about writing this blog is that people that love theology and seminary are the ones that would least likely take any heed to this and the people that like an occasional theological blog, they would agree with the points but it wouldn't necessarily apply to them.

In the nerdy world of film, there are two types of 'filmmakers' people that know everything about filmmaking and people that make films. I'm the second. I can actually have someone explain to me a million things they'd do differently, in fact I have. Usually when I hire film students/graduates, they always tell me what they would have done instead. (My apologies to film students, but in a way, if you're a film student this is good for you to read). I think in film, the same applies to Christianity. The people that can quote the Bible and people that live out the Bible. I dance between the two, in fact I usually quote more scripture when I fail to live it out and when I'm living it out, I take way less time trying to prove to everyone how great of a Christian I am. Some of my best blogs were written when I was deepest in sin. Because I suppose I'm trying so hard to feel justified or like a good Christian again right after I screwed up. When really the only thing that would make me a good Christian is if I relied on Jesus for my justification. But that's too easy and that's why we so easily turn into pharisees. Anyway, I digress, not sure if I ever said that before, but I don't think I've ever meant it. I'm Isaac, I never digress, haha.

What I've learned is that with film, people learn so much about filmmaking that is scares them away from making films, because they know all the millions of rules they can break and the million ways they can fail. In fact, there are so many rules, standard rules that I broke without knowing it and I've never been embarrassed by that until I learned those rules later in life and realized how elementary they were to break, but people never knew otherwise. Basically, with theology, I've gotten so deep into it that even when I pray I feel like I'm praying wrong, I think "maybe I praying about this too much or maybe I need to mention this or pray for someone, etc". The times where I felt like reading Ecclesiastes or the sermon on the mount for the millionth time I thought "maybe I should be reading something else, etc.", which actually at times made me not read at all. It's like Netflix, you end up never watching a movie because you spend too long deciding what to watch.

A lot of film students I know are waiting tables in LA or talking about the big movie they're gonna make, but never make it because they don't feel like they can do it for less than 4 million dollars. And they don't want to waste their time on short films, skits or fun projects because they've got two years of schooling to prove to their parents. If they make a quick video on their cell phone with bad lighting but good story, it will be embarrassing for them because they think that people will think "oh, this is what he learned in film school". It happen(ed/s) to me too. It's why I don't make stupid skits as much anymore. But it's also why I make stupid skits when I do, to break away from expectations I feel people have on me, etc.

Basically, we spend so much time talking about God and so little time talking to God. We perfect our theologies without working on our relationship. The Bible becomes a Lord of the Rings book. That we've learned about, studied, know about the author, his birthday, why he wrote what he did, each character, we even get into elaborate discussions of why this character would have done something else if someone else told him to do it, and have great arguments of what the author meant by this or that. We've made friends from going to the Lord of the Rings movies every sunday, have coffee with friends to discuss what the movies meant to us, bonded over deep discussions about the movie. So what's the difference? What does it matter if we're talking about Lord of the Rings, sports or cars. It's just something to talk about to a lot of us. It's not real. It's a language we speak. You can speak German and be thousands of miles away from Germany. You can even forget the place exists while speaking German. I know plenty of people that speak German very well but can't tell me what Germany is like, they've never walked the streets, experienced the culture, smelled the air or anything else. They just know how to speak the language.  I'm afraid that has happened to me. I knew God so well at one point of my life that I knew how to speak the language. I knew how to argue this or that, but then it just became a language I spoke, not a place I visit often.

When traveling to another country where you don't know the language you feel like an inferior, stupid little child. I've walked in some African fields, city streets and smelled the air, tasted the food and experienced the weather but I knew nothing about the language. So what's the point of speaking the language of a place you never visit? I'd rather visit a country and not speak the language than stay in America and know the language.

I want to know God. I don't want to know about God. I don't want to be able to talk about God, I want to talk to God. I want to 'come to Him like a little child'. Not some guy that thinks that he figured God out.

Because the more you visit a certain country, the more you start to learn the language. But you can learn as much as you want about the language but it'll still never help you know what that place smells like. If you visit first, the second will come, but if you focus on the second the first won't happen as a result.

your friend,