My youngest daughter loves water. It seems we cannot find a way to get her to stop playing with it.
Why is it a problem? Well, for starters, it’s not like she go out and jump in a swimming pool just yet. Instead, she likes to fill up little buckets and cups of water and leave them all over the upstairs floor. In one of our bathrooms the cold water is disconnected, but that doesn’t stop her from filling it up and giving her Barbie dolls a “bath.” It is only by God’s grace that she hasn’t been burned.
While we brainstormed out loud, my wife invented a new word: obsessinated. Though she quickly tried to correct herself, I thought it was a word full of implications.
It only took me a few seconds to figure out that “obsessinated” is the combination of two words: obsessed and fascinated. Each of these is already quite descriptive, but the combination of the two creates something so amazing that I don’t think I can fully wrap my mind around it. And yet, it is such a great word!
A favorite quote of mine comes from the Greek philosophy Socrates: “Wisdom begins in wonder.” Many of us have lost our sense of wonder. But to what can we attribute this lack of simple fascination?
Our lives are saturated with technology. The laptop I’m working on tonight is only a month old to me, but it is likely out of date in many respects. You can always find something that processes faster, with a larger hard drive and more gadgets. Cell phones go out of date every 3 months. We’ve gone from TV antennas to cable to satellite; from VCRs to DVD recorders to BluRay and PVRs; from black and white TV to color to digital to plasma to HDTV; from the bicycle to the automobile to flight and to the moon. A quick look at technology and it seems that nothing is around long enough to be fascinated by it; the newest is always right in front of you vying for your attention.
We’ve forgotten about the beauty of nature, about the staggering complexity of each individual organism or natural wonder. We’re so busy trying to form our own works of wonder that we miss the Creation wonder surrounding us.
I like to apply Socrates’ words to our relationship with God by serving as a reminder of our place in the hierarchy of existence. In applying the unfathomable truths of our adoption as children of God, recognizing the future inheritance we have as co-rulers and co-heirs with Christ, we’ve forgotten that we are the created while God is the Creator.
I remember hearing once a long time ago that we don’t truly understand the term “awesome.” Some that is awesome fills us with awe, with wonder, with fascination. It occupies our minds when we day dream, it finds its way into our dreams, and as we tell people about our day it will pop in and out of our conversation. It is at that point that we so easily move from a point of fascination to one of obsession.
Is it possible to obsessed in a healthy way? If you watch a lot of Dr. Phil, your answer is probably a staunch, “NO!” I would beg to differ with you.
Jesus said that we should love our God with every fiber of our being (check out Matthew 22:37). Can we love Him with all we have and are without obsessing over Him?
I can’t help thinking about the girl in high school who had a crush on a guy. Even if they weren’t dating, that she was the only one emotionally involved, she would fill the margins of her notebook with her name written with his last name. She didn’t do it just once; it was continual. As she talked on the phone with her friends (for hours), or at the table at lunch time, or with her best friend on the bus, what did she talk most about? Her chemistry test? No, it was her obsession with the boy she was in love with.
What joy would God take in our fascination and obsession with Him? Obsessinated is the only way to live.