Dr. John W. Telman
A dear friend told me that he decided that he didn’t want to learn new technologies so although he can use a computer, he doesn’t. He’s not that old. His reason? He will tell you that he has little interest and does not want to have to learn how to tweet, post, skype and the like. This certainly is his choice but it got me thinking about how many choices people make to stay ignorant. Some choices are not important to life and health but some are. I watch television but have no idea how it works and greater than that, I have no desire to find out. The same holds true for my car. I’m truly glad for people who know how my car works but it doesn’t cause me to want to read and educate myself so that I can repair it.
Volitional ignorance is a part of everyone’s life but there is one thing that none of us can afford to be ignorant of, and that is “life”.
First we should be sure to define what life is. Life is more than a physical body that is able to function in the most primitive ways. Life includes that which we cannot see. All people were created with the ability to love or hurt others beyond physical expressions.
Have you ever heard someone say, “they are dead to me”? Do you have a broken relationship that seems impossible to mend? Have you ever said, “it sucked the life out of me”? We are talking about more than what some would call “quality of life”.
Man has made the horrible choice over and over again to believe the lie that they know what life is all about. The created cannot arrogantly make decisions regarding life and yet we do. We all have told the creator that we know better. We have acted like we know what real life is but the creator alone knows what life really is.
The greatest tragedy in this world is that countless people have believed the lie that life is only related to the physical. God told the first human being that in the day that he would disobey, he would die (see Genesis 2:17). Adam didn’t physically die but relationship with the creator was broken by his own choice. The story doesn’t end there. God went to extraordinary lengths to show all humanity that life is more than a body. Life is relationship with the creator. Sadly, many remain in volitional ignorance of this fact and also the remedy.
One day, a young boy came to the church that I pastor. He looked into the sanctuary and saw the beautiful cross on the wall. His words reverberate in my ears even now. “What is the big -T- on the wall for?” He had no idea of Jesus Christ who came to repair the breach between man and God. We were excited about sharing Jesus with him but also saddened by his ignorance. He had no parent to teach him of the love of God.
Weekly, people drive by churches that have the good news, the gospel of life! Jesus is the life. He is the one who can give life. I have seen many who have responded to the message of life but I have also known some who are content to live in volitional ignorance. One friend has told me, “I don’t want to know”. He is content to clean his hair, eat food, sleep and cloth himself but he has chosen to reject life beyond his body. I pray for him and love him anyway. My hope and prayer is that some day he will ask me to tell him about Jesus, the life giver. That will be the moment that he really will have life.
The thief on the cross was about to die but he chose to not be ignorant of life and asked Jesus to “remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). He knew two wonderful truths. First, he knew that there was more to life than what he had experienced. Secondly, he knew that Jesus was able to do something that would transcend the physical. Imagine the faith and belief the thief had in Jesus. He was looking at someone who was nailed to a cross and about to die and yet he chose to put his faith and trust in Jesus. Amazing. Although he lived his life on this earth as a criminal, he ended his physical life on this earth not in volitional ignorance.
My prayer is that you will seek God and reject volitional ignorance, at least with regard to life.