Remember ET? What a cute movie that blockbuster was! An acclaimed and timeless story of friendship, it takes the tenderness of children, the imagination of a genius, and the love of God and blends them in a memorable story that sets our souls ablaze.
The story is pretty straightforward: a “foreigner” comes to a strange land and accidentally gets left behind by his people. Maybe that was a part of his calling or whatever, but the little guy didn’t really jive with all of the locals and gets homesick, so he tries to reach his kinfolk to come get him.
Let’s pause right there: So how DO we know when the current events are in fact God’s will?
Should ET have just stayed here on planet earth and done his best to fit in? He was picking up on the language quickly from the 5 year old Gerthie (played by Drew Barrymore!) as she watches Sesame Street. Or was ET’s illness a sure sign that he needed to make that call so his tribe could come and fetch him?
Discerning God’s will can be confusing sometimes. If “What If” is a mystery this part of our calling doesn’t have to be.
ET connected with Elliott, the 10 year old boy who was his best earthly friend. Their psychic connection was pretty weird (remember, this is just the movies…). It reminds me of how we can connect with the Holy Spirit. ET is inspired to make a communication device while reading a Buck Rogers comic strip. So he needed something a little more jazzed up than an ordinary carrier pigeon, which would routinely suffice around these parts…yes, this device was no ordinary string and two cans… it was a souped up coffee can gadget including a “speak and spell” toy and an umbrella lined with tin foil. Oh snap!!
So I’ve been talking with lots of friends about spiritual connections and the Holy Spirit and what not… it seems not everyone feels or experiences this link. Possibly, if they’re believers, they have experienced the connection but just didn’t recognize it. I know, for me, that I can point to several occasions where I felt or experienced a strong connection. There are many instances where I feel connected, inspired and lead to God’s will though the Holy Spirit, almost daily.
Woe is me to the feeling of being spiritually depleted or empty. Looking for something more but simply having the empty feeling of missing breakfast when midday rolls around. ET connected the dots when he made the call. ET phoned home and completed the circuit. Formed the connection. From that point on things started to happen. ET turned deathly ill right before the spaceship showed up to give him a lift. Time to split the scene and high tail it out of there like the Clampetts hitting oil and heading for Beverly Hills…
Change happens when we recognize the need to improve our situation, and then take action. (Click To Tweet) – This is critical when compelled by the HS. That’s doing things right, and doing the right thing.
So like I feel connected a lot, and in many different ways. It makes me wonder when people who are believers say they don’t frequently or have never experienced a connection with the Holy Spirit whether:
- something is separating them from the Holy Spirit, like sin, or
- maybe they don’t know what to look for, or
- maybe deep down in their heart they don’t believe.
When we believe and are baptized we receive the Holy Spirit. He dwells within us at this point…
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Francis Chan poses the question in his compelling narrative on the Holy Spirit, “Forgotten God” – “If it’s true that the Spirit of God dwells in us and that our bodies are the Holy Spirit’s temple, then shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?”
Seriously, it does seem a bit out of whack… the discrepancies we certainly can’t remain oblivious to between someone who is filled with the Spirit vs. those who are not.
I’m certainly no expert on the Holy Spirit and I’m not clear anyone else is either. Chan does an excellent job of deciphering the mystery, much better that I would ever claim to be capable of. However, I do believe Jesus was telling the truth when He said He was sending another “Counselor” who would be just like Him. So, as Chan points out, what could be more appealing in our world today… Jesus standing beside us or the fire of the Holy Spirit alive within us? Jesus came and went with a purpose… it baffles me why so many only chose to accept a portion of the Good News.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:7-8
The Q: How do you feel connected with the Holy Spirit? Do you feel His presence in your everyday life?
Image courtesy of Mattingly23 on wikipedia.com