Man’s continuing fascination with immortality is evident in today’s society. Every third TV show, novel, and movie is about vampires, invincible superheroes, demi-gods and sorcerers with special powers. But why do these ideas have lasting appeal and resonate so widely with our culture?
Everyone, I believe, has a place of soul-singing—an activity that captures the essence of bliss, one in which a person feels completely in his element and filled with both joy and purpose in life. Whether it’s sitting at a keyboard and creating worlds with words, throwing a football, climbing Mount Everest, curing cancer, or decoding the cosmos, each human being has a thing that gives him a brief glimpse of eternity.
We know the feeling well. We’ve seen it happen in great athletes who rise to the occasion and perform superhuman feats that cannot be replicated. We’ve seen it in scientific geniuses who make breakthroughs and discoveries seemingly by happenstance. We see it in great art, literature, and poetry, where the Muse takes on a life of its own and helps the artist create a masterpiece surely kissed by God.
Why is it every child’s dream to be extraordinary in some way?
I believe is the call of the divine within us. Some call it the divine spark, that element of the eternal that lies within every human spirit, the thing that separates man from animals. It is the Adam in all of us, the being created in the likeness of the Eternal God, which is hard-wired to seek eternity in the presence of God.
We’ve all had that moment, perhaps once in a lifetime, or perhaps with regularity, that “fleeting visitation of light as if from some other sun, giving us in a quick flash an assurance that we are from another world, that are origins are divine” (Tozer, Pursuit of God).
I’ve always thought genius had its roots in the expression of God, meaning, the imperfect but often fabulous outpouring of the timelessness of the human spirit as an imitation of the wonder of the Godhead. These individuals are haunted by some driving force (read the voice of God) that prompts them to seek an endgame they may not completely understand or refuse to acknowledge.
Many artists, scientists, and great thinkers are inevitably led to confrontation with the throne of Christ at the end of their pursuits. Some, like C.S. Lewis, fall on their knees and acknowledge the majesty of the living God. Others become atheists and agnostics; some go insane.
There has always been a fine line between genius and madness. I believe it is because genuises actively hear and experience the living, speaking voice of God (or however one codifies and/or interprets it) and innately desire to tap into the potentiality stored within every descendant of Adam.
True communion with the living mystery of God defies reason, explanation, and most cultural aspects of rationalism. How we deal with these dichotomies of mind, spirit, and soul can affect us profoundly. And whether we choose to acknowledge Christ is a separate (though obviously related) issue.
Are you afraid to hear God’s voice? Do you hear it but ignore it, even though it is beating down the walls of your heart with a message of truth, a message of love, a message of eternity?
Don’t shut down your own genius. You are hard-wired to hear the voice of God and pursue your destiny as an eternal being. You’ve had glimpses of eternity before. I know you have. The question is, are you going to do anything about it?
In the famous words of Texas Rangers’ manager Ron Washington: You do or you don’t; you will or you won’t.