Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Breaking Good: How "Breaking Bad" Taught Me Something About God

Allie and I have been watching Breaking Bad. If you don't know, it's about a brilliant high school chemistry teacher named Walter White who gets lung cancer. He doesn't have the money to pay for treatment so he turns to cooking meth (Seems really brilliant, sike). Everything goes absolutely crazy from there.

He finds pleasure in power and by season 6 he sees himself as king of kings. As you can see by the trailer above he has a bit of a god complex. Others in the show find pleasure in the meth he cooks. It's the purist around. Junkies crave it. He can't make enough of it.

In Breaking Bad everyone seeks pleasure in all kinds of ways, but in the end they're always broken and dissatisfied.

God is never sought.

I found the lack of God in the show and the seeking of pleasure through meth or power interesting. I'll explain with a C.S. Lewis quote that I got out of Desire God by John Piper.
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
People who reject Christ reject the infinite joy offered by Him. They are selling themselves short. Piper goes on to say, "The enemy of worship is not that our desire for pleasure is too strong, but too weak!" We are settling when they seek pleasure in power. We are settling when we seek pleasure in crystal meth or sex or whatever else. All of that is just disgusting mud pies in the slum. True pleasure seekers have searched and can find pleasure in only one thing: God. Everything else is just empty.

Solomon halfheartedly sought pleasure and came out on the other side and said it was all meaningless. "...I denied myself no pleasure... But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind."

It blows my mind to think that if Solomon would have chased after pleasure hard enough he would have found it in the Living God.

At risk of seeming crude, if you read the Psalms it sounds like an addict who can't get his mind off the next hit. Seriously, look.

I am faint and severely crushed;
I groan because of the anguish of my heart.
Lord, my every desire is known to You;
my sighing is not hidden from You. Psalm 38:8-9

As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God. Ps 42:1

I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him? Ps 42:2

I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God. Ps 84:2

God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.
I thirst for You;
my body faints for You
in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. Ps 63:1

Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You. Ps 73:25

I open my mouth and pant
because I long for Your commands. Ps 119:131

And in Isaiah 26:9

I long for You in the night;
yes, my spirit within me diligently seeks You,
for when Your judgments are in the land,
the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

That's how it should be.

We should be pleasure seekers to the nth degree. We should groan and pant for God. Every morning we should rush to meet with God. Every Sunday we should be giddy with anticipation knowing we get to worship Him.

I pray I can let this God addiction get out of hand. I want it to consume me. I want Him to be all I desire. I want to chase the pleasure of God with full abandon. I want to have the shakes when I don't commune with my God.