Many people are attempting to create their own calm. Self-made calm is very difficult to create. The reasons for this are not only obvious but are also easily verified by everyone who has tried it. The peace and quiet sought from such a calm is too easily disrupted by the ordinary, everyday, pressures of life. Even those who seek the solace of calm by taking a vacation readily find that even there (on a beach, down a ski field, up a mountain, cruising around south Pacific islands) and then (summer, winter, autumn, spring) life’s uninvited surprises can be very disruptive. While mankind is generally unable to conjure the kind of calm that we each relish, there is a calm that comes from the knowledge that whatever may come our way there is One who knows us best and knows what’s best for each one despite our seemingly gravitational pull toward doubting it. Thus, while we long for a soul-enriching calm that dispels all of our anxieties, fears, uncertainties, and cravings for acceptance, there awaits each one of us a God-made calm that is offered freely because of the Eternal One who gave up His pleasure, comfort, riches, and divine acceptance, to make it possible when He was brutally spiked to a splintered Roman crucifix. What to many may just be a recollection of a moment which inspired much religious art was actually a Moment that defined a turning point in time itself. The time before this Moment is known as “BC” and the time after this Moment (when eternity intersected time itself) became known as “AD”. The result of this Moment was more profound than any one person has ever realised as evidenced by the tomes that are still be laboriously written elderly and learned theologians. But here is a glimpse of what they have come to realise happened as a result of this Moment and the infinite calm it now affords each of us.
It might seem an odd thing to write about just two days before Christmas, but the story of God plaguing the Israelites with poisonous snakes and then commanding Moses to construct a bronze serpent and attach it to a cross-beamed pole has baffled even the best minds for centuries. Some people have regarded this story as yet another reason for them to reject God and the Bible and consider both to be nonsense. An ever-so-slightly-less-cynical approach that some, who seem to really want both God and the Bible to be true, have taken is to regard the story as a fictional myth with mysterious allegorical meaning. I think this is how Dr. Jordan Peterson recently interpretted it in his discussion with Mr. John Anderson on their Youtube discussion last week. The high profile psychologist Dr. Peterson seems to have been on an interesting spiritual journey of late and he is obviously delving into the Bible and coming up with what appear to be some roadblocks to his complete acceptance of the claims of Christ largely due to these obscure passages in the Bible such as this account in Number 21. “No one has ever been able to explain it to me!” he told Mr. Anderson. I wish he had asked me, because if he had, this is what I would have explained to him.