I love cartoons very much. This may appear strange when you consider the fact that, I'm a grown man, over 20, bearded all over, possessing all the pubertal signs of maturity. I realize that some people may have reasons to discredit my maturity, just because i love cartoons..however...i don't mind being judged.
I hear you asking me, "What exactly do you love about cartoons?" Well, I'm so glad you asked!.. For me, it's that out-of-the-box, escape-from-reality, comical fun that they bring. They're not under pressure to be real! Tom can fall from the empire state building, and still make it home in time to trouble Jerry. The "powerpuff girls" can fly, "cow and chicken" are siblings, and the detective dog "Scooby doo" always solves the case. They offer a brilliant escape from reality, especially the painful reality we humans sometimes have to deal with.
One of the central themes of many cartoons, and one i have found particularly intriguing, is the incorporation of the futuristic. From the "Jetsons", to "Futurama", and very recently "Ben10"(okay....don't judge me..i have a 3year old lil brother), you would often see cars replaced by space jets, automated-everything, remote-controlled bathroom systems, and very interestingly, robots.
Robots; those unemotional, mechanical devices, that behave like people. They talk,move and do pretty much everything that people do, except that they lack passion, because they are programmed. They respond to commands, not because they want to, but because they have to. For them, it's not natural, it's simply responding to hard-wired codes.
Many times, as i have sat with my brother to watch cartoons, i have often wondered, what it'll be like to be married to a robot. Absurd isn't it? My first reaction was, "Wow, that'll be awesome." I imagined my robotic wife; let's call her the "Nano-C100." I imagined that she was tailored to cook, clean, change diapers, and do all that i ask. Remember that robots, ordinarily have no emotions, so Nano-C100 will do all this, without complaining or nagging. Every man's heaven right?
No silly questions like "Do you still love me?", "Who's that texting you" and "Don't you think you should cut down on your sugar level?" Pretty much a woman without emotions. No feelings, no objections..just a machine obeying your every command. That surely appeals to my inner male chauvinist, the one i know needs to DIE. The same one i know resides in varying degrees, in almost every man.
At first, being married to a robot seems awesome! Until it becomes boring. I realized that, the relationship between me and Nano-C100, would be no different from my relationship with my Hyundai i10. My car which meant the world to me 3years ago. I loved the way it responded to my legs on the throttle and the sharpness of the brakes. That was 3years ago,... as i write today, i am bored. For some reason, my Hyundai i10 is not just "kicking it" anymore.
Snap back to reality! While the relationship between i and Nano-C100 is fictional, the story of the relationship i had with God a few years ago, is not. However, the two have one thing in common.....a very mechanical robotic love. Except that, in the love saga between me and God, i was the robot. I was Nano-C100.
I found that as i walked with God, i became a robot, obeying God's commands and laws, not because i wanted to, but because i felt i had to. I thought i loved God, but it was a love that was forced. If you asked me, "why do you go to church?" , my response would be, "I have been hard-wired and programmed that way from my childhood."
Dad and mum(the computer programmers) had coded me this way; 8am-9am: Read your bible, 9am-10:30 am: Pray. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with timetables, just that i had no time for God after this period. It was a calculated mechanical relationship, based on timetables and schedules. Half the time, as i gazed at my Bible, my mind was somewhere else, my heart was even further, and as soon as there was no adult supervision, my body followed.
My love for God was ROBOTIC, RELIGIOUS and based solely on RITUALS; no real RELATIONSHIP. I didn't love God, i was only afraid of the dreadful punishments i had heard the preachers talk about. The fear of hell and damnation was my motivation for service. I was only pandering to the emotions and feelings of those around me. I was indeed a robot(from Czech word "robota" which means "forced labour")
I know that as you read, you can identify with a lot of this. You may not admit it, but many of us become robotic in our relationship with God. Interestingly, the longer you have been a christian, the easier it is for you to become religious(robotic), and not even know it. You can go to church, just because you've made a habit of it. You can sit in church and just be part of a working mechanical system; casually lifting up your hands and speaking in tongues..just because it's "that time" of the service. Unfortunately, we lose the whole essence, and we miss out on the classical romance that God desires to have with us.
This may shock you but, christianity is NOT a religion. It is not based on "do's and dont's." God didn't give us a book of laws, he left us a love letter. 66 books of his love affirmed over and over. We haven't been called to obey commands, we have been called to fall in love with a person. God did not intend that we fear him. He doesn't want us to feel like we have to obey him. What he did, is extend his love to us, and hope that we respond by falling in love with him.
He's not even asking us to initiate anything, he's asking us to respond. The bible says "We love him, because HE FIRST loved us.." He loved us when we were not good enough(Rom 5:8), and hoped that this love will "lead us to repentance"(Rom 2:4).
When the time comes when we let go of all these religious jargons, and we truly fall in love with Jesus, we will find that we want to obey him, not out of fear of punishment, but because every true meaning lover, hates to break the heart of his lover. When we fall in love with him, even when we do break his heart, we soon find that our own hearts are broken in the process.
When we fall in love with him, we find that even when we sin, He says, "i still love you...i have loved you with an everlasting love."(Luke 15:20-24) When we fall in love with him, we see His genuine love in some of the scriptures we have religiously quoted. Scriptures like, "i will never leave you nor forsake you." When we fall in love with him, we find that His "perfect love, casts out all fear."
When we fall in love with him, we find that, we have not been called to a religion, we have been called to a relationship. We have not been asked to obey laws, we have been asked to bear fruits. Fruits that are borne out of a deeply ROOTED relationship with him. It is not mechanical, it is the Holy Spirit making us willing and able to love and serve God.(Phil 2:13) The things we do(our obedience to his commands), are not as a means to get his attention, but a loving response, to the one who loved us enough to give His only son on the cross(john 3:16)
When we fall in love with Him, we see that we have been called to a love relationship. No robotics! I hope that as you read this, you can check your motives. Check to be sure you're not trying to be a mechanical christian. Check that it is not fear, nor indoctrination that leads you to serve him. Check to see that you know God personally and love him. Check to see that you are not trying to work your way into his arms, but you are confident, that you already lie safely in His arms.(Luke 15:20-24) Check to see that you are no Nano-C100.
I leave you with the words of Apostle Paul:
"But now you need no longer worry about the Jewish LAWS and customs because you "DIED" while in their CAPTIVITY, and now you can really serve God; not in the OLD way, MECHANICALLY obeying a set of RULES, but in the new way, with all of your HEARTS and MINDS."
Romans 7:6(The Living Bible)