Sunday 4 November 2012

What can Sheldon teach us about loving God?

Today in Augusta and Margaret River we talked about how we love God. We read the passage from Mark where Jesus says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength." To introduce the theme I showed a clip from the TV show “The Big Bang Theory”. 

For those who don't watch this show, let me give a little background. The show is about four young scientists and the girl who lives across the hall. In this scene, we see Sheldon Cooper. Sheldon is a genius, has high functioning autism, is obsessive compulsive and struggles with social interaction. The scene we are going to watch is at Christmas. Sheldon has been struggling throughout the show with the whole concept of gift giving especially when it comes to Penny, who lives across the hall. He has no idea what Penny will buy for him, and so he has devised a plan. Sheldon had purchased a range of gift hampers. He plans to receive the gift from Penny and then use the excuse of needing to go to the toilet to go and choose the appropriate gift in return. All the other hampers will then be returned to the shop.

I should also mention before you watch this clip that Sheldon’s favourite TV show is Star Trek and his favourite character is Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. Let’s see what happens when Penny arrives to exchange Christmas gifts.

Watch the clip

I wonder, if sometimes, we are like Sheldon in our relationship with God. We become uncertain about what it is that God requires or would like us to do in return for love. I wonder, if you like I, have gone through times in your life when you have become so involved in service to others, or personal bible study and gaining knowledge or maybe some other practice that you feel will be the right or acceptable thing to do.

And I wonder if God, like Penny, sometimes watches us and says with a smile, “What have you done?”. In our awkwardness to find intimacy with our God sometimes we go overboard and sometimes we feel totally inadequate. But, if you want to find this clip on Youtube, you need to search for the phrase “Sheldon hugs Penny”. This is what people remember from this scene. This awkward man who knows nothing of intimacy or the importance of being close to people, hugs Penny to say thank you.

When I have spent a lot of time trying hard to give back to God and repay in time, energy or effort God’s love it all seems inadequate. It is times like this when I simply fall into the arms of God. I wonder if God, like Penny, smiles and says, “Look, Cathie’s hugging me.”

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