Beautiful and Broken

This post was born out of a discussion I recently had with some friends. We were discussing the fact that “sin” is a very Christian word and that it is hard to explain it to people on the streets. Have you ever thought of that? How do you explain sin in a post-modern context? People have so many associations to the word itself that sometimes just the mention of it can make them cringe and sneer in disdain.

When I was thinking about this one morning, the word brokenness came to my mind. I believe that it is common ground for every human being that has ever lived. When we look at the world, we see so many beautiful things, the nature, beautiful skies, mountains, oceans, we see love, kindness and goodness. Yet when the TV is turned on, and the news of rape, murder, wars and hatred fill our screens, we quickly understand that something is not as it should be, something is broken.

Now, if we are humble and honest with ourselves, when we look into our own hearts, we are presented with the same picture. We see beauty, love, kindness, goodness, yet we also brokenness, since we do the bad things which we know we shouldn’t do, and many times find ourselves incapable of doing the good we know we should do. Something is broken.

The word broken is interesting because it means that something is not fulfilling it’s original purpose. If a car is broken, it is not able to take you where you should go. Well then, does not our sense of brokenness indicate an original purpose in which we are not living? This sense of meaning would not arise if we were purely the random product of matter and energy. Yet the quest for meaning is haunting, and a universal human experience. There must be a higher purpose. The original purpose is connection and relationship with our Creator. It is the brokenness of that relationship that brings brokenness to this world, and ultimately brokenness to our own hearts.

I have found that most people I speak with in the streets are willing to recognize this brokenness inside. To recognize that a broken relationship with the Creator requires a greater step, but at least we have managed to explain “sin” in a good way!

Quote: Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past – Poem by C.T Studd

[vc_row][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_text]“Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

— extra stanza —

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”
C.T Studd

Dig Deeper on this post: Books

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image media=”3386″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2F0875082025%2Fref%3Das_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl%3Fie%3DUTF8%26amp%3Bamp%3Bcamp%3D1789%26amp%3Bamp%3Bcreative%3D9325%26amp%3Bamp%3BcreativeASIN%3D0875082025%26amp%3Bamp%3BlinkCode%3Das2%26amp%3Bamp%3Btag%3Dononli-20||target:%20_blank”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

C. T. Studd: Cricketer & Pioneer

The definitive biography on the life of C.T. Studd, the founder of WEC International, and author of the poem.[/vc_column_text][vc_button link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2F0875082025%2Fref%3Das_li_tl%3Fie%3DUTF8%26camp%3D1789%26creative%3D9325%26creativeASIN%3D0875082025%26linkCode%3Das2%26tag%3Dononli-20%26linkId%3D6THNRAUBGFCYZQLL||target:%20_blank”]View on Amazon[/vc_button][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

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The tragedy of Norway’s Russ…

[highlighted_p boxed=”false” center=”false”]Sex, drugs, drunken debauchery and dares are all part of the “fun” for Norway’s final year high school students called the russ.[/highlighted_p]

1st of May marks the beginning of the festivities, and from then until 17th they can be seen wearing their characteristic red overalls and caps and with a bottle of beer in the hand. What was meant to be an amusing rite of passage has become a destructive tragedy…

Typical Russ Clothes
Typical Russ Clothes

The dares

Each year a competition goes on among the students as to who can get the most knots on their cap. A knot rewards a certain accomplishment during the russ period. These range from the most inoffensive…like:

  • Spending a night in a tree
  • Eating a big Mac in two bites
  • Spending a school day crawling on hands and knees

To the most stupid and immoral such as:

  • Drinking a bottle of wine in 20 minutes
  • having sex with at least 17 partners
  • Picking up a tender teen
Different knots according to what dares have been accomplished...
Different knots according to what dares have been accomplished…

Expensive buses

In addition to the uniforms, caps, and dares, one of the most important parts of the russ celebrations are the “russebil” – cars or buses the russ decorate and equip with immense stereo systems. Inside, the buses are often fitted with TVs and entertainment equipment, couches, refrigerators. These buses can be a large financial burden; contributions of up to 22 500€ (200 000 Kr) per member have occurred. The average is between 1500€ and 4500€. Including sponsors, the cost of a bus can reach over 230 000€!! (2,000,000 Norwegian kroner).

Inside one of the most expensive buses!
Inside one of the most expensive buses!
Another one of the buses
Another one of the buses

JesusRuss

Luckily, the Christians do not shy out. Young Christians in their final year can join christian alternatives to russ: JesusRuss and KristenRuss. These set up tents at the russ events where they take care of sick and injured drunks, give out buns, being salt and light for those that realise that the partying is not as satisfying and liberating as expected…

One of the Jesusruss tents
One of the Jesusruss tents