Not in the sense that I have an unhealthy affection for or collection of them. In fact, I don't think I've ever owned one. But they're peculiar, aren't they? You see one in a store, or on the finely dusted shelf at a friend's house, and you just have to pick it up, give it that slow shake, and watch all the "snow" or plastic or whatever that material is dance around in the water.
Tiny houses that could almost be gingerbread... Like little snacks preserved in some strange liquid... Little drops of sugary goodness dancing all around them. A happy world in which nothing changes, it's all twinkling and glittering in the light, and falling to peaceful rest all the time, every time.
We can almost lose ourselves in it, right? Don't get me wrong, snow globes are beautiful. But I think we may subscribe far too often to this fantastical idea of reality in which every thing has to be perfect and nothing is ever out of place. Having this concept of reality is poisonous and detrimental to our well being, our state of mind, and our faith. Here's why:
God didn't create you to exist in a snow globe world. Yes, He made it perfect. Once. But from the beginning it has been our choice to follow his directions and fulfill his purpose, or choose our own path and suffer eternal consequences for them, and the world we live in today isn't perfect.
Look around you, and you'll see, this world is dying. I don't necessarily mean in the literal, end-of-life sense (although that's true, too) but look around, read practically any publication in existence and you'll see evidences of a sick and twisted world in which man desires to seek and fulfill the pleasures of his own heart. Children dying of hunger and malnutrition. Wives decaying from the inside out from unfulfilled marriages, students losing sleep, hair, or sanity at the sake of some lofty goal and societal pressure to be something they were never made to be. Droves of humanity desperate for food or water or shelter, all the while fat and pompous others lounge around or play and rest easy, pretending the world isn't drowning and suffocating under the weight of reality.
One of the best statements I ever heard in a sermon as a student was "this world will tell you that you can accomplish anything, and become whoever you want to be - but you won't. The problem is, that's not always what God intends. You can dream all day that you'll be some big CEO, or a professional athlete in the NBA, the NFL. You can be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, etc, etc, and on and on it goes. But here's some harsh truth you'll need to eventually come to grasp: for some of us, that will never become a reality. You may not be built to be a professional athlete, or you may not have the capacity to be a doctor or lawyer... BUT, you CAN become anything and everything God created you to be."
Now to some of us, this is a bit harsh. The point isn't that we shouldn't dream, or shouldn't strive to do our best. The point is that we all have specific and harnessed passions, skills, and talents that were all designed to be exactly in line with what God wanted us to do.
I used to write a blog that observed many of the Old Testament stories, and during that time, I experienced a very humbling opportunity for growth when a complete stranger and I exchanged a number of emails examining the nature of God in the Old Testament. This guy was passionately perturbed at a supposed "God of love" that left millions upon millions of people to drown in their sin (or literally drown), burning or slaughtering entire nations, all the while this God was still proclaiming his own love and fervor for his own people. In my young age I was admittedly unprepared for such a discussion, but what I came to realize was that a loving God, while seemingly harsh and ruthless in these stories, refused to accept a world in which people chose in their own right to pursue selfish ambitions. His love is so relentless that is does not rest until he is made known to those who haven't heard.
It would be easy for us to accept God's love if everything remained perfect. It would be easy for us to have faith in a God that hems us in a picturesque life where nothing went wrong, no sickness befalls us, no tragedy strikes. But that's not the world we live in, right? Unfortunate circumstances happen every day to countless people. So where is God's love in that?
Living in a snow globe would be easy. It's what we all strive for. At our core, the "American dream," or whatever new hipster moniker we attribute to it, diminishes our concept of the life we're to live, and robs from us the true beauty and love of the nature of God. We work so hard at accumulation of wealth, success, materials, people, or worth, trying to build for ourselves a snow globe in which we can relax, dance in the snowflakes, and let the world look at us in awe and wonder.
Where is God's love in that? What of all the others around us who can't come up with the strength, the money, the passion to build a snow globe of their own? God's love was extended to us for more than our satisfaction in ourselves. God's love was meant to stretch beyond the spherical realm we wish to exist in, so that others who haven't seen or experienced it yet might share in it. In a perfect world we would not choose to ascribe worth and glory to God, but rather to ourselves and our own accomplishments.
And our individual world may be perfect. Everything might be in its rightful place. But we know it's not for everyone. We know there are others that aren't there yet. So what do we do with that? This world isn't perfect because if it was we would have no need for God.
It's easy to question and rail our fist against a God who allows sickness, trial, heartache, and death run rampant upon a world he claims to love. It's easy for us to scoff at the audacious man-in-the-sky who seems either unaware or uninterested in our current situation. What's much harder is to submit to the thought that in all things, whether good or bad, there's a message of his love underlying our feeble existence. It's much harder to acknowledge that our experiences have an affect on others around us. It's much harder to realize that even at our very core, where we're sick and twisted and selfish and depraved, we have the opportunity to make more of our world than a ball of glass with trinkets inside. We are met each day with the chance to show others there's more to life than snow flakes and pine trees.
So what, if your snow globe isn't perfect? So what, if your world is filled with cracks and blemishes, and leaks in places? So what, if you're not pretty enough, not strong enough, not smart enough to "measure up?" You think God isn't aware of that? You think he's surprised by what befalls you? God is more acutely aware of your situation than you will ever be, and in His design, he desires to make himself great in the midst of however small you may feel. That's the picture of God's love we miss. It's not about what we individually accomplish, but rather, as a global body and family, we make much of the God who put it all together in the first place.
Your lifestyle, your job, your triumphs, your failures, your passions, your skills and talents, your memories, your efforts are all designed to reach a global audience. It may not be your "dream job" or "comfortable situation," but it's worth every effort you make toward it. Each part of your individuality and character was meant to point others to Christ. Take joy in this. Your snow globe may look like a broken paperweight, but you know what? There's someone else that's looking at theirs the same way, wondering what in the world to do with themselves. Don't be lost at this opportunity for growth. God gave you everything you need to make much of him in the lives of those around you.
A loving God would much rather allow his creation to choose to attribute him glory, than to make everything perfect for us and nothing too hard. A loving God craves our affections so deeply, that even in the midst of our hardest trial, his peace is still made available to us, if only we would look away from our snow globe that may or may not be falling apart. We look at ourselves constantly thinking, "something's not quite right, yet." While God looks and says, "YES! This is perfect for what I meant it for." A loving God desires for us to love him back, not the gifts he may or may not choose to bestow upon us. That's the problem with us all. We far too quickly look to what's made and glaze over the God that made it.
So where is God's love? It's in you. Not in your snow globe.
So do I like snow globes?