As mentioned before, Dorothy was taken up in a whirlwind and found herself transported to the land of Oz. The older you are, the more you see this reality taking place in your own life. Somehow things aren’t like they used to be, 40, 30 or even 20 years ago. It’s as if we too had been transported to this “land of Oz” we now live in. The more we see all that is transpiring in the news of our nation, we realize the world is changing; “we’re not in Kansas anymore.” And we too, find ourselves like Dorothy murmuring the words, “there’s no place like home”, “there’s no place like home…”
So on our way down this yellow-brick road we came across three characters. Last week we talked about the cowardly lion who wanted courage. Today I want to talk about the Tin man who wanted a heart. Hey Oz-man! Give the guy some PASSION!
As Rod Stewart sang out in his 1980 hit single: “There's no passion, I need passion, you need passion, we need passion, can't live without passion, won't live without passion, even the president needs passion, everybody I know needs passion, some people die and kill for passion…” The problem with this “passion” that he sings about, it’s a sensual lust for all things sexual.
So the Tin man was off to see the wizard, or more like, off to see “The LOVE Doctor.” He wanted to experience love. Well as we’ve mentioned in the past few weeks, the wizards of OZ are ourselves. Remember, who tells us what to do? Who gives us what we want? We do. We pick and choose who to listen to, what to listen to and we choose how we will respond to any given advice. That’s what freewill does. We weigh out the pros and cons of the different choices and we choose to do what feels best at the time. If we sin, it’s because we wanted to sin. No one forced us but ourselves. If we resist the temptation and the sin, it’s because we weighed out the consequences and chose accordingly. We are the wizards of Oz.
So the question that has baffled philosophers and theologians alike, is, why are we so passionate for the things of the world? Why are we so drawn away from God to do the very things we know we shouldn’t be doing? Even the Apostle Paul cried out in wonder and frustration in Romans 7. Why do we substitute worldly pleasures for the pleasures of God? Sunday mornings reveal our passions; are we at church or doing our own thing? Our fellowship pattern; do we hang out with “the body” or do we find companionship with those of whom are a little more laxed in moral behavior? Our daily devotions; do we rather stay up late watching our favorite shows, sleeping in and skimping or even skipping our quiet time with God?
The Bible has a lot to say about the heart. The NIV has 533 verses with the word heart in it. Philosophers and theologians agree that the heart is where all decisions come from. There are many warnings in the Bible to watch your heart lest you be led astray. Passion is not bad. True passion is from God. He has created us to be passionate about things. We all have passions for different things. In a room of 12 people the personal passions will vary. God wants to use our passions (the things we love to do) for His glory. When we learn to go to God and His word and line up our passions with His, then we can be passionate for the things of God. Left to ourselves, our worldly, sinful and self-seeking desires will kick in and we’ll find ourselves lost in a sea of sensual pursuit and passionate for all the wrong things.
The Tin man wanted a heart. When he gets it, what will he fill it with?
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. –Proverbs 4:23