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Hi, Robot

Saturday, 11 August 2018 · Poetical

I was watching videos on YouTube one day when I stumbled on some videos on the America’s Got Talent page. It was pretty ordinary until this boy came onstage and did these awesome robotic dance moves. Gosh, I was captivated! How on earth could anyone move like that?! That day, I became a fan of 12 year old Merrick Hanna. The sync of his movements with the lyrics and the blend with the rhythm just really made me think of myself as an old sack of potatoes. I watched this video where he danced to this song, iRobot by Jon Bellion and as much as I loved to see him dance, the lyrics of that particular song just really struck me. I did a little background check on the song and I learnt that Jon sang it after a very painful breakup. The lyrics of this song, however, meant much more to me than what a song by a man suffering heartache from a broken relationship would have. The lyrics of the song went something like:
I was a human, breathing and thinking, eating and drinking, philosophizing I was a human before you killed me and ripped my heart out, I knew what love was. Now when they ask me, I just reply slow, sound like an iPhone. I do not know love, I am a robot… Cause I had a fire, passion and desire now all I require are circuits and wires; inside was an ocean of soul and emotion then you cut me open now all that I know is I am a robot; thoughtless and empty, don’t know who sent me, don’t know who made me… Electric robot, everything’s gray now, numb to the pain now, I knew what love was…
There they are. What did you see when you read those lyrics? Did anything strike you? Or were they just a bunch of words? If those words made deeper sense to you in the few seconds it took you to read them, then we should probably get married. It’d be really awkward if you were female so just introduce me to your brother. He must have your genes. LOL. Just kidding. Those words, they should mean more to us than some pathetic heartbreak rant now, shouldn’t they? I mean, we’re Christians, we don’t do heartbreaks. Now, if we were to apply those words to our lives, how would we? 
I’ve read and watched Harry Potter about 5 times in 3 years. All 7 books and 8 movies! I remember what it was like reading the book the first time. I had watched snatches of the movie in my Junior Secondary School days. The first time I read all 7 books, I was in 100 level. When I was finally done and I read the last words, “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” I thought my life was over. At every waking moment, I was going over scenes from that book in my head. Voldermort is dead! Why is the world not over yet? Then I read it again and again and again and again. I remember when I was reading it the second time, I actually wished magic was real so that I could erase all that I knew about Harry Potter and gain a completely new experience. I really wish that it could all be so new to me again. But we all know that it is all wishful thinking. The last time I remember reading the book, I already knew what the next character was going to do and say. It was quite difficult to keep the experience of reading a good book fresh. It felt “unexciting”. I had gotten really used to the book and its characters that it had lost its appeal. I still love Harry Potter. I think it’s the greatest book of all time but if I were to read it again, I’m afraid it would not be as captivating as it was the first and even second time I read it.
 It’s quite sad to think that something I lived and breathed for years ago isn’t as interesting as I would have loved it to be. But, isn’t that how life generally is? We get so used to the world and its ways and get so sucked into the system that anytime someone asks, “What’s up?”, we reply with an automatic “fine” or “boring”. Isn’t it sad? 
It’s quite boring to always be ‘fine’ or ‘bored’. Be ‘unfine’ or pathetic or terrific. Just be anything but fine or bored! God certainly didn’t create us to be robotic and automated in our response to what life throws at us. He wouldn’t have given us free will if that was the original plan. In directing the affairs of the Israelites in the wilderness in Numbers 9, God set a cloud over the tabernacle and the Israelites were supposed to move camp if the cloud moved or stay put if it didn’t. Sometimes, the cloud would stay for a day, sometimes two days, sometimes a month and sometimes more than that. No matter how long the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, the children of Israel were to stay put. What a weird system. It was their divine GPS (Global Positioning System). Why did God use this method? Why did the cloud have to be so unpredictable? 
I believe it was because God didn’t want his people getting too dependent on the system. Look at it like this, if I knew that the cloud stayed only 3 days above the tabernacle, I would live each day trusting that in 3 days the cloud would move. I’d trust the cloud, the system, and not the one who put it there. If God did that in the Old Testament, didn’t want his children relying on the system, thinking to themselves, “Well, I’m going to sleep now, I’m so sure I’ll wake up tomorrow. I trust the system. It won’t let me down”, how much more would he expect from us who have so much more than they. God loves order. Don’t get me wrong. He definitely would not author confusion. However, he would not love that we are so dependent on the system. “It’s the way of the world”, you say.  You pick up a skill or something interesting and you just lose interest in it. Then you pick up something else, it’s interesting for a while and then you lose interest in that too. It’s pathetic that we carry this attitude into our relationships with God and people. If you aren’t concerned about this anomaly, I am. Even God had and still has passion for the human race and he hasn’t lost interest yet. I don’t think he ever will though; we have a rainbow as proof.
Let’s go back to the lyrics of that song. Jon was human. Jon had feelings. Jon had passions. Jon had desires. Then suddenly Jon is a robot. Thoughtless, empty, made only of circuits and wires. What changed? And was the change really a sudden change? When I read those words again, I see that it isn’t like he was made a robot. He wasn’t taken to a lab and transformed into one. The change happened in his soul. He once knew love. Then gradually, it faded. As kids, I mean regular kids, we asked questions a lot. Why is water wet? Why is the sky blue? Why do flies fly? Then as we grew, the system asked us to keep quite when our elders talked. This changed us from inquisitive young children into emotionless adults. It was not sudden. It was a gradual process. The system changed us. The system we created. Think about it: don’t you think you’re too familiar with life? Nothing interests you anymore. You just breeze through life like actual breeze. Life has no impact on you; you have no impact on life. Nothing excites you. You’re basically, “numb to the pain!” I’m sure if I picked a random person and asked how they are, the automatic response would be “fine”. I’m pretty sure if I passed by you this minute, your automatic response would be “how’re you?” but, did you really mean to ask me that? We’re so familiar with the system that we even say things we do not mean.
When last did you look into the clouds or watch the sunset or the sunrise even? Hey, I’m not asking us to become nature loving people or hippies or anything like that—I’m not particularly one myself. However, if there’s anything I’ve learnt in this my short life; it is to value every single moment. Appreciate it. Do you find value and excitement in the humdrum of life?  How valuable is that drink of a cup of cold water after a hot tiring day? That rib-cracking laughter you shared with a friend because of a funny video you watched? How about that blast of fresh air hitting your face after leaving a stuffy lecture room? When last did you ever take time to actually cherish and appreciate moments like this? We get so used to these wonderful little things that when bad things happen—which is very relative—we act like nothing good has ever happened to us. We act like we’re the most unfortunate people in existence. Why!? Simple, were numb to happiness and joy. We’re numb to value. We don’t value relationships. And so, friends come over and we just treat them like everyday occurrences. When last did you tell a close friend thanks. Yeah, I know you had an agreement; it was his turn to do the cooking. But did you say thank you? Really, how numb are you to beauty? Not just of a woman; of the world!  You say you have love, think about it—really think about it. In your actions and inactions, is there an expression of that love you profess to have? Or are you so used to the concept of love that you’ve even forgotten what it is supposed to feel like. You can’t reciprocate this love to friends, family and even yourself. What caused this? We’d all readily blame the system but, can we blame the world for being worldly? We have a part to play in deciding what we do or do not do and what we feel or do not feel. Why do we choose to be so numb to love or life?
I know some persons would read this and think, “It isn’t our fault we’re so mechanized. It’s the way the world is.” My only response to this is, “Are you of the world?” The world is empty and we decide to act empty. The world is emotionless, we are emotionless. The world doesn’t think any more, we become thoughtless. The world is full of hurt, full of hate, full of griminess and dullness. What’s our response? We become numb to the pain, unfeeling, emotionless, thoughtless dull human beings. But, do we have to be like them? We are not of this world. I didn’t say it, God’s word did! 
Let’s cast our minds back to the creation story. I know you know how it happened but, have you ever really just thought about Genesis 1? 
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and it was empty and total darkness engulfed the raging ocean that covered everything. And the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light!” 
The earth was empty. It required that those who were in it be empty too. What did God do? He refused to be a victim of the emptiness of the system. He knew something was wrong and he refused to sit in a corner and sulk about how empty the world was. He took action. He commanded light and light appeared. We don’t need light where there’s light. Light is only required where there is darkness. We must understand that, the darker the darkness, the greater the opportunity of light. We have a mandate to let our light shine. The world is eagerly waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. Because of this, we’re not sitting back and conforming to what world systems go by. We are making a difference in the world. Not in the church. There’s enough light in the church. We’re making the difference in the world. That’s where the darkness is. 
Every system is subject to futility. It’s the way the world runs. But we could choose to live life subject to this system of futility and pointlessness or we could choose to create value and worth. Choosing to add value to everyday and making the world better. We could choose to make living worth the while. If I’m not dying, I might as well live well, with passion and love. I’m living like I’m alive! I’m not living dead. I’m not a robot. I was not once human. I AM human! No more boredom. No more “fineness”. Our passion is reawakened.  No more going through the motions. It’s time to live life deliberately. Say the things we say deliberately, not because it’s what the world requires that we say. Do the things we do deliberately, not just because the system prescribes that we do them. We choose to not be conditioned by the system. We’re not living as victims of the system of emptiness and thoughtlessness. We choose to see the beauty and fullness of the life God has given us.
We’re not living life through gray lenses. We’re living life seeing the color all around.  
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