Yesterday I went for a stroll downtown Toronto on my way to Hamilton and I was trying to aim myself toward Union Station. The easiest way to do this of course is by looking for the CN Tower and walk towards it. You think this would be easy since the CN Tower is the tallest building in the world. Actually it might be second or third tallest now. As I glanced all around, there was no angle that I could see the soaring tower. I knew I was only a few blocks away from it but it was no where to be seen. I don’t watch much news but to my knowledge it was still standing. So I was a bit confused, where was this tower?
As I kept walking, I could faintly see a large rod sticking up over one of the skyscrapers that stood directly in front of me. I made my way over past the building and I could see the top of the CN Tower there, where it always was, standing in all its glory like one of those guys with big muscles walking through the mall. The closer I got to the tower, the more I could see of it. Finally as I walked right up beneath it, at the foot of the tower, you are able to see it in the entirety that it was built.
Sometimes I think that God is like the CN Tower in Toronto. From a distance, like when you’re driving through traffic on the main highway, you can see the tower standing among all other towers. Sometimes the fog, usually smog, makes it difficult to make out, but it usually stands out from every other building. The site is still quite bland though, just looks like a bigger version of everything else. It might be a great conversation piece and something to point to your kids while driving. Then we start to move into town a bit. Other skyscrapers start to appear. They are awesome too. They are massive ones. Some of them house thousands.
We make our way close to these skyscrapers and the main attraction disappears. We are unable to see the CN Tower at all. Its fine when we’re at the foot of the CN Tower, we can see it with no distraction, but the second we start to put other things between us and the tower, we start to lose site of the CN Tower really quick. I was only a few blocks away from the largest tower in the world (maybe second) and I couldn’t see it if I tried.
Maybe sometimes we allow things to get to close to us that it limits our view of God. The only place that we will have perfect vision of who God is is at the foot of the cross. When we start putting distance between us and the cross we loose bits and pieces of the entire picture. Maybe for some of us it’s the entire tower because we are stubbornly hiding directly behind a large tower in front of it. Maybe we are trying to see our tower from a distance and the fog and smog of life is clouding our view.
We can be so close to God, and not be able to see him at all because we forgot that it was all about the cross. Church, relationships, alcohol, fun, past, education, careers can all be good things, but for some reason we allow them to stand between us and God, which filters the version of the God we see. Only at the foot of the cross, will everything be seen the way it was meant to be. God can’t be seen clearly through buildings, fog and large monuments that we build in our life, the only way he can be seen clearly is through Christ. If we find ourselves with filtered or incomplete ideas of what God is, the only place where any of it will eventually come together is at the base of the tower, the foot of the cross.