Written by Evi Idoghor
I'm aware that I've previously expressed my enthusiasm for documentaries on this platform. Once I get my hands on a good one, my day is made - I can get lost in it for hours, long after it has finished airing, pondering the why behind the subject, calling my friends and family with endless chatters about what I just watched. Netflix has also picked up on my obsession, so much so that my feed is peppered with various suggestions of world-class documentaries, all to feed my mind.
I'm not sure why I enjoy documentaries so much. But I recall it all starting when I was a young girl, watching forensic files on the Discovery Channel and unusual stories about conjoined twins and how they navigate their lives as a pair, despite being completely different.
My aunt once told me about that story, and she said, “It must be something they have in their food over there, which resulted in them fusing together.” In response to my interest in true crime, my brother stated, “you get a kick out of other people's misery.” Although I believe both their points to be far from true, something about such stories piqued my interest as a child and has followed me around all these years.
I watched one recently, titled Wild Wild Country. It was suggested to me by a friend's friend, and to put it mildly, it was quite bizarre - it depicted people's longing for something or someone to fill the void in their hearts. This story began in the early 1980s when western elites moved to India in search of the then-famous guru, Bwagwan (or Osho).
He strolled around with his long beard and kaftans - Turbans perched elegantly on his head, and palms raised to his eye level as if he were in the middle of a prayer. He wore humility as a cloak, despising traditional religion, and wished to provide people with a more fulfilling way of life. One that is always full of laughter and sexual liberation.
Lawyers and Hollywood producers were among those who flocked to him, all of whom were in awe of his intellect, which they believed would save them from the rigors of everyday life. A life without boundaries, worries, fear, or destruction was what they wished to live. In addition to good vibes, they desired constant celebrations such as singing kumbaya around an open fire and, of course, sex – because what is life if not for the pleasure of the flesh?
A quest for God
Everyone is in search of a savior, a god, or something tangible to help them make more sense of life as they know it. In their pursuit of this, many people bury their heads in their jobs, social lives, and relationships, hoping that these things will satisfy their insatiable hunger. So here I am, thinking once more: if people are looking for God, why do they keep avoiding the true God himself? What is it that has hardened their hearts against Him? Or have they simply not heard the message? It's as if when you try to share the gospel message with someone who is struggling with emptiness, they roll their eyes and sigh, conveying disinterest.
I wrote an article titled Everything Else but God a few months ago. It delved into how humans would go through every possible channel in search of the “creator,” except going directly to the creator. Why is this the case?
Is it because of the Bible's standards, or because of the eventual punishment for sin? In an article published in the Guardian, a man now in 40s who was a child member of the cult depicted in the documentary said, “If you have no boundaries in your life, the world is quite scary.” He described how he began smoking at the age of ten and got stoned by accident at the age of six.
While he and his family were members of the cult and lived on the property where most members resided, they did not live as a family unit. Even married people swapped sexual partners. Some enjoyed it, while others put on a brave face, knowing that there was something horrifying about this unholy arrangement even if they didn't believe in Christianity.
Right desire, wrong satisfaction
Assume you were physically hungry and needed to eat something to satisfy your hunger. So, you opened your fridge and chose a meal that had been sitting there for days, and if your fridge is anything like mine, which literally transforms into a hot pantry when the power goes out, that meal would have gone sour. Nonetheless, you ate it because you were hungry. Whether you'd be satisfied in the interim is debatable; however, it wouldn't be long before your stomach violently reminded you that you'd made the wrong choice. (This happened to me when I made pancakes with expired milk, I ended up spending the entire day at work in the bathroom.)
Was it wrong to crave food because you were hungry? No way! However, what was being used to satisfy that hunger was not appropriate, even if it provided temporary relief. In our pursuit of alternative lifestyles, diverse religions, and a new worldview, all of these can provide temporary relief for the longing we have on the inside, however, these things do not have lasting effects; they all eventually come to ruin, because they are not of God.
Jesus said to (doubting) Thomas in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We may run helter-skelter in search of a savior, or a new way of thinking (Acts 17:21), yet, if our quest doesn’t lead us to Christ, our search has been rendered futile. Jesus is the only one who saves, who delivers, and who holds the keys to eternal life.
Related Post: Everything Else but God
That life that we all yearn for, that life where there will be no evil, no sickness, no death, no racism, no inequality. All love and no hate – where the wolf will dwell with the lamb without conflict (Isaiah 11:6), God desires that we have this life too, our happily ever after, as Walt Disney has sold us all these years, free from all the sorrows and pains, and heartaches of this world. But it can only happen on his terms – through Jesus.
It all came crumbling
What happened to the followers of this Indian guru, you might wonder? The life that he once took pride in building came crashing down when the United States government cracked down on them, accusing some of heinous crimes such as conspiracy to commit murder, marriage fraud, chemical warfare, and terrorism - so much for a life of happiness always.
The guru was sent back to India on the next thing smoking, with his tail in between his legs, where he died a few years after. When he got deported, his followers fled the state of Oregon where they had defiantly lived for four years. The most fascinating aspect of this story is how quickly this man's message spread throughout the Western world and Asia. People continue to buy his books and attend gatherings and conferences all over the world, promoting his anti-religious message and sexual liberation.
However, amid all of this, the gospel message still endures, no matter how people try to suppress it. Jesus remains the only way to God and a life of freedom, and sex is still between one man and woman, within the context of marriage. I pray God opens the eyes of the blind, and satisfies with His spirit, those who are genuinely in search of him.
What do you think about this post? Leave your comments below and remember to like, share, and click the subscribe button at the top of this page, never to miss an update on Let’s Talk Nation Blog.
Don’t stop here; click this link to explore more on our Wisdom Weekly page.
All images are courtesy of Unsplash