I’ve been pondering over this subject these days, especially as I see things happening in parts of the world and also in my life. Sometimes you live your life in a certain way, and then just like that, something happens, and you realize you’ve been living in a lie, a “bubble”, a realm that you created for yourself and which is comfortable, pleasant, and so nice…
You can call “the American dream” a bubble (which “popped” a while ago: there’s NO such thing as an American dream) and you can call the movies “a bubble”… But I’ve been thinking about it, and here’s my conclusion: all men live in a self-made and self-built bubble until they meet Christ and live in their mingled spirit. Let me explain.
What is a Bubble?
I would define “a bubble” (in the sense used in this article) as a realm, a situation, an environment, a feeling, something that one builds around himself so that he would feel good, comfortable, and cozy. I’m not talking about “all pink and rosy” in your situation, but something and some things that some people do and buy and make so that they would feel good – and at the end they realize it’s empty and meaningless.
You can call Y2K a bubble – the hype of the dot com and websites and stuff; you can say that Steve Jobs lived in a self-made bubble called “reality distortion field“, you can call the stock market a bubble; and you can call the real estate market a bubble. But here are some more practical examples, more specifically:
The Techno-Bubble – More and more people today live in a techno-bubble, surrounding themselves with gadgets like smartphones, iPhones, iPod’s, iPads, tablets, computers, screens, computer games, etc. Basically, people prefer to spend more time in front of a screen playing or relaxing / taking in something, instead of spending time with others or with God. They all know “it’s all virtual” and when something breaks they realize, Wow, it can all collapse JUST LIKE THAT! A new smartphone is coming out. A new pair of more expensive headphones and a new version of a PC game / X-box game is coming out, and you have to have it. Virtual things like games, movies, screens, become “more real” than people, a job, sports, travelling, etc. Truth be told, all this is just “a bubble”, a dream, a fad. When that iPhone breaks, when you finish the game, when the computer is too slow, etc – you realize, wow, it’s all so vain!
The Sports Bubble – some people love watching and following sports. In Europe, South America, and more and more in the USA also, people follow and are excited about football (soccer). They pay a big price to go to watch the game of their favorite team, and most times it loses. They pay big money for a seat, they buy the T-shirts, the scarf, the hat, the magazine, etc. They check the news every 10 minutes to see if there’s anything new. They think it’s real, that the team goes on because they cheer – but it’s all “a bubble”. There’s millions of sterling pounds in the British football, and millions of people who earn barely enough to live from one day to another spend their last quid on a ticket to the game or something to “support their team”. They become enemies with some and “fans with others” because of a team.
But then they travel somewhere, or they get married, or something happens – and they “wake up”: it’s a dream, it’s something unreal, a fad, NOTHING!
The Cars Bubble – Maybe you don’t love technology or sports, but you love cars. You watch all the car races, you check out all the new cars coming out, you’re a big fan of Sports Gear, you love your car and desire to buy another one that’s better, and you love tuning your car to make it look, sound, and work cool. There’s better and cooler cars coming out all the time, and the hype is being upheld by events and announcements of new stuff. Or maybe you like old cars, with almost nothing electric in them – their shape, the engine power, the style, the leather, etc… Or maybe you prefer motorcycles – not just as means of transportation, but as design, fashion, style, speed, brand, looks….
There’s so much I don’t know about cars, but I met some “car enthusiasts” who knew since they were 12 that as soon as they will be 18 or 19 they will “buy a beamer”. But then a car crash can happen, or money is not enough and you have to sell the car, or you are just to busy with other things, and “the car dream” / the car “bubble” is gone…
The Fashion Bubble – There’s something about fashion that attracts most young ones. When you walk on the streets in Central London you see all kinds of designs and fashion clothes on people. Almost everyone wants to make a statement by what they wear. There’s even an ad, “Fashion is us!” and many live by this code. They just can’t wear certain colors, and this doesn’t match with that, and they can’t get out of the house at particular times because they don’t have the right clothes. The home of many people don’t matter (how disorganized they are) but when they get out the door, they look like super-stars and actors in movies or on the catwalk. The hair style, the clothes, the shoes, the purses, the ear rings, the jewelry, the “colors they put on their face”, the eyebrows, the nails, the lips, the tattoos the piercings, and every part of the being is carefully taken care of, designed, fashioned, and “hacked”.
But then they have to go to work or to school, and they have to behave normally, and all that fashion is just a dream you pay too high a price to enjoy too little of a time. When you touch the Lord, there’s something inside that just doesn’t LIKE or WANT fancy stuff or stylish clothes…
Music Bubble – “talking to fellow commuters is overrated; listening to music is the new thing” is a statement all make on public transport or any travelling means. People rarely NOT listen to something or watch something. They need to be “plugged in”, they need to be in a playlist carefully selected and played again and again, so that the very-well-known-tunes would sound in their being…. Children and young people, the young ones who don’t even have a job yet or know how to earn a living, they all are up-to-date with the latest in music and they listened to everything. Their playlist and digital collection exceeds even the wildest thoughts of the adults, and the way they get the tracks doesn’t even matter. Music is a big bubble – whenever there’s a spare time or a boring moment, the earphones go in and music plays. There’s not even a second thought about it. It’s a drug people love to take both publicly and individually.
And it is unreal – no matter how much you think you “identify yourself with the lyrics”, you’re a human being with a human spirit created not to be defiled by most music out there but filled with the pure and true God. Music makes you feel you’re invincible, in the heavens, etc – ONLY when you listen to it (and most times not even then). It’s all fake; it’s a bubble you create around the real problems in your life to forget about them and procrastinate.
Movies, Multimedia, Internet, Facebook, etc… – there’s so many other things that we tailor to our situation, things we try to escape into so that we forget about what we have to do or “just relax”. The hours people spend on Facebook, Twitter, watching movies, or in multimedia cause them to “feel good” – and yet it’s all “a bubble”, a drug people take to escape the real world. It’s almost as if people don’t use “physical hallucinogenic substances” but they run after psychological and self-made drugs offered by the world today…
Do You Live in a Bubble?
There are so many other types of bubbles, including research (yes, research can become the “dope” creating and feeding your bubble), gaining knowledge, religion, philosophy working hard, money, sex, alcohol, drugs, parties, gangs, etc. If people would just step back and think about it, I mean, really think about their human life, many of them would wake up.
Even as believers many times we “create our own bubbles”, living a certain life with a certain attitude at work or school, while performing differently at home, in the church life, or towards particular groups of people. We may delight in spending time travelling or watching stuff, being in the “Facebook bubble” or “music bubble” ourselves. Or maybe we find a “denomination bubble”, having a strong label and refusing to connect or fellowship with any other believers.
Maybe we never blend – we never visit other believers, never fellowship with others, and we’re content “with our own group, which fully matches our taste”. Maybe we live in a bubble called “never-preaching the gospel” but rather “meeting only” or “only enjoying Christ by myself”.
Oh, how much we need the Lord to SHINE on us, break through any bubble, and reach us with His X-ray light that penetrates everything! In His light we see light.
Some Cases of “Living in a Bubble” in the Bible
- In the times of Noah, though Noah was preaching the gospel and he was an anti-testimony to that age by continually working on building an ark, most of the people of his age lived in a bubble. They ate, drank, married and gave in marriage, and the flood just came upon them all of a sudden. They saw Noah, but they never repented or considered their situation….
- Job lived in a self-righteous bubble: he did “everything according to the book”, and he really thought that God loves him and blesses him only because he is “so righteous”. That is, until God allowed Satan to touch his possessions, his family, and even his own body. What “popped the bubble” was God’s appearing – Job had to repent in dust and ashes at God’s appearing…
- The people of Israel lived “in a bubble” by neglecting God and His laws. This is why God “kept poking their bubble” by sending the prophets to speak to them, warn them, turn them, and remind them. But they became more hardened in heart as time went by, and their hardness of heart went further and further until they cried out, “Let His blood fall upon us and upon our children!” (speaking of the Only Innocent Man that lived on the earth, which they crucified). They still live in a bubble, thinking it’s because of their cleverness and patriotism that Israel was reformed, and they refuse to believe in the Lord Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, until the Lord Jesus will return on the clouds in the heavens and then all will see Him and will repent!
- The entire world was living in a bubble, including Nebuchadnezzar and all his magicians / wise men; only Daniel and his friends were serving the living God and they lived in reality by touching God and praying to Him. They knew God’s word, joined themselves to His desire in His Word, and they stood against the whole “gold head” of the “great human image” in Daniel 2. Wow!
- Saul of Tarsus lived in a zealous bubble, thinking he does a great service to God by persecuting the Christians. That is, until God met Him on the way to Damascus, and Christ as the Head of the Body unveiled Saul to see that He and His believers are one. Since then, Paul lived in reality more and more….
How can we Live in Reality?
As soon as the Lord shines on a self-made bubble and we return to Him, we start creating yet another bubble. He may turn us from one side to the other, changing everything in our life, and we will seek Him in the beginning – but then we create another bubble, something that makes our soul feel happy.
The Bubble is our soul-life, something that matches the desires and pleasures of our fallen soul. And there are so many of them! So, how can we live in reality? There’s a song that says, “May Thy living light, Lord, / Scatter all my night, Lord! / And everything make bright, Lord, / For this I pray to Thee!”
We think we see but we are blind. We think we understand but we have no idea what’s happening. We think we know but we don’t. We need God’s light to shine on us again and again and again, until we will walk in the light. It’s in the light that you see things clearly.
And this light is in our spirit, because we are joined to the Lord as one spirit. As soon as we enter into the sanctuary of God in our spirit, as soon as we touch the living Person of Christ in our mingled spirit, we KNOW, we SEE, and we UNDERSTAND. It’s because Christ is the reality, and God is True. He is real.
Everything else and everyone else is fake, but God IS! In our spirit, in the touch with God, in the organic union with Him, we live in reality and not in a bubble. And This One enables us to live the human life and the Christian life according to Him – as we turn to and live in our spirit!
What we can see outwardly, what we can hear with our ears, what we can taste with our mouth, what we can touch with our hands, and what we can feel is NOT real; it is here temporarily, but it is as unreal as we as human beings are. The real things, the reality, the genuineness of human beings and of the universe is in God, and God as Spirit is joined to the believers’ spirit.
When we touch our spirit, we touch the meaning of the universe, the reality of our human existence, and the mystery of our human life. When we touch our spirit we begin to really live! In the Spirit with our spirit (1 Cor. 6:17) we have the life that is really life – the real life, the divine life, the life that passes through death and into resurrection and lives and is real… and this divine life is in us, wanting to live and be expressed through us…
This article is to be continued – I am still learning to allow the Lord to shine on me daily… Please do share your thoughts / conclusions on this matter, if you managed to get this far in this extremely long article…