Static on Ben Franklin’s Couch

If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, our house could serve as his laboratory.  Studying electricity is easy in the wintertime around here.  Touch anything or anybody, and you get a spark powerful enough to sustain the national power grid. The good news is that if we ever lose power, we have our own backup generator:  our children.  All they have to do is rub against the rug or furniture, and suddenly they provide lights, heat, and wireless internet connection. 

We have one couch in particular that is a breeding ground for electric sparks.  If Mr. Franklin had flown his kite from this couch, he would have discovered not only that lightning is electricity, but also that the source of such power comes from blue microfiber with a five year Scotch Guard warranty.  The kids can’t just stand up, you see, they have to slide off the couch, thereby filling themselves with just enough volts to electrocute me with a gentle touch.  I’m looking into having my spine surgically replaced with a lightning rod. 

It has only been during adulthood that I have developed such a deep aversion for static.  During childhood, my siblings and I would sometimes deliberately rub our socks on the carpet just to give each other a shock.  We would rub balloons on our heads to try to make them stick to the wall…and for the thrill of briefly looking like Albert Einstein.  I see my children doing the same foolish actions now, and I lament about the damaging effects of DNA.  You really just want the good stuff to pass on, like the ability to play the piano, but then one day you see them reliving your own moments of insanity, and you realize that you have a leaky filtering system.

I was surprised to discover that God actually likes static cling, as he instructs us in Romans 12:9:

Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Hatred is used too lightly today, as most things that we claim to hate are not actually evil.  I “hate” seafood, but you don’t have to eat flounder with a pitchfork.  On the other hand, things that are genuinely evil tend to be shrugged off as though a mere annoyance, like a mosquito at a barbeque or a tsetse fly at a safari.   

Static cling can be vexing when you remove laundry from the dryer and it has all agglomerated into one giant mass.  You have to decide between separating them and being electrocuted, or wearing your entire wardrobe at once.  God asks us to have that same kind of cling to things that are “good.”  We tend to translate that into things that taste good or feel good, but are not inherently good like the things of God.  That is why we can cling easily to junk food and immoral behavior, while Bibles gather dust and cobwebs on the shelves of society.

The concept of clinging can be understood by observing any of the following: 

a. koala bears on trees

b. Saran Wrap (unless you buy generic)

c. laundry with cheap fabric softeners

d. insecure women and their boyfriends

But the BEST way to understand clinging is to watch a small child with his mother.  I have had my share of clingy children, and it does tend to limit mobility.  On the plus side, I have learned how to cook dinner with my nose, so if terrorists ever break in, tie me up and demand a soufflé, I’ll be all set.

How do we have that same clinginess to godly things?  For starters, we need to view ourselves as little children in the eyes of our heavenly Father.  He tells us there is nothing in all of creation that can separate us from His love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). God is doing all He can to cling to us, and it is up to us to stop spraying the Static Guard all over His love. 

 

 

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