Organ donation…no, really
November 10, 2010
I watch a very popular teen drama. It’s not something I’m terribly proud of, but it’s true. Occasionally, it’s poignant; more often, it’s ridiculous. Last night was a rare glimpse of writing genius, and I came away with two nuggets worth repeating.
1.) “Happiness is a mood—not a destination.”
In church, we are taught to distinguish between happiness and joy, but this simple explanation of the fleeting nature of an emotion and the significance we place on it really hit home for me.
2.) We need to start viewing Jesus as a life-saving organ donor instead of a patch or even a bridge to some mysterious “other side.”
On the show, a character I grew to love last season survived a gunshot wound because another young man died and was the needed match.
Here’s why this shift in perception is necessary:
Firstly, viewing the sacrifice of Jesus as an organ donation requires us recipients to recognize the severity of our situation. Organs are not taken from one person and placed in another to improve function, extend a healthy life or brighten someone’s outlook. No. Organs are given when a person’s life is on the line. When there is no other way; no option; no treatment available.
Viewing the reality of our sin in this light, we see that God had tried every other treatment. There was the law, the sacrifices, the rituals…these treatments did not work. It was only when our situation was deadly, and all other options had been exhausted that this drastic procedure was offered as an option.
Secondly, it is important for us to realize that we have no choice.
On the show, the character was in a coma when the other man died and the decision was made to give him the organ that allowed him to live. Similarly, we have no say in who gave for us, nor whether or not it was for us. The sacrifice of Christ was for all men whether they want it or not. We all have a new life available to us, we need only take it.
Thirdly, and possibly most importantly, we should view Christ as an organ donor because it demonstrates the attitude we should carry about life going forward.
Again, my nighttime soap opera shed some light on this.
The character who had been saved was struggling with rehab. He was frustrated by the length of time that his recovery was taking, and he was getting discouraged. When he saw the obituary of the young donor, and seriously contemplated the immense sacrifice that it had taken to give him life, he changed his attitude. Suddenly, the struggle of rehab seemed like a welcome fight and the annoyance with his slow recovery was put in proper perspective.
To view Christ as a man who gave His life, who willingly traded our lives for His grave, puts all the struggles of Christian life in perspective.
Ok, we might take longer to “arrive” than we’d like. It’s frustrating that we aren’t instantaneously transformed into new, sinless beings, but so what. We have been given life.
Our family and friends may label us cooky, zealous, or insincere and the world might question our sanity or stability, but so what. A man died to give us the chance to live this zealous, odd, blessed life.
Who are we to scoff at such a sacrifice?
Just like in organ donation, there was only one match. Our family and friends, our ideals and hopes, the systems of the world and our own attempts to right our wrongs…no matter how well intentioned…cannot fit the need within us. They simply are not a match, and Christ was.