The Discovery Channel produced a show called The Colony. The show places a group of volunteers into a simulated post-apocalypse. The group is tasked with survival, and given limited supplies. They must work together, using their unique talents and personalities, to build a colony, and survive the initial phase of the apocalypse.
I am currently watching the first season. I love it! I saw the commercials a few years ago and figured I’d hate it. I must admit, it appeals to me on a deep level. The first season volunteers are given a vast warehouse full of random trash one might find in an old abandoned warehouse. It is so manly. The idea of creating something from nothing, using your brain and your hands to wrestle order from chaos, speaks to the primal beast lurking beneath this soggy epidermis.
The volunteers are given a number of challenges to overcome. One involves “marauders.” These are random humans assigned to steal supplies from the colony, attack them as they gather water, and other post-apocalyptic, leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving, Mel Gibson-inspired mayhem. (Seriously, at the end of the world, why does everyone wear leather and ride motorcycles?)
In one scene, while the colonists are gathering water, a group of missionaries appears in the distance. The colonists, having been tortured for a month, are naturally cautious and suspicious. The missionaries approach and ask for supplies. One colonist offers his own jug of previously purified water, and a utility knife. As the missionaries leave, one of the older female missionaries gives the generous colonist a small can of cocktail weenies. While I know this is all part of the production, and I know it’s set up, the genuine human reaction by the colonists is not faked. This has become their reality, and surrendering that water was huge. That gallon of purified water represented significant physical effort. The old woman giving back food was an equally large gesture.
When I watch shows like this, I get very animated. I speak loudly to the television. I relate more with the wild men who wield homemade weapons, and scream and yell at the other idiots who have soft hearts. I say to my girlfriend, “I would take that spike, drive it through that guy’s skull, and steal his motorcycle.” Scary thing is, I mean it. I know in situations where resources are limited, I’m out for blood. (Was I deprived as a Child?)
Later, back at the compound, random strangers approach the colony and beg for supplies. The weapon wielding men tell them to leave, and refuse to offer assistance. All the beggars ask for is water. The one man at the river, who had given his own water to the missionaries, runs back to his room, grabs that same can of cocktail weenies he received from the old lady, and a jug of water. The two men, who fancy themselves in charge, the ones I always side with, tell him he can’t give out the supplies. The colonists vote, and they vote to give the beggars the supplies.
The one colonist, who chose to give away his stuff, is the only one who has expressed a faith. His faith in God guided him to give away his supplies. He said, “Perhaps this is exactly where God wants me to be. Being here, and doing this, is what He wants for me.”
I hate how selfish I am. I know I am selfish to my core. My first thought is always of myself. How can I benefit? How can I excel? How can I write a better post than anyone else? How can I get the most comments? I know, in the apocalypse, who I would become. This is not Christ. This is not Jesus.
Sometimes it is hard to find the line. Sometimes the balance seems too difficult to maintain. Jesus walked the edge, redefining it, and He was killed for it. I wonder if I am willing to die for all this. Would I, like Peter, deny Him for my own survival? Would I choose to live to fight another day, secretly knowing I was just living for another day, and not for the fight? There is a song lyric from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Impression That I Get, that sums this feeling up:
I’m not a coward,
I’ve just never been tested
I’d like to think that if I was,
I would pass
Look at the tested and think
there but for the grace go I
I might be a coward,
I’m afraid of what I might find out
Would I stand with weapon in hand, and refuse to give a drink to the thirsty? Would I hoard what God has blessed me with, and turn away the beggar? Sadly I know I would. I know, as a fallen sinner, this is who I am. What I also know, is that the Jesus alive in me, is the same Jesus that walked the streets of Jerusalem. The man – the God – who destroyed death, is infused with the same spirit that beats in my heart and whispers victory into my jaded ear.
He wont leave us here, as the fallen creatures we chose so long ago to become. He calls us to Him, and encourages us to be better.
I hope I can. Can you?