Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lucy: A story about limits

The serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God." 
- Genesis 3:4-5a (NASB) 


Last weekend I went to see the movie Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. The trailers had intrigued me for several months, and so I was really looking forward to it.

Let's just say, it was weird. The plot involved a young woman (Lucy) who was subjected to a powerful hormone drug in massive quantities, with the result that her brain chemistry was radically changed. Whereas the normal human being only uses about 10% of our brain capacity, her usage began to increase exponentially. She became more powerful, began controlling the environment around her, was able to learn Chinese in about an hour, and began to spiral out of control.

Parallel to Lucy's story, we see Professor Norman (Freeman's character) delivering a lecture about the brain's power. When asked what would happen if a person reached 100%, he replied, "I have no idea."

Of course, that's where Lucy was heading, and she was going to be get there in less than 24 hours. So she found Norman and got his help to upload her brain's knowledge to some monstrous supercomputer. When her brain hit 100% capacity, three things happened: 1) She disappeared. 2) The data from her brain was contained in a large flash drive [yeah...I know], and 3) a cell phone received a text message from her saying, "I am everywhere."

I'm not positive, but I believe that the implication was that she had essentially become the equivalent of God.

So we come back to the Scripture quote at the top of this page. The movie was clearly trying to draw a line of history starting with the dawn of man (a primate that evolutionary scientists have nicknamed "Lucy") and ending with exponential growth that finally brought man to the level of God. In other words, the very thing with which the serpent tempted the first man and woman.

According to the Genesis account and the rest of the Bible, the very essence of sin is the desire to be our own god. We don't want anyone, including our Creator, running our lives. And so the temptation of the fruit was, You will be like God. It has been the aspiration of humans from the beginning. And this movie painted a (weird) picture expressing the concept that if we ever could reach our full potential....bang! There it is. We're God.

People were created in God's image, but not to raise ourselves up to claim his throne. We were created to reflect his image on the earth and send praise back up to him as a part of his creation. When we decide to try to be more than that, we go down the same dangerous path as Lucy. Thanks be to God for the gift of his Son, and the grace that he brought to us through his death and resurrection. In him, we can be restored to our original purpose, reflecting his glory instead of our own.

Forever. And that's a lot better than uploading myself to a computer.

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