Saturday, July 21, 2018

Planet Hugs

Photo by Edwin Soo 2012
A dream I had recently whisked me away to the fantasy destination of Planet Hugs. In this dream, I was on a sightseeing trip, walking through a large city, when off in the distance a large, globe-shaped structure seemed to be beckoning to me. It looked like an interesting place to visit, and what would be the harm in wandering in?

But once I was in the lobby, the imposing steel gates locked behind me. A polite but stern guard informed me that I should have read the sign posted on the door. The building was not open for tours, but only for filming of a reality TV show, and by entering I had in effect agreed to a contract to participate. Funny that I hadn’t seen any such sign, but being in the show sounded intriguing and might even make me rich and famous, I convinced myself.

“Planet Hugs,” hosted by Tim Gunn, appeared to be a cross between Project Runway and the Apprentice. We were assigned to teams, each with the mission to design, complete, and market a creative project. A woman on my team suggested a project of questionable taste that was not at all appealing to me, but Tim liked it, and he asked me to write up the proposal. I hesitantly agreed, wanting to be a team player and not wanting to be the first one fired, but disliking the project and not wanting to be associated with the woman’s ideas.

The woman immediately responded by ranting and raving, accusing me of stealing her plan and screaming nasty names at me, with others soon joining in the tirade. Tim suggested that the team cool down by taking off the rest of the evening and exploring Planet Hugs.

Although disturbed by the unsavory project and wounded by my team’s rejection of me, I was quickly distracted by all that Planet Hugs had to offer. The panoramic view of the surrounding city was breathtaking, as the entire top half of the globe was glass, supported only by thin ribs of steel. Brilliantly lit skyscrapers flashed like light sabers, and streets and rivers crisscrossed below in an electrifying array.

But the truly unique feature of Planet Hugs was the “floor.”  One could hardly call it that, as underfoot was a shifting sea of what felt like massage heads suspended in memory foam! After all the walking and emotional turmoil of this unusual adventure, it felt wonderful to lie down, to let my knotted muscles relax into that foam and feel the tension drift away.

At least initially. To my dismay, the gentle motion of the memory foam beneath me swelled in intensity until I was completely enveloped in smothering waves that covered even my head, suffocating me in what felt like a giant vat of dough being mechanically kneaded.

I awoke and sat up in a panic, but the sensations of air freely filling my lungs and the floor beside my bed firmly supporting my feet were a great relief. As I thought about the dream, I realized how easy and dangerous it is to be enticed by what the world seems to offer.

Seldom are there signs warning us to keep out, and if we get enticed by what lies within, the signs may be easy to ignore (Proverbs 1:10-19). The very name of Planet Hugs was a lie from Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44), as the pretense of kindly affection and bodily comfort was merely a disguise for verbal and physical attack.

Since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), Satan has used three lures to draw us into sin and away from God’s plan: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Planet Hugs seemed to offer a view out of this world, the constant availability of soothing massage, and the opportunity for fame and fortune, but all it delivered was strife, fear, and ultimately death (Romans 6:23).

We must therefore guard our feet against taking us into wicked places (Psalm 1:1), our minds against conforming to the world (Romans 12:2), and our hearts against any idol that would keep us from Him (Psalm 119:11; 141:4). We must be vigilant to avoid the devil’s attacks (1 Peter 5:8) by putting on the whole armor of God and recognizing that the battle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:11-18).

If we are double-minded, trying to please and follow the world and God at the same time, we will be unstable in all our ways, tossed about in the churning waves of doubt and unbelief (James 1:6-8; Genesis 49:4). There is no stability in building our lives on the world’s promises, which are sinking sand leading only to destruction (Luke 6:48-49). Instead we must build our lives on the only sure foundation (Psalm 87:1), Jesus Christ Who is the Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4) and the precious Corner Stone (Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6-7).

Believers stand firmly on His promise of Heaven through faith in His death, burial and resurrection as the only Way (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6), but even we must be careful to build wisely, and not foolishly, on that foundation. What we do to increase our standing in or acceptance by the world will burn up at His judgment like hay, wood, and stubble, but whatever we do to His glory with the desire to please Him and serve others will remain, like gold, silver and precious jewels withstanding the refiner’s fire (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

We don’t need hugs from the world if we are firmly held in the loving, secure, double grip of Jesus Christ and God the Father! (John 10:28-29) May we keep on the right path (Psalm 119:105) leading to His perfect will for our lives!

© 2013 Laurie Collett
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Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
That looks to be quite a scary dream you had there! Perhaps that globe-like structure is a giant version of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil - only that the "fruit" is so big that it swallowed you instead.
As for things of this world, both Alex and I were watching a TV documentary about the Jurassic Coast here in the UK. Talking about knowledge, I felt my heart sink as the presenters constantly spoke of Evolution as an established fact. Three whole hours of air time without a single mention of God, Creation or the Deluge. Little wonder the serpent knew what he was doing!
An excellent post, God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
I like your symbolism of the globe representing a giant version of the forbidden fruit that ended up swallowing me!
I empathize with your frustration over the documentary. So much of public television and all media is anti-God, touting evolution as irrefutable fact. We had a similar experience many years ago when visiting Galapagos Islands and listening to the otherwise well-educated guides, naturalists and visitors ranting on about evolution and how the wildlife there "proved" Darwin's theory. To us, the wildlife was a glorious example of the variety of God's creation and the natural laws He put in place to govern and protect it. We witnessed about this whenever possible, although we were clearly outnumbered and scorned for our "naive" beliefs.
Thanks as always for sharing your insights, and God bless,

Donald Fishgrab said...

Great post, Laurie.

How easily we fall for the wonderful promises and ignore the warnings about what the world offers.

Susan said...

Wow, great imagery! I love the conclusions you draw from the dream. This world can be so sneaky and offers slick sales pitches with warnings that are “implied”and otherwise invisible and non-negotiable contracts that seems good until you find out it isn’t. I love the idea of the memory foam massaging your feet, and then falling asleep on it to find it engulfing and suffocating you. That reminds me of the “frog in the kettle” analogy. He was slowly cooked because he was lulled into a false sense of security by the danger sneaking up so gradually and imperceptibly that the alarms didn’t go off for the frog, but fortunately the Lord rescued you from that comfortable trap! The straight and narrow road might be uncomfortable, rough, and rocky and not made of massaging memory foam but it leads to paradise and eternity with our Saviour ❤️👍🏼

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald! Satan is working overtime to lure us in with what the world has to offer, while attempting to deceive us about the consequences.
God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Susan! I love your analogy to the frog in the kettle gradually heated to boiling. God blessed each of us with a conscience, but if we quench or grieve the Spirit, our heart can become seared and we may ignore the still, small voice of God, at our own peril.
Love in Christ,