The Zombie’s Fate
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6
I don’t enjoy horror movies, but still, I’ve seen enough zombie movies to understand the genre. In most zombie films, there’s usually some contagion that turns nice, normal people into mindless, brain-eating monsters who don’t care about anything except satiating their own appetites. In a state of living death, these creatures simply stumble through their pitiful existence, seeking to fulfill their hunger.
I doubt that zombie mythology existed in Paul’s time, but it’s always struck me how much his description of the flesh life had in common with movie zombies. In my drug addiction, I lived simply to fulfill my constant hunger for the drug. Eventually abandoning all else, I spent a tremendous amount of time and effort seeking, obtaining, hiding, and consuming my pills. The main difference is that I eventually became aware of my living death.
Many of us though, have existed in this state without even realizing it. We go through life thinking that it’s just normal to live for our own desires and appetites. We believe in God and we go to church, but our daily behavior reveals that we’re just stumbling through life living for money, food, sex, status, toys, or popularity. Those things aren’t all necessarily bad in and of themselves, but as appetites of our flesh, they cannot produce true joy or the life for which we were made.
Often though, we just don’t know any different because we’ve never experienced authentic life. The addict has often never really experienced the joy of true recovery, so, when he’s miserable, he doesn’t do whatever it takes to get sober, buy rather returns to the comfortable despair that he knows.
Paul said that life and peace is waiting for us. To find it though, we must consciously live for it. We cannot know the joy of recovery while using drugs and we cannot experience the peace of God while living for our own appetite. The zombie’s fate is sealed. Ours, however, is not. If we truly want to know faith, life, and recovery, we can do what it takes to set our mind, not on the flesh-life, but rather, on the Spirit-life, making our feet follow. The choice is ours. We can stumble on in a state of living death, or we can enjoy the blessed, authentic life for which we were made.