It is easy to dream about what life would be without limits. The older boys and I watched a movie last night about a man who found a drug to open the limitations of his mind so he would be Limitless. I’ve been pondering the possibilities of this for months, since the movie trailer came out. I was curious to see where it would go. What would it be like to have no limits on how we used our brains? What could we accomplish? Wouldn’t it be a great thing?
Hissssssss . . . I hear the snake. You can be like God! Although that’s what he’s saying, I know that what he means is that I can be God!
Of course imagining life without limits is nothing new. Although the movie applies this freedom to intelligence, we’ve been imagining the limitless life for as long as we’ve faced limits. Lamech boasted to his ancient peoples of the vengeance that would be visited upon anyone who harmed him. Hercules, possessing god-like strength, defied the Greek gods and attained a place on Olympus for himself. Superman walked around Metropolis as Clark Kent by day and as the hero by night.
The problem with our imaginations of limitlessness is that we dream of limitlessness with virtue. Even when Eddie Morra makes a stupid choice to take an unknown pill, to enlist the financial aid of a bookie, to lie, steal, kill to maintain his power, we are convinced it is out of necessity. But we are corrupt. We are from birth battling sin natures fully capable of the most heinous evils ever perpetuated. A limitless life in virtue would be a grand thing indeed, but what would it be like if Nero, Hitler, Saddam Hussein had been without limits? And how quickly would our baser, idolatrous, sinful natures take over were we given abilities without limits?
“Then the LORD God said, "Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!" Genesis 3:22 (NLT)
We view limits as a curse—as something holding us back from all we can be. Is it actually a blessing not to live in sin without limitations?