A quick Google search of the word “Occupy” reveals that Webster’s definition of this word has been enhanced. A word that once simply meant, “To take or fill up (space, time, etc.)” has taken on a unique global meaning. NPR’s Geoff Nunberg has even chosen this term as 2011’s Word of the Year.
What was once a simple phrase has come to mean something new. “Occupy” now brings visions of protest, disappointment, outrage, and deeply and desperately desired change. Those occupying various areas around our world have been moved to action, unwilling to sit around and just observe the thing they feel must be changed for the better. When one “occupies” something, they have given themselves over to a cause, regardless of how they are misunderstood, disrespected, or mistreated. They won’t give up because the price of calling it quits is far higher than the price they are paying by continuing to occupy.
Regardless of where the politics of our society have taken this effort, I believe the basic and original intent of those on New York’s Wall Street, Cairo's Tahrir Square, London’s Victoria Park, and Dublin’s Dame Street (just to name a few) has been to decry an injustice and right a terrible wrong.
I believe this was the original intent of God – to occupy us. “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)
After sin entered this world, a plan was laid to send His Son to occupy His creation in a new way. I believe Jesus came into our world to decry the injustice of His children allowing themselves to be destroyed by selfishness and pride and to right the terrible wrong of our separation from our Heavenly Father. I believe it is Jesus’ deepest desire to change our lives for the better. Rather than simply observe the self-inflicted decline of humanity, He shook our world with a protest of the status quo. Outraged that the children whom He loved so deeply would allow themselves to be degraded and scarred with sin, He was moved to action. Our Savior’s birth in a manger is no small thing; it is an occupation of the most desperate degree. The price of leaving the perfection of heaven for the battles of earth, and eventually the ultimate cost of the cross, was considered a far less price to pay than to lose even one precious soul.
What/Whom God “occupies” can’t help but be changed (“And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart . . . “ Ezekiel 11:19), and this occupation is available to all (“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God . . . “ John 1:12)
Though there are many times I try to clear Him out, my heart’s desire is to allow Jesus to completely and fully Occupy me.