Weekly Thought – July 13, 2021
Fred and Mary Alice loved their time in the mountains of North Carolina. They also enjoyed the years they had a condo on Mustang Island in South Texas. In typical Fred fashion, he analyzed what he learned after a visit to the beach one Spring.
Lessons From The Beach
I was on Mustang Island during Spring Break a few years ago. Have you ever been sober among drunks – old among the young – an outsider among the insiders? If so, then you know exactly how I felt.
It seemed the kids wanted three things:
1) Fun. It must have always been somewhere else because they were always frantically looking for it. Their laughter was hollow. They were loud, profane, and destructive. Early each morning the entire area was littered with trash. And fun was not only a phantom – it was expensive. They appeared to revel in one-upsmanship. After awhile I got the feeling parents had actually funded this adventure just to get them out of the house. And I couldn’t blame them – spring break was totally hedonistic.
2) Irresponsibility. Three words describe their state: drunk, nude, and drugged. It appeared acceptable for a guy to walk around without clothing, but it was mandatory to have a beer can in his hand to be considered well-dressed. Urging young women to “get naked” was the theme. I don’t have enough experience with drugs to speak authoritatively, but many of them seemed what I think is called “spaced out.”
3) Anonymity. They maintained their anonymity by staying en masse. By traveling with the group (especially the in group) they blend in and feel a part of the action. Bad decisions are easily made in such an environment – decisions which leave lifelong scars and permanent consequences. Yet I thought about how many adults strive and fight very hard to be in with the group. Being totally in results in total anonymity. Our unique identification is lost.
I asked one of the young women who seemed to be rather thoughtful and interested in conversation how she felt after the binge. “It isn’t as good as I expected and I guess I feel frustrated.” So often we all have the anticipation without the satisfaction. We think the party will be great, but it isn’t; we try for the big title and the big money but then we feel hollow. Without a spiritual base too much of life is that – anticipation without satisfaction. Scripture calls it “clouds without rain.”
A theologian friend of mine told me “Fred, sin is like the midway at the State Fair — the ride is short and the price is high.” The danger of these weeks is not so much the four day binge, but the danger that people think sin is an appetite that can be satiated. For some of my friends it is greed for power, money, or material possessions. It is a consuming fire which does not know “enough.”
This week think about: 1) How am I still bringing a spring break mentality into my adult life? 2) What changes do I need to make in my priorities? 3) Who is being impacted by my goals?
Words of Wisdom: “Without a spiritual base too much of life is that – anticipation without satisfaction.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I realized that wisdom is preferable to folly, just as light is preferable to darkness.” (Ecclesiastes 2:13 NET Bible)