Weekly Thought – January 9, 2024
Fred thought. One of his friends commented yesterday that thinking was not a hobby, but a way of life for him. In his last years he spent hours undergoing dialysis. During these sessions each week he took ideas, chased them down, and then distilled them into “material” for his Saturday home meetings known as “Fred in the Bed.” He observed current culture, measured it against bedrock principles and then shared with others.
The Good Life
“Living the good life” means being winners, feeling good, experiencing a non-stop high. Looking like TV commercials is the desired effect. When we get down it merely means we are in the “before” portion, but the “after” is on the way. Sitcoms and commercials solve problems in lightning speed making any problems look like a mere moment. The truth is: the offered solution may actually just be another layer of an essential problem.
Consciousness altering substances promise instantaneous relief. Real life doesn’t work that way; nature cannot transform us that quickly. Process is serialized, not one episode. This way of thinking leads too many to seeking spiritual highs and quick fixes. Spiritual transformation isn’t overnight. “Living on the mountaintop” thinking leads to immature, incomplete spiritual development. Theologians call the lifelong change sanctification. Positive change in blinding speed with nonstop happiness is contrary to human experience.
The always winning philosophy fails because it is unreal and requires artificial, synthetic, inauthentic dependence leading to addiction. The sudden high cannot endure.
The core hurts and pains are surrounded by a periphery. In the beginning we can find temporary answers, but the essential problem isn’t touched. The problem continues to grow until one day the pain consumes the entire core and the effort to find a temporary fix is impossible. Friends of mine have chosen destructive behavior, irrational decisions, and even suicide as the way to avoid facing the full impact of festered pain. Great men have sacrificed self-respect in their effort to run away from deep hurt.
What is the answer? The rejuvenation of the Holy Spirit. Nothing satisfies like the washing and changing through the Spirit. The power of regeneration allows us to translate head knowledge into living experience. There is risk in reformation – it cannot be experienced on a trial basis. The Christian life is a total risk. But the good life through faith is truly the only genuine way to enduring satisfaction. All other efforts and substitutions have a short shelf life. They may work for a season, but ultimately fizzle and fail.
This week think about: 1) When do I trade long term growth for a temporary win? 2) How can I model maturity in my work, family, church? 3) Who mentors me in choosing to play the long game?
Words of Wisdom: “Great men have sacrificed self-respect in their effort to run away from deep hurt.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness.” (Colossians 1:11 NET Bible)