It seems to me like many of us are in pursuit of “going viral.” Take YouTube videos for instance. Everybody wants a million views. What is that? Where does that desire come from? Is it a form of approval? or popularity? or power?
Or how about “Facebook Likes”? Same thing? Since not many of us will ever make it to “The Voice”, are we using other forms in order to become the next big thing?
I wonder how the craving for the next big thing is impacting us spiritually. Are we trying to create a Christianity that is comprised of jumping from one next big thing to another next big thing? Is that the way the Architect of Christianity designed it?
Whatever happened to the ordinary? Getting up each morning, spending a few moments reading God’s Word without any “Mount of Transfiguration” occurring in your living room. Talking to God in prayer without “being caught up into the third heaven.” Making the kids some breakfast and then caring for them by teaching, directing, disciplining, and enjoying them. Going to work and doing your job well even when it doesn’t result in a promotion or bonus. Participating in the life of your church by being a part of regular Bible studies without scintillating videos or special effects. Going to church on Sunday and ascribing “to the Lord the glory due his name,” without ever asking the question “What big thing is going to happen in church today?"
Viral YouTube videos, Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers, spine-tingling church services; are we so addicted to the next big thing, we find the ordinary boring? What if that’s backwards? What if God intends us to find great joy in the ordinary? Isn't God the God of the ordinary water cycle and the ordinary carbon dioxide-oxygen exchange and the ordinary migration of birds and the ordinary germination of seeds? Isn't he the God of numerous ordinary occurrences that go unnoticed everyday?
Isn't it possible that God wants us to see ordinary Bible reading, ordinary prayer, ordinary worship services and ordinary fellowship with other Christians as the next big thing?
Let's take a break from the serious stuff. Full disclosure: I LOVE watching human beatboxes! The really good ones are something to behold. I came across this one three years ago - and I regularly watch it. Enjoy this father-daughter beatbox duel! Wow!
God wants us to think about the shortness of our lives (Psalm 90:12; James 4:14). He wants us to ponder eternity (1 Pet. 1:3-9). Being a pastor allows me the privilege of staying close to suffering, sickness, and death. Yes, it's a privilege. And without fail, it provides numerous opportunities for reflection. Here are a few regrets I don't want to have on my deathbed.
1. I don’t want to regret the only time I read and studied God’s Word was when I had to teach or preach for the people of the church. I want to be able to say, “I read and studied God’s Word because I wanted to know and love God for Himself.”
2. I don’t want to regret the only time I was diligent in prayer was when I wanted God to do something for me. I want to be able to say, “I spent time in prayer just to praise God for who He is and enjoy communing with Him in prayer."
3. I don’t want to regret not devoting enough time and energy to the spiritual nourishment of my wife. Husbands are called to spiritually minister to their wives (Eph. 5:25-33). I want to be able to say, “I did that to the best of my ability!"
4. I don’t want to regret not discipling my children. Fathers are explicitly told to bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). I want to be able to say, “That was my fatherly commitment!"
5. I don’t want to regret being physically present, but mentally absent when I was with my family. Unwittingly, I would communicate to them they aren’t as important as the topic I’m preoccupied with at that moment. I want to be able to say, “When I was with them, I was really with them!"
6. I don’t want to regret being stingy with money. The gospel screams “Generosity!” (2 Cor. 8:9). I want to be able to say, “Our family gave sacrificially for the good of the church and the glory of God!"
7. I don’t want to regret being a “stick in the mud” with my family. I can be overly serious and way too intense. I want to be able to say, “I worked hard to make sure our family laughed and had fun together.”
What about you? What regrets do you NOT want to have on your deathbed?