Lately, I’m convicted by the ways I amuse myself. Do I spend more of my time immersed in our culture or walking with God by faith?
Amusement is something we take for granted in the United States in the 21st Century. We all watch TV, movies, and videos quite regularly. On the table in our dining room, I have a 1000 piece puzzle that I can spend quite a bit of time on. We spend time on social media and listening to music. Many people wear earbuds all the time, constantly listening to something, podcasts, music, etc. We have something distracting us all the time.
Culture vs. Faith
To muse means to think. When we put the “a” in front of a word, we negate it. Amusement means we don’t think. We’ve created an elaborate maze of ways to amuse ourselves, and we’re so amused, we don’t even realize we’re lost. How long since you were on Facebook? What about your video game console? How long since you burned 5 minutes on your smartphone or had a TV remote in your hand?
I confess my passion for Jesus is sometimes overwhelmed by my own ability to sit and watch TV. I watch sports and movies, mostly. I can watch for hours and not think of God at all when I’m doing it. There’s no reason to. I have a DVR and if I do it right, I can zoom through the commercials, or find something on a premium channel or pay-per-view. There’s no time for God.
When I’m Honest
But I launched Follower of One because I’m disappointed with the ineffectiveness of my own faith. As a follower of Jesus, I’d like my faith to make a bigger difference. I’d like my faith to give me more self-control and patience. I’d like my faith to make me a better employee, boss, friend, brother, father, and husband. When I’m honest, my faith doesn’t make as much of a difference as I would like.
Tune-In To God
We also launched the Marketplace Mission Trips to create a way for people to tune-in to God more and see the miracles God performs in and around us. When we engage with God, we see him work. We experience joy and peace in our faith because we see his tracks and the difference he makes.
But many who take the mission trip admit they get distracted. Our habits and our workplaces and our history create a bigger obstacle for us than we imagined. Our enemy is more stubborn and our challenge is greater than we anticipated. We miss a couple of days, and then we give up altogether. “We tried, but it just didn’t work.” “After all, it wasn’t that impressive for me.” “I was too busy. Too many things got in the way.”
We’ve created the wealthiest culture in the history of the world and now we’re slaves to it. This includes me! I’m so convicted at my own inability to chase hard after Jesus. I have all of him that I want. I’ll get a little more of him tomorrow after this movie is over. And so, culture vs. faith is not only a daily struggle but a moment by moment struggle.
Can we tame our culture and make it serve us again? Or will we spend the rest of our days serving our culture and our habits, only to reach out to Jesus and our faith when the going gets tough? What do you think? Would you venture an answer as to how we can turn this tide in our own lives, one person at a time? I don’t think our culture will change more than one person at a time. What about you? Care to register your thoughts?
Image by: nd3000 for Getty Images Pro