October 23, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
45°F

Fully-alive Living: Before & After You Say “One Day”

Unlimited bacon.

That’s not a typo, according to a website describing “The Bacon Chase.” Chicago is hosting this 5k run in June, promising all the bacon you can eat for a $35 entrance fee. They’ll even give you bacon bits to snack on as you run.

Then again, there’s another option.

The same event is offering a “Blitz to Bacon” – which only requires $20 to walk 164 feet to the same endless supply of bacon.

Can you imagine if you signed up to run, not knowing about the walk to bacon? You suddenly notice a bunch of lazy-looking people walking over to eat you reward.

“Hey… what are those guys doing?”

“They’re going to eat all our bacon.”

“We’d better get hoofin’”

Doesn’t this sum up the incredible amount of short-cuts to a perceived payoff in our world?

Inherent in our culture is the mantra, “Your payoff is just around the corner… just wiggle things your way… claim what you feel is rightfully yours.”

It’s the ethos of the mail I received from lawyers soliciting me after I was rear-ended last month and the accident became public record. It’s the motive for some people to have a quick affair rather than continue to work on their marriage.

After all, why run a “5k” when you can walk “164 feet?”

Think about what that represents in your life.

Perhaps a short cut sounds good because you’re worn down somehow. I know that feeling and the accompanying temptation to make blurry decisions that we’re convinced are clear.

We think, “One day… life will be all better. What’s the shortcut to get to that feeling today?”

Ephesians 5:12-16 illuminates, “It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light!”

That may be difficult to do, especially if you think God owes you something.

Consider where you get your cue on how your life is supposed to be. Did someone you met or something you saw make you drool for a life that hasn’t happened yet? It’s as if you’re waiting to “win the lottery” in some area of your life.

We all wrestle with hopes and dreams – some that haven’t happened, and others that have only partially happened. Life can quickly become a game of “When.” Maybe you’ve played it, or had others play it with you:

  • “When are you going to graduate?  Then you’ll be an adult.”
  • “When are you going to find someone to date?  Then you’ll be happy.”
  • “When are you going to get married?  Then life will be better.”
  • “When are you going to have kids?  Then you’ll understand.”
  • “When are you going to have grandkids?  Then you’ll really enjoy life.”

This goes on all throughout our lives. You think all that’s left is for someone to ask, “When are you going to die?” (A bit crass, but I think you get the point.)

The challenge is that many of our lives don’t end up with a stereotypical happy ending. We keep waiting for God to tie a bow on everything, growing all the more resentful each minute it hasn’t yet happened.

It’s okay to want our suffering to cease. What we forget is that life doesn’t owe us answers or resolution. Even Jesus forewarned that “in this world you will have trouble.”

So how do I end this article? What is the takeaway that you’re supposed to grab onto?

I have no quick, fortune-cookie answer for you. That would actually contradict what I’ve been pointing out all along.

Instead I would point you back to your life and ask, “In what ways are you asleep and trying to appease your fatigue with short-cuts that are actually dead-ends?”

I’d even challenge, “How have you turned your prayer life into prostitution, avoiding real intimacy with God so you can fake affection and hope He pays you off somehow?”

Yeah, I said that. Dare you ask it?

Not everything you don’t understand today will make sense tomorrow. Some things will only make sense in the depth and largeness of heaven.

In the meantime, who/what are you missing out on that’s right in front of you because of who/what you hope happens “one day?”

God doesn’t owe you anything, and yet has offered you everything. Might it be time to take Him up on His offer for something real and genuine in a fake and deceptive world?

If you need help finding your way, drop me a quick note or join us this weekend at ConnectionChurch. We won’t have bacon on-hand, but we will run the race of life with you.

Until then, see you next week… if not around town.

 

Tony Myles

Tony Myles

“Fully-Alive Living” offers weekly insights to serve you in taking another step forward in matters of the heart, soul, mind, body, and relationships. With over 20 years of experience and advanced education in working with people of all ages, Tony Myles and his family live in Medina where he serves as the Lead Pastor of Connection Church.

Blog: tonymyles.blogspot.com

Twitter: @tonymyles

Contact email: tony@connectionchurch.org