I sometimes feel like crying during church. I think this is because, deep down, I realize that everything I do, everything I look forward to, is meaningless unless I do it for God. When I look at my life from that perspective, I see every little earthly joy in my life as silly because all my earthly joys are sought after feverishly, as if my well-being depends on it.
Yes, joy makes me feel mentally healthy and sound, but it is not everything, it’s not all I need. In comparison with God’s joy, every little excitement – whether it’s a movie or frozen yogurt – seems silly (and these are things that usually make me EXTREMELY excited, like crazy excited).
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have fun but it’s the way we view fun that matters. To me, fun is sometimes my fuel for life, my motivation for moving forward. I have become so dependent on it, that once I get a thought in my head like, “oh I’m gunna watch The Office once I finish such and such,” then it’s really hard to not watch The Office. This “need” to watch The Office is a need created only by expectation. If that thought had never entered my head, I would never know the difference.
One of the reasons I think fun and the expectation thereof shouldn’t be my fuel for life is that I get extremely disappointed when my expectations aren’t fulfilled – more disappointed than would make sense for such relatively small excitements.
To me, these aren’t small excitements, however. They are huge and I find myself feeling empty when plans change and expectations aren’t fulfilled. Relying on God for fulfillment, on the other hand, will never leave me feeling empty.
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.1 Timothy 6:17
I think I was crying during church today because I was afraid to let go of my deep love of earthly excitements. Every time I envisioned what it would be like to let go, my life didn’t seem half as exciting and I felt an extreme sorrow. I couldn’t handle the fact that 90-100% of my excitement should be invested in something I could not see. I became afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find excitement in the unseen, in that which requires more than anticipation – it requires FAITH.
To illustrate this seen vs. unseen concept, I will tell you about my graduation from college. My anticipation of graduation day was much more about the fun it warranted than the accomplishment it symbolized. Yeah, it’s a reason to have fun, but what about the fact that it actually means something? Don’t get me wrong, I was impressed at how far I’d come, but I wonder…..would it have meant anything to me if I hadn’t gotten to gorge on food and laugh hysterically with my friends and family?
Hmm, why do I feel so elated every time I write something I think is good? Is that an excitement I should depend upon as a motivation to keep on living? No, not even that. I mean, it’s better than living for chocolate, but even writing and other hobbies shouldn’t be the main reason we decide to face another day.
Other people might ask, “Why would you do this? Why would you give up fun or at least an attitude of extreme enjoyment towards fun?” Well the answer is simple: Humans cannot feel a genuine need for God until they view life this way. And after you view fun by itself as a silly reason to keep on living everyday life, you gain a whole different kind of “fun.” This type of fun sometimes looks the same from the outside (i.e. ice cream), and sometimes it looks different (i.e. worship). What sets this new type of “fun” apart is that it doesn’t seem meaningless.
Not even ice cream seems silly anymore. The reason I counted it as silly at church was because I realized my attitude toward it was one of ridiculously extreme dependence.