Friday, May 24 2024 - 11:40 AM
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Shallow Living

Sometimes I wonder how much more shallow our culture can become before it disintegrates. Jesus said in Matthew that we should not worry about stuff like what we’ll eat, drink or wear. He mentions these three things more than once. I read this and then flip back to the world I live here in the good old USA and I cannot help but notice that all of business and life seems to focus on these three things. It’s either what you need to eat, what you should be drinking, or what you (or your house, car, kids, spouse, yada, yada, yada) should be wearing. Am I the only one noticing this? Really, is there more to life than deciding what tastes and looks best?

Don’t Worry

Jesus said don’t worry about this stuff. I’m sure he was speaking to people who didn’t have much and were worried about whether or not they’d eat and if and when they’d get the clothes needed to keep warm. Still I think this is even more essential advice for those who live with shallow decadence. Our culture has morphed completely away from what we need to what we want. If the need line is at the bottom, I guarantee you we all live many, many, maaaannnny layers above that in the want zone.

Think about it, what was your last crisis? Have you wondered if you’ll eat tonight or at all over the next few weeks? Do you wonder if you’ll have a roof over your head? No, you’re worried about not having something appropriate to wear to a party, or wherever, or when to get that new cell phone, table, T.V., or riding lawn mower. It’s about options now. What we want vs. what we don’t want.

Beyond Basic Needs

What’s so twisted about all this is the fact that what we’re supposed to be living for keeps getting eclipsed by our seeking those things that Jesus said not to worry about. We have a million options for food and clothing and this seems to have captured most of our imagination. Jesus actually taught that there was a whole life to live beyond all these basic needs and that the Father’s great care for us meant we could keep our focus off the daily stuff and on the big picture. But instead, it seems we’re pretty happy focusing on outfitting our lives.

I think it’s a cop out. I think getting busy with all these shallow, mundane necessities of life and celebrating them, obsessing about them, saving for them, and all that, is just one more way to never get deep into our personal journey of self-discovery and service. It’s like we think we can make the basic stuff that is supposed to support the grander purposes of life, into the grander purposes of life. And why? Is it easier?

The Greatest We Can Give

I believe in each of our lives there is a grand theme to be played out that calls for the very best and greatest we can give. It may scare us to death, but it will be refreshing and will sometimes challenge us beyond our comprehension. Yet it is the path; the mission that we sense needs to be accomplished—something light-years ahead of whether or not we want take-out for dinner tonight. It’s what we call destiny.

Our challenge is to not get sucked into the shallow, temporary stuff that is passing away. To not make our lives about the trappings of life, but about our Divine mission and purpose. Anything less, and we’re settling for being sub-human. Anything less than that, and we’re selling out.

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Clarissa Worley Sproul writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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About Claire Worley

Claire Worley

writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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