Today I was listening to WDLM and Joni Erickson-Tada was speaking about when she was young and would hear popular songs on the radio and how she just loved hearing them and couldn’t wait till the DJ might play her favorite again. Anyway, fast forward to today; now she can get all those on her iPhone and listen to them whenever she wants, but has found that now she is bored with them: Instant gratification is not all it is chalked up to be was her conclusion and it makes her sad.
What she had to say made me think. We know that the whole world is bent towards instant gratification in all they do anymore: fast food, fast service, overnight express, instant download, etc. Can we see where that has gotten the world? It has led to what many think as good, but I feel that it has led to an awful lot of bad – especially when someone wants something and can’t get it right away and so they take it, or force someone to do it, or get so depressed when they can’t have it now that their worlds are turned upside down.
I have said all this to say I think the problem is not just in the world, but also in the church. Many people today, once they get saved, feel like all the problems of the world should just fade away immediately or at least within a few weeks. If they don’t see a change they get depressed, downcast, feel like God is letting them down or maybe they are not good enough for Him so they walk away. I speak from experience here; maybe not exactly as stated above, but close enough that I thought just being saved should bring me close to God, should be enough to sustain me, make me happy and throughout my lifetime these thoughts led me in many different directions, but not where I needed to be.
I was saved when I was 19 and now here I am in my 60th year of life and have just figured out in the past couple years that a relationship with Christ is NOT instantaneous – it takes work, study, prayer, service. Being saved might not take this – we are accepted just as we are by Christ and in all those years of being confused God still loved me and still wanted a relationship with me, but I was not ready to give him all of me to fuse that relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I have read, I have prayed, I have worked within the church for years and I have felt close to him off and on, but never given my all towards this relationship.
I’m tired of an instant gratification walk with Christ – I am ready for a founded, grounded, well-worn walk with Him. I am on my way towards that and I hope that along this journey I can influence others to want the same. Get into His Word and know Him, talk to Him, work with Him on you and on your relationship with Him, serve Him and your church (you get more out of this than you know) and remember He is there waiting – has never left and never will.
These thoughts reminded me of Pastor’s talk the other day on the seeds in Matthew 13: 3-9:
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
I want the seeds to fall on good soil, germinate and grow tall, strong, useful… Thanks for not giving up on me God!