What’s Wrong with Instant?
I hate waiting, even when I’m not on any schedule or timetable. Yesterday, I found myself in such a situation. There I was getting uptight with other drivers who weren’t paying attention to traffic, lights, or both on a simple trip across town. When I get focused on a task, mission, or destination I’m ready to jump in, get there, and make it happen now. I like the idea of quick and instant, what about you?
We live in a world of manufactured instants that promises immediate pleasure. Because of this, we find ourselves often wanting everything to happen instantly. Our world agrees and so the wide range of instant developmentÂ is ongoing. There are many things that are instant but the ones that come to my mind are the instant foods of rice, oatmeal, coffee, and tea.
Comedian, Yakow Smirnoff, tells that when he first came to the United States from Russia he was not prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in the American grocery stores. He says, ”On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk, you just add water, and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice, you just add water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to myself, ”What a country!”’ Smirnoff was, of course joking, but don’t we all seek the pleasures of wanting an instant life of goodness? Maybe it is time to reconsider instant, as it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
As I look over the instant items I listed, I noticed one thing immediately about all. If you compare them to the regular, more traditional, or natural order they simply don’t measure up. When you look at instant, especially foods, most everyone will agree that real oranges, tea, coffee, and oatmeal simply have a better flavor than their instant counterparts. As you examine other instants you will also realize that in many things the instant isn’t always better. This is especially true when we are determining how to spend our time to create a richer more fulfilling life, as instant doesn’t fit the equation.
Our instant world with a just add water mentality has no place when we look at Christian development and relationship. Salvation is immediate upon belief, but the transformative life is like a fine tea. Steeping properly is a must as you wait upon the full flavor to unfold. This requires you to put your relationship with God first, making it more important than any worldly pursuits.
Too often, we arrive at church once a week hoping for the powdered instant version of transformation and then wonder why we feel unconnected during the week. An instant relationship with Christ simply doesn’t exist as Christians form slowly and over time. Therefore, our time must be spent on the lasting things of eternity and not so much on the instant pleasures of the world. Jesus often reminds us in the scriptures that the world is only temporary. Spending our time pursuing and or developing our faith along with placing our focus on the disciplines of God will reap a satisfied, full-bodied, and secure-filled life both on earth and into eternity.
And what do you gain if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Mark 8:36(NLT)
Having It All
A pleasurable earthy life can usually be obtained by working hard, but if that is your only goal, the life you earn is hollow, empty, and still unsatisfactory. This sometimes leads you to work harder. Yet, even though you may surround yourself with worldly riches, you still find yourself unhappy. By committing though, to follow Christ and focusing your life on the pursuit of God more than the selfish pleasures of earth, you can have it all.
When you use your life and resources to carry out His desires rather than your own, you will gain a life that is fullÂ and satisfied. A life filled with the pursuit of Christ doesn’t mean you can’t have the nice things of the world too. It just means that these things aren’t first in your life or more important than your relationship with your Creator.
So, challenge yourself to live fully for Christ, realizing that the building of this relationship and all that He stands for leads to a full and satisfied life. Let your convictions secure the rewards of eternity that matter, knowing fully that the rewards of the world are not lasting. Find your motivation in the knowledge that you live in a temporary world, but that the rewards of eternity are in your future. Surround yourself in the comfort of instant salvation but know that from this develops and builds a strong security of real rewards that are accessible both on earth and in the world to come.
Love in Christ,
As we get past our superficial material wants and instant gratification we connect to a deeper part of ourselves, as well as to others, and the universe.
What are Your Thoughts?
How do you feel about the instant world you live in? Have you considered how some things are just better pursued at a slow rate? Share your thoughts on the importance of recognizing and pursuing a full relationship with the Creator for both the rewards of life on earth and into eternity.