Last night as I was channel surfing I realized that my TV remote pretty much represents the American dream of fully enjoying “the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” which is promised in our Declaration of Independence. It gives me access to an ungodly amount of choices for my comfort and entertainment – more choices than I actually have time to consider, let alone have the capacity to process. It makes my life easy because I don’t have to work really hard to get up and turn a TV knob. I just point, click and viola’ – I’m happy. It also keeps me comfortable as I get to consume what I most want to consume at any time of the day or night. My TV remote represents all the ways I get very happy when God seems to be working on behalf of my comfort (or at least seems to not be working against it), and it represents all the ways I get very tweaked when my access, ease and comfort are taken away from me. I mean, of course God understands the vital importance of my access, my ease, and comfort right?
Consider this – what is your “remote control?” What makes you really happy when God seems to be doing a good job working to make your priorities accessible and easy? And what makes you squirm, maybe even angry, when your priority gets taken away? Maybe it is:
- Your People – The friends and family who honestly provide the greatest source of your happiness in this world.
- Your Stuff – The house, those toys and the stuff God has given you really brings a lot of pleasure into your life.
- Your Control – The western world you get to live in gives you the amazing capacity to tame almost any problem with a little proactive effort, and all those little thinking-ahead efforts provide to you that sense of serenity your treasure so much.
The older I get the more I realize that my priority of comfort is not God’s priority. God’s priority is nothing less than the renewal of all people and all things in His creation. God reminded me of this yesterday. I’ve been engaged in weeks of conversation with a local electrician working on the church building where our church worships. It’s been an amazing conversation about what the Gospel is and is not. Yesterday I saw him and
uber-boldly or uber-rudely asked (it either came from God or it’s just because I’m so raw from a rough ministry week) “So what have you decided about the Gospel?” He simply said, “Oh I’m in! I just think I needed some time to think about it, but it all makes sense . . . yeah.” So I went a little further just to make sure I understood him. I said, “Okay so the bible says ‘if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth Jesus Christ is Lord – you will be saved.’ Is that what you are saying?” His simple answer was “Yes!”
The priorities of my life are often all about my comfort, but God’s priority can be summed up in the smile on the electrician’s face when he told me, “I’m in!”