Life would be so much easier if I would just do what I want. Live for me only. Find success through my own eyes. Making choices that make only me happy (okay, and maybe a few of my best buddies). Man, if life were only like that all the time. Just me. Sure, it is fun to have friends who do what you want. It is great to go out and enjoy time with yourself and your pals on your terms: indulging on food and drink and just living life that seems to be filled with happiness. That would be awesome, right? Why on earth would I want to take time to think about if God likes those choices? When you are out with your friends, it probably seems like you are having a blast, right? The next morning after having a great time on the town, you probably feel a little tired, maybe even exhausted from so much fun. Wow, that fun wears you out – doesn’t it? As the day goes on, you cannot figure out exactly what you are supposed to be doing. You feel a little lost, but then the evening rolls around and you think, who can I call to go have fun again? The day (or evening) begins all over again. Fun, fun and more fun. Just getting through the day, requires you to think about whom on earth you can go out with again that night. You are constantly trying to find friends who will dive in with you. Then one day, it hits you. You really don’t have any friends that you feel like sharing your pain and true feelings with. You cannot figure out why no one wants to talk about anything besides going out. Your friendships are centered upon a life of partying and a lack of joy. Sure, it’s fun, but joy seems to be missing. Your relationships seem to suffer. You cannot keep friendships. Your life has dwindled away to nothing: no meaning or direction. Your selfish attitude has bought you nothing but a life of misery, but you have secured that you can find people every night to go out with you. So why do you feel lonely?
People who push God out of their life and choose themselves have a life similar to this. It may not look exactly the same, but it has the same characteristics: selfish fun, conditional friendships, and lack of faith (at least in appearance). I would venture to guess that many people had a life comparable to this in their twenties, but some will continue this life well into their thirties. I have even seen a few people go back to this life in their forties – I guess because it was so much “fun.” It does appear “fun” on the outside. The appearance of this lifestyle may seem freeing, lively, and energetic. Seems tiring to me. Pete and I every once in a while enjoy a great night on the town. We have dinner, spend time talking and then remind each other the importance of God in our life. Our “fun” does not lead to exhaustion, but to joy. We lift each other up in our friendship; we don’t exhaust each other with all this “fun.”
The other night at choir practice at my church, we sang a song that reminded me of the people who have spent most of their lives finding the “fun.” It was Jesus’ voice telling them there is a way out of all this exhausting “fun” and into my life and once you experience it – you won’t turn back. I listed the words below:
“I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”
by Horatius Bonar, 1808-1899
I heard the voice of Jesus say,”Come unto Me and rest; Lay down, thou weary one, lay down, Thy head upon My breast.” I came to Jesus as I was, Weary and worn and sad; I found in Him a resting-place, And He has made me glad.
I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Behold, I freely give The living water; thirsty one, Stoop down and drink and live. “I came to Jesus, and I drank Of that life-giving stream. My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, And now I live in Him.
I heard the voice of Jesus say, “I am this dark world’s Light. Look unto Me; thy morn shall rise And all thy day be bright.”I looked to Jesus, and I found In Him my Star, my Sun; And in that Light of Life I’ll walk Till traveling days are done.
Text: John 6:35 Author: Horatius Bonar, 1846 Composer: John B. Dykes, 1868 Tune: “Vox dilecti”
It is a dark world that we live in. Sometimes our selfish desires make it even darker. Jesus is the light, and once you experience the light, you will “walk till traveling days are done” with Jesus. You won’t want to return to the “fun” times you had before. You will be drawn into a relationship with Jesus because He doesn’t make you exhausted, weary, worn and lonely. For all those who are doubtful of what I say, I ask that you try it. Try for one week to give up that selfish “fun,” and see how you feel each day that you awaken. Are you still exhausted and weary? Can you allow Jesus in your life for that week to help you through the dark days? Is there a church that you could attend? Is there a place for you to read scripture or just spend time in prayer? Can you actually not worry about yourself for an entire week and try to find peace and rest for your soul? Can you find friendships that don’t exhaust you, but lift you up to become a better you?
I ask that each of you today who read this blog, share it with someone you love. Share it so that all can see that “fun” does not lead to joy. We need joy to feel fulfilled in life and until we find it, we will continue searching sometimes in the wrong places.