Tuesday, August 23, 2011

LOST and noon-ball

I love LOST!

It's over now, but for 6 seasons I was addicted to it. The plot was awesome. The character development was great. Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Hugo, Ben, Charlie, Desmond, the Others...it was so much fun to tune in every Wednesday night to watch (or the website to catch up if I missed an episode). Still, if I see a picture of one of the actors I read about what they are doing now and what new movie or show they are going to be in.

I also love to play basketball. I'm a below average player but I like the game and the competition. When we lived in McCook I would go to the YMCA and play ball over the noon hour three times a week. I tried hard not to miss...not because I wanted to work out, but because I liked to play. If the Y was closed for some reason or if enough guys didn't show up to play it was a disappointment. It was a lot of fun and I always looked forward to it.

Every Wednesday after playing ball I would be in the locker room getting ready to go back to work and looking forward to that night...because Lost was going to be on at Mom and Dad's house! It was my routine and it made me happy. I probably looked forward to those two activities as much as anything else in my week.

Lost and noon-ball are good, not bad. Both can be done to the glory of God I think. Fiction is great and sports are great. Both are gifts from God and can be enjoyed. But this was, for a time, what I spent time thinking about and pursuing. It seems silly in retrospect, but at the time this was a major source of delight in my life.

Rather than delighting in God I was delighting in His gifts.

"It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." C.S. Lewis

This was also about the same time I stumbled upon the "Don't Waste Your Life" series by John Piper. I really had no idea what he was talking about in the study even though I was the one leading it. It just seemed like a good thing to do and the title was sort of edgy.

But through the course of this study the call to missions was beginning to be born in my life. The contrast with what I was and what God wanted me to be was emerging. I started to see that joy in life must come from more than a hobby or TV show or "drink or sex or ambition".

Don't be too easily pleased.

I'm still learning this lesson. Something external like moving to Haiti doesn't solve this internal problem. It's a life-long work of grace in order to increasingly enjoy God.

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