The thing that has been on my mind the last week is our unhealthy tendency to live for the thrills in life. Now in and of themselves, I wouldn’t say that any of these things that we live for are inherently bad… but what is unfortunate is our tendency to think that this is where the real life happens or at least the significant times of life. Let me explain.
I grew up in the church, and I would argue that from what I have experienced in traditional Western Christianity, the “living for thrills” is especially inherent. We can’t wait for the Sunday morning worship… this is where we REALLY get to experience God. The worship, the sermon, the whole experience is geared for us to receive it as our weekly experience of God. This could also pan out in the missions trip or the youth retreat. We get on great big spiritual highs during these times, but in the in-between, we lose it and we feel like we are losing all that we gained at the high time. I would say that we have set ourselves up for the crash by getting so excited at the special times.
In the contemplative life, many may look forward to the retreat experience. Or at work, we look forward to the weekend. Or maybe it’s the next big party, or the chance to go hang out with the girl friends or have some bro-time. Whatever it is, it’s the thrill we live for and all that happens in the in-between is just that… in-between.
When we live for the thrill, when we think it is the most important or most fulfilling time, we set ourselves up to crash in-between the thrills. We are on an emotional life roller coaster. Longing for the ups and suffering through the downs.
Forget it folks! Hold it all loosely… seriously. Life is a consistent journey of ups and downs and we are able as human beings to take them all with humor and grace. When we can walk the middle path of holding it all loosely (it will, after all, be different tomorrow… I guarantee it!), we may not get so excited during the up times, but we surely won’t feel so bad in the down times. Granted, I am not saying that we shouldn’t celebrate the good things or that we won’t feel depressed once in a while… but it will surely be a more consistent upwards path towards celebrating all of life.
Life, after all, is the party. Every day is worth celebrating. We are alive. We are breathing. The sun is rising. So you masculine ones, find your purpose and learn to give it with all your heart to the world. And you feminine ones, revel in the love that you create and grow in the radiance of love that you can share with the world around you.