Beyond the Search for Samsung: Is Today Your Day to Matter?

Invitation to mission

Beyond the Search for Samsung: Is Today Your Day to Matter?

I know that Beyonce, Romain Dauriac, and Samsung are the most searched for words on Google right now.  But I don’t think that most people searching for those things are looking for them to fulfill a deep need in their life. At least, I hope not.  I’m not even sure that people even use Google, or Bing, or Yahoo to search for meaning and significance…but it might make some sense to at least give them a shot at it.   More and more I am engaged in conversations with people who tell me that, more than anything, they want their lives to matter.  They want their lives to have real and lasting value. More and more people tell me that they aren’t just seeking a career that will make them rich or popular or famous.  In fact, for most of them, those things have become a turnoff.  I’m not sure where meaning and significance end up on the list of most searched for terms on Google or Bing, and I don’t think it really matters. I think people are finally coming to the tragic end of the value of putting themselves first.  I don’t think they have come to that end through ignorance or guesswork.  I think they come to that end because they’ve gotten pretty far down that dark road and have found their lives getting smaller and smaller, and shallower and shallower.

I don’t think that we were shaped from birth to think of ourselves first.  We are conditioned by our consumer culture to think that way.  We are so immersed in and bombarded by advertisements and messages that subtly sell us the values of the purveyor/consumer culture.  We are overwhelmed with those messages, and those messages have been cynically cloaked in words that our hearts are shaped to connect to.  But the words merely cover up an empty well.   Even more than simply the value of “self”, I think we are sold over and over again the idea that “things” and “status” produce meaning.  A recent Mercedes Benz magazine ad for their new model CLA says, “Set your soul free.” And their tag line is, “The best or nothing.” No, seriously. That’s what it actually says. We once were even told by the very President of the United States that the most important thing that we could do as citizens of this country was to go out and buy things, as if that was our role in the great cosmos. That’s what’s being put out there for our consumer culture to consume. No wonder so many people are so spiritually hungry. It’s like eating sawdust. It’ll fill you up for a minute, but it sure won’t feed you. How many times do people have to be exposed to this before they start to subconsciously think it? Go ahead and drive one if you can. They really are great cars. But, by way of extrapolation, if someone can’t afford the best, does that mean that they are nothing? Wow. Jesus taught that the truth will set you free. Mercedes seems to think a little differently.

My thought for today comes from some simple wisdom my father shared with me years ago.  He said, “Son, if God’s going to do something new in your situation, you have to let God do something new in you.”  If our lives are feeling flat and we just can’t seem to make sense of the cycle of earn and spend and owe, then maybe we can make a little change that will allow God to make a big change in our situation.  If we are tired of trying to be “important” and “in charge”, and we’re just done with trying to please everybody, then maybe we can change one small thing that God can use to connect us to much bigger things that really will give our lives meaning and value.  Maybe society is wrong about what it means to be important.  And maybe that President was wrong about our role in the cosmos. And maybe Mercedes-Benz is just cynical about everything and doesn’t really even believe what they’re asking you to believe. We want our lives to matter.  We don’t want our lives to just be wasted on things that don’t matter and don’t last beyond the warranty.  One little change that we can make is to set aside some time get involved in something where what’s at stake is more important than us.  God’s not asking you to sell everything you own today and come follow him.  God is just asking you to take one step into the Kingdom with God, and see where God leads you.  So, maybe today is your day to get involved.

If you’re in the Milwaukee area, check us out at http://www.growingintochrist.org., or on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/max.ramsey.  Come and visit one of our mission sites one time, or come and live and serve with us for a week.  Maybe we can find something of value together.  If not here, then somewhere there is a place and a need for who you are and what you do. Peace.

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