I am a child of the 80s. I grew up in an era that considered a 25-inch picture-tube TV a “big screen.” I had a boom-box, top-loading VCR, cassette tapes, Rubik’s cube, Mattel’s Intellivision, and yes, a mullet.
One Christmas, not too long ago, I got a “retro-Intellivision” (a controller with twenty-five Intellivision games built into it). I was excited to relive my childhood by playing Astrosmash and Major League Baseball.
When I sat down to play, my son took one look at the graphics (as you can see in the picture above) and laughed his head off. He couldn’t believe anyone would want to play a game with such poor graphics. Yet, when I was a kid, I thought the graphics were amazing!
Funny, how things change over time. As each fad comes in with a bang and goes out with a whimper, we are continually reminded that the things of this world are so very temporary. Everything comes and goes. Of course, a few things come and go, and then come back again--like bellbottoms. I was glad to see them go the first time, but they came back again. Whose idea was this anyway? I didn’t get any emails about it.
The stuff of this world does not last.
Of course, companies will spend billions of dollars telling you otherwise. Their advertisements will promise happiness and contentment for all who purchase their products. And sure, perhaps in the short-run, this material stuff may deliver. However, stuff never endures over the long-haul. It will come and go, leaving us just as we were when it arrived (only now a bit poorer).
Don’t get me wrong. If you want a plasma screen, an I-pod, a blue-ray player, the new Xbox (whichever one it is now), or even a “Vote for Pedro” shirt, that is fine. Just understand that it is all stuff, and the best stuff can do for you is offer temporary fixes. It can never give you permanent happiness, hope, love, joy, peace, wisdom, direction, etc.
The danger comes when you live for the temporary or for what the culture says is cool. Doing so causes you to flit from one thing to another in an effort to keep up with what’s new and “epic.”(That’s the new word, right? Or is there a newer one now?)
When it is all said and done, you are just as unfulfilled as when it all began--except now your home and life are filled with tired, old stuff that you’re bored with.
There is a better way. Jesus offers it to us. Instead of living for more from the culture, we live for more of Him. Instead of surrendering time, money, and effort to temporary fads and quick-fixes, we surrender our lives to Him.
Easy to say, I know. Not so easy to live out, so we'll talk more about that next time.