From my “testimony 7“.
So why has my health failed to such a serious extent?
I allowed far too many other things take priority over obedience to Him and His word.
I prioritised man’s trivia instead of God’s commission.
And the promise of health and a full life is conditional.
It’s a condition that tends to deny its own presence.
I recently came across a statement that seems to get to the heart of the matter in my own life.
“It is essential that we become fascinated, gripped and captivated by the Lord. If not we will struggle with boredom, and our hearts will be vulnerable to pursue other things” (Insurgence by Frank Viola).
Boredom is something I KNOW I suffered. It’s a condition that if treated incorrectly will actually become reinforced and compounded. Remedies are often nothing more than trivial distractions, filling the void with something, anything, to get through the tedium.
I think we all desire purpose, to do something worthwhile in our lives to give some kind of meaning to who we are and what we do. The world increasingly offers alternatives, basically redefining what we understand as having value.
Today our western society revolves around consumption. The whole economic system underpinning society seems to revolve around a thing called “consumer confidence” – what is effectively our ability and willingness to keep spending. Without that confidence national economies struggle. We are encouraged to spend, to accumulate, to buy and replace.
Buy, buy, buy!!!
Consume, consume, consume!!!
More and more the products on offer are transitory, with little (or no) substance: brand names that are all show and no real value; beauty and grooming services, (I’m always surprised how many manicure places there are in most shopping centres); and entertainment. These days, the latter can be also purchased in a non-material form, all digital, literally having nothing to show for the cost of purchase.
Shopping has become a pastime, a hobby, instead of the way we stock up on life’s necessities. Ongoing, frequent expeditions looking for things to buy, instead of occasional, planned shopping trips to purchase what is needed at a particular time.
Entertainment (and the purchasing of) became my distraction. Collecting books, DVDs (movies and TV series). Anything to fill those hours after work to avoid taking the drudgery of the office home. Owning them was as much a part of it all as the reading and the watching. Collecting classic Science Fiction films and books: as well as books and DVDs related to military history, crime (fiction and true), literature, Tudor history, Australian history, the space program, astronomy and art…
I wasn’t satisfied with one or two items touching on those topics, I had to have everything I could find. I had to have a complete collection of books or films, many of which remained unread or unwatched as my interest moved to another topic.
Wasted money. Wasted time.
Pushing aside what was really important.
Increasingly relegating Jesus to the margins of life instead of placing Him at the centre of it.
Of course there were times when He was given priority. In the worst cases that was more out of obligation than anything else, but usually there was a recognition that I needed to do better, needed to seek Him more.
Maintaining this blog always helped to motivate and stimulate my interest, but that by itself was not enough.
I wanted to have that deeper commitment.
I longed for it. But how could I get myself out of the rut I’d been digging?
The answer was simple – but not easy.
It took a medical death sentence to free me from an increasing addiction to the trivial and to seek the only hope I have. The only One I should have been “fascinated, gripped and captivated by” all along.
I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
The Lord has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death. (Ps 118)