We live in such a high speed society these days. When we want something, we want it now!! From the invention of the microwave to the invention of the internet, we have made so many things in life come so fast that a lot of people don’t like to wait or work for anything anymore. People just want that instant gratification or an instant result.
I can’t tell you how many people come up to me after concerts and ask me what they can do to be able to go home, pick up their trumpet (that they haven’t played in years), and play the “high notes” like I do. I am sorry, but that’s a silly question. I always answer them by saying that you don’t see body builders going into a gym and benching 350 pounds when they haven’t been to the gym in months/years. You don’t see a runner run 20 miles when he/she hasn’t run in forever. Those athletes work every day to train their body and practice their talents to condition themselves to be able to do what they do. I am certainly NO athlete. I don’t work out, and I certainly don’t run on a regular basis – unless it’s towards a BBQ or a Krispy Krème. But, I do work my tail off every day to condition my whole body to be able to play those “high notes” from the beginning to the end of a 90 minute concert – even when I haven’t slept in several days on a long tour.
I love football. Being that we live in State College, PA, we are big Penn State fans. I enjoyed the last several seasons of watching Saquon Barkley play. What an athlete!! He made it look very easy sometimes. He didn’t just show up to games and play the way he did. He worked his tail off to be the best he could be. He was at the gym before anyone else, and when things got hard, he worked even harder.
I say all of this because I see so many people who want a relationship with Christ. They want to be strong, knowledgeable Christians with Bible knowledge, and have their life together, but don’t want to put the time and effort into it. People want the short cut to having a close relationship with Christ.
A great example of this would be when you buy a piece of furniture that needs assembled, and you give this project to a man. I absolutely promise you that 99% of guys would look at the picture on the box and dive right in to putting it together without ever looking at the instruction manual. When it’s all put together and things are crooked and extra pieces are lying around, the guy will get frustrated and wonder why it didn’t turn out. (Not that I ever did anything like that… Ha-ha.)
A great percentage of people are living their lives without investing any time into a relationship with Christ, or reading the Bible. The funny thing is, we have all been given a manual for living, and it’s the Bible. At times, they wonder why their lives are scattered and aren’t coming together. Some people believe that it’s enough to read a one or two paragraph daily devotional and go to church once in a while to be a “great Christian” – but the truth is…it’s not.
Being a Saquon Barkley is not doing a 5 minute workout every day. Being a runner is not just jogging a mile every morning. Being a weight lifter is not lifting 50 pounds a few times a week. Being a professional trumpet player isn’t practicing 10 minutes here or there. And, having a close relationship with Christ is not giving Him 5 minutes a day. All of these things are not little commitments, they are lifestyles.
I have many friends that are Pastors, or that are in full-time ministry, that are probably “red flagging” some of the things I’m writing about. They may be thinking that a relationship with Christ is way different than being an athlete or a trumpet player. I TOTALLY agree! I am not comparing a Christian life with these illustrations, I’m trying to show that we all need to invest, not just parts, but our whole lives into our relationships with Christ.
Our relationship with Christ should not be a little quick devotional or a trip to church a few times a month. We should all constantly be drawing closer and investing our whole lives to Him. There is no microwave or high-speed internet that will help you to draw closer to Christ. There is not a trick to help you hit the “high notes” in your life, or to help you run life’s long journey. There’s no easy way to lift life’s heavy burdens, but all of those things are easier when you have a close relationship with Christ.
Don’t look for the easy way to have a close relationship with Christ or for the instant gratification of being a Christian. Don’t expect everything in life to instantly come to you. Instead, invest and work on your relationship with Christ. Don’t give God parts of your life – give Him your whole life.
Thanks for your time,