It’s amazing how television sets have changed so drastically! I still remember the day my dad brought home our first TV. I was barely 5 years old, and I was fascinated at how a rectangular box could not only make intelligible noises, but could also display moving pictures in black and white! It was fantastic! But today, the only praise such an inferior box would get would be from those who still find themselves to be a little bit nostalgic!
Even though the ancient TVs eventually did begin to display colors, the TVs of today have far surpassed even these. Not only do modern television sets broadcast a sharper picture, but thanks to the digital output, they also tend to be much bigger. And with my not-so-perfect eyesight, I find this just about perfect!
But there are still choices to be made. For example, do you buy HDTV or plasma? Both have their advantages, and both will lose their lustre over time. The plasma TVs lose half their brightness after 60,000 hours. You won’t notice it however, because the loss of lustre is gradual. By the time you start to realize you are having a harder time watching your set, you will have no choice but to replace it with a brand new one! Hopefully you will still have a buck or two in your pockets… Or perhaps a bit more?
These plasma TVs make a good illustration of our lives. When we were young we dreamed about the future, and we made promises that seemed so easy to fulfill. As life goes by however, we begin to realize that many of these dreams will never materialize and most of these promises are never kept. Our anticipation of the future gradually changes-to indifference for many, and to melancholy for others.
Oh, we continue to search for the source of eventual happiness, but we continually come up short.
But it doesn’t have to be. If we will just take the time to open the instruction manual our Maker has given us, we will realize that all of our own pursuits are in vain. Except for one, that is: “It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.” (Gal 5:19-21 The Message)
Because we are so busy pursuing worthless purposes, we tend to never realize which purposes are really worthwhile! One fact is clear and undeniable. Society may label it differently, but no one can honestly say that everything and everyone around them is hunky-dory! Why? Because “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23 NIV)
We loose our lustre bit by bit because unworthy pursuits degrade us to the animal level. What’s even worse is that these pursuits leave us with luggage far too heavy to drag around, and with an out-of-this-world price tag to boot!
But don’t despair. There is still hope! “‘There is hope for your future,’ declares the Lord. ” (Jer 31:17 NIV) Unlike the brand new plasma TV you’ll have to buy, however, this hope is free! It’s a hope that will not only revitalize you from the inside out, but will also transform you into a satisfied, fulfilled individual! That hope can only be found in the Christ: “What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven – and the future starts now!” (1 Peter 1:3-4)
Over the next few weeks we will explore the less-than-satisfying lovers in our lives-the ones that sap us from all of our vitality! And we’ll discover the only, over-abundant One who can fill the hole in our hearts!
“My black-and-white TV still works fine! Why should I change it? I just have to slap it from time to time and although the picture is a bit fuzzy, I am perfectly satisfied!”
Isn’t it time for us to discover the real, colourful, three-dimensional world that God has promised us? No banging and puttering necessary! Just enjoy the ride!
(To access the entire “Addictive Lovers of our Life” devotional series, please click here.)