What’s important?

Choices represent values. Do you chase adventure? Or is personal security and comfort more important? Do you like to be noticed, or do you prefer a low profile? Are you avid about food? Or is entertainment your scene? Or are you, perhaps, an omnivore—with many interests?

And if you like to be entertained do you prefer movies, music, sports, or narrower options? Are people important to you? And, if so, which people, and in what settings?

Over the years you’ve formed a distinctive shape that answers most of these questions. Your calendar, phone log, destinations, and credit card records are being harvested by the Googles and Experians of the world and sold to advertisers. So each of us is by now a well profiled commodity: a coveted unit of wealth. No matter how small we are, the System knows us!

So here’s the question of the day? How much careful reflection is present in your profile? Do you evaluate your priorities? Have you taken classes in high school or college just to widen your horizons? Do you have conversations with friends about the important options in life? About people to meet, places to see, and resources—books, movies, locations—to pursue?

If you answer, “yes” you may be exceptional. Many people prefer to build stability. Once school and studies end it is time to dismiss artificial questions. Instead life turns into routines of going to work, raising a family, paying bills, buying an occasional big-ticket item, and mowing the lawn.

Here’s a related question: is it time for a change? To ask “How did I get here?” and, “Do I really want to stay here?” Is mowing the lawn all that important?

We’ve heard of people who reach a mid-life crisis. I recently met a Christian couple just retired from the US Air Force after twenty years. They’re now living in a sailboat, ministering to other boat people worldwide. That’s not for everyone. Some may choose divorce. Others may visit a monastery or hire a life coach. Not all moves are wise—but some are, and are well overdue.

Here’s my advice to you. Actually, it’s advice for everyone. Turn to Jesus and ask him for some direct coaching on what to do next. Ask him to give you ears to hear his Spirit. And for the courage you’ll need to take his advice. And then read the Bible for half a day.

This isn’t a new insight, but you still need to come back to a centering point from time to time. Jesus created you for good works and he invites you to discover his designed purpose for you. You have special gifting meant to build up others. And the invitation from Proverbs 3:5-6 to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding!”

Here’s what comes with this advice. Your relationship with Jesus will grow in an instant. And your appetite for the Bible will take off. You’ll find yourself asking about others—about how you can meet their needs. Selflessness will start to displace selfishness. The world will get bigger.

Yet all the Google ads on your phone and laptop will still pester you. The System remembers your profile, but you’ll soon start to have less time for Twitter or Instagrams and more time for face-to-face visits and for caring conversations. You may rediscover your spouse and your children as tender souls and give yourself with a love you never knew existed.

That’s what happens as the Spirit pours out God’s love in, and then through, your heart. Try it!


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