Keepin’ It Fresh

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Batteries Not Included

My mind wanders a lot, with random thoughts. Today, as I was driving to church, I started thinking about fashion. I remember when grunge was in – I had a few plaid shirts I really liked. It got me thinking that whatever’s popular and in today are bound to be on the way out in a short while. Then I got to thinking about how things don’t last very long in the forefront of people’s minds.

Take QR codes, for example. Those little squares with black and white patterns. You supposedly scan them with your smart phone and it’ll take you to a pre-determined website or something-or-other. The other day I was having fun coloring in the white spots to see how much change was needed before a QR code was recognized. Alice asked if we should put QR codes on our summer conference posters, and I remembered reading that QR codes were already passe. A thing of yesterday. And I hadn’t even had time to really figure out what it is!

Which brings me to this thought – things are designed for almost immediate obsolescence nowadays. Technology has become throw-away. Why make things that will last? The idea is that you get the consumer to constantly want to upgrade, to get the next best thing. We’re a booming economy supported by those who tire of the old and need the new.

Which brings me to this depressing thought – if we as a culture are being trained to tire of things quickly and constantly want something new, what does it do to our ideas of marriage? Marriage is a once and for all thing. Once you enter, you don’t get out (extenuating circumstances excepted). If you’re constantly on the look-out for something new, if your taste buds are trained to tire of consistency quickly, if your eyes are always scanning for a new look, how does that help you stay committed in a long lasting relationship?

Too often we see/hear/read movies/stories/books about the person who left her rock-solid spouse, goes on a fling, only then to realize that she left behind a good thing. Why did the person need to have a change of scenery, why did it take a taste for another, before he realizes what he had was already the best?

Why is freshness so tantamount to goodness? Why do we get bored? Why can’t we eat the same food all the time and not tire of it? Why do I have to wear a different outfit each day? Why do I have to brush my teeth every morning?

Keepin’ it fresh. Is that why?

  1. I think it’s the human condition: nothing in this world will satisfy us except God. After wanting the new thing (whether it’s a new phone, gadget, musical instrument, etc.), one obtains it; most certainly afterwards they get bored of it and want the next thing.

    Serving on the worship team, I have experienced that Jesus never gets old. I think it’s our humanness that just isn’t satisfied with ANYTHING except Jesus.

    This is why having Jesus at the center of one’s relationship/marriage is crucial. If the life of Jesus is being lived out by both parties, the relationship will never grow old because Jesus is eternal.

    • birchjeremy says:

      Hmm. I was thinking about this after talking about it last night at Bible study. Er, sermon discussion. I really like the questions raised, and the frank analysis of what this world is hurtling toward. Or away from. In a fickle manner.
      And I think the key to this dilemma is a quick clause included toward the end of your post: “…we as a culture…” Indeed, the culture in which we live, the culture that we enjoy and perpetuate and laud as the “First World”, does encourage–or even mandate–a mindset that thrives on the acquisition of that next great toy.

      Now, if this is the world in which we find ourselves, what is left to do? One author put very succinctly the Christian’s attitude toward culture: “We as Christians are not anti-culture. But we ARE to be counterculture.” There is a sweater for SJCA Youth Group, designed and produced before my day, that illustrates this nicely. A school of dead, bony fish, doing what schools of fish do: swim together, with one mind. A single living fish swims against the school (“*school* of thought”?), in direct opposition to what is “normal”.

      I’m brought to think of Romans 12:2.
      “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

      This society, this culture, pervasive and impressive, is a doomed machine from which we are *commanded* to be separate. We are to *renew* our minds with the Truth from above. And I do think that the Truth is a stark opposite to this quick consumerism.
      If we consider Romans 8:29-30:
      “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”
      *How* long has God known and loved His saints? Since eternity past. If God was as fickle and prone to dissatisfaction as is promoted today, where would we be? The promises that we cherish and rest on as Christians, such as that with which Paul closes Romans 8, would be for naught. We *would* be subject to separation from the love of God. Or we look at 2 Tim 2:13. What a great reminder of the immutability of God’s character, of God’s self.

      So how does one stay committed in a long-lasting relationship?
      Reminding ourselves of the love and commitment of God Himself. What better evidence of true love than conquering commitment?

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