First Things First

TDK Guy In ChairWe are information junkies.

No, let me correct that. We are “News” junkies. 

Witness all the 24 hour news channels- CNN, HNN, Fox News, Fox Business News, MSNBC, BloombergTV, CNBC, C-Span, C-Span2, C-Span3, ESPNews.

Add to that, at a minimum, 4 hours a day of network newscasts (x3), and it comes to around 276 hours of “news” coverage per DAY! And that’s just television news proper. News radio, newspapers, news magazines, the interweb, books about news…. ad nauseum, and just plain nausea. 

Google News says in their banner, “Search and browse 4,500 news sources updated continuously.”

Go on, I dare you, browse 4,500 news sources. See if your eyes and ears don’t start bleeding.

Now that I think about it, maybe we aren’t so much “News” junkies as we are “new” junkies. We are all about whatever is new. If it happened more than a week ago, forget it, literally. Or if it’s more than a year old,  go get the new model.

We’re just as bad in the church. We’re always after something new. Contemporary worship, the latest in audio/visual technology, NPP, post-modernism, always looking for the next trend, this new book, that new teaching.

From the pulpit and the publisher, everyone’s looking for new insight. But the problem is almost no one is trying to live out the stuff we already know.

Here’s a conversation* I had with God the other day-

“Lord, what is your will for me? What should I do?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, should I be on this committee, or that one. Should I teach on this, or that? And while I’m thinking about it, what should I really be doing with my life?”

“Why don’t you start with what I’ve already told you?”

“Like what?”

“How about, ‘Love your wife as I have loved the church’ and, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’? Why don’t you take a little while and work on those before you ask for something else?”

“Um…Yeah, thanks. But what about all this missional thinking, this cultural contextualization?”

“What about it? Don’t you think really loving like I do is missional and relevant in a kind of counter-cultural way?”

“I don’t know…I’d much rather talk in big, general cultural terms about what we should be about as Christians. I mean, you don’t get much of a name doing it your way. Plus it’s really hard,  nearly impossible.”

“Not ‘nearly’ impossible, it is. That’s where I come in.”

I’m going to have to go back and rethink some things in my own life. There are some foundational things I’ve got to put into action better than I’ve been doing. Obviously loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, strength is first for all of us. The second is one like it.

That can be kind of vague though.  What does that look like, in concrete action, for me?

In part, it looks like me loving my family better.

I’m a little overweight at present, and a whole lot out of shape. Maybe the most loving thing I can do right now for my family is take better care of myself.

A wise man once told me, “If you want to show someone that you love them, listen to them.” Maybe a little less “me” time, and a little more time with them would be in order.

I’ve got a lot more to think about in regard to this.

Do me a favor would you? Wait a few weeks and then someone out there ask me how this “first things first” stuff is going.

*No, I didn’t hear a voice. It’s more of a running dialog thing in my head.

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