Its hard to believe, another Summer is nearly over. Time just seems to move along so quickly.
One of the highlights from these past few months was a men’s gathering in the beautiful woods of Michigan. I believe about 1500 men descended on the campground for the weekend. This church sponsored event was called “Palooza” and it was an incredible time.
I’ve thought about that gathering a lot over these past few months, and one of the most frequent thoughts that comes to my mind is that the focus of our corporate times was not in comparing our accommodations. When we met in a large group, our discussion did not tend to be about the size of our tent, or RV, or the fanciness of our grill back at the campsite. In other words, the focus of our weekend was not about our stuff. We were there to enjoy meaningful fellowship with other guys, and to benefit in many different ways from time spent over the weekend worshiping the living and loving God and to be challenged, and encouraged by passionate messages inspired by God’s Word–the Bible.
Both on Saturday night watching a special fireworks display, and Sunday morning, as we gathered one last time for a time of worship and hearing a Bible-related message, I would look around and see the expressions of men, young and old who were impacted by their experience that weekend. It was truly a special time.
So, what’s the point in all this?
I believe living our lives should be similar to the weekend I just described. Because we are all unique and our preferences, and circumstances vary so much, we will all live with different stuff. Some people will be able to enjoy very nice, and expensive things—good for them. Other people, who don’t have as much money or just choose to live in a more simple kind of way, will find contentment with very modest resources–good for them.
I’m not sure of all the reasons why our culture focuses so much on “STUFF’, rather than on the much greater experiences of enjoying deep relationships with others and seeking frequent worship of God. Just to clarify this last point, “frequent worship of God”, I don’t mean being at church a lot every time the doors open, though regular attendance at church is important. What I’m referring to is keeping Him top of mind throughout the day, so that you understand He is the One responsible for your life. He is the Creator of if and the Sustainer of it.
Rather than being freaked out by acknowledging that our lives, including our thoughts and intentions are always transparent before Him, we should take great satisfaction in knowing that He cares so much for us and loves us so much.
At this Summer’s Palooza, I met a man who actually came to the event with no housing plans at all. Understanding that, I invited him to join us on our site, and if need be, and I was ready to share my pop up tent with him. As things turned out, he was able to get sleeping accommodations in a mini-cabin. Would I have been a little uncomfortable sharing a kind of cramped 2 man tent–yep. But, that feeling would have been totally compensated by knowing that I helped a person in need.
Today, as you do life, let me encourage you to examine your own life and to pursue the things that are of highest importance. Enjoy all the things that you have, but take some time to ask yourself if you are distracted in any way from really experiencing this precious thing called life because of your focus on STUFF? Again, it’s not a question of how quality is your stuff, or how much you have (or don’t have), but rather if you are spending more time thinking about it, than on the deeper things of relationships with others and with God. Seek to live your life without any regrets!