Identity Crisis Averted
Highlighted SFC Value: B.R.I.D.G.E.
“Identity” – Like Jesus, we intentionally meet all people (Christian and non-Christian) where they are, both physically and spiritually. Matthew 28:19-20
How we come to understand ourselves is a very confusing and often-times difficult process especially when we have so many messages bombarding us every day telling us how we are to define ourselves. The Lord teaches us to understand what we are in light of who He is and who He made us to be. Jesus boiled all of the law and the prophets down into two commandments: (1) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind.” And (2) “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mt 22:34-40 If we adhere to these commands, we will not only avoid being deceived and exploited by the god of this world but we will be freed to operate in the fashion for which we were designed and to experience life to the fullest this side of heaven.
Applicable SFC Brah-verb: Brahverb #? (Mystery Brahverb)
To Shred is deceitful. To land a backside 9 is vain. But a shredder who fears the Lord shall be praised.
In 1998 I moved to Summit County Colorado and joined in with the thousands of other adrenaline junkies to hit the mountains and “really live.” So I got a job in the ski industry teaching skiing. It was really just a way to get a free ski pass. I would stand at the back of line up hoping I wouldn’t get picked to teach so that I could go and shred.
I was also introduced to many “equations” of the Summit County life – all of which, in one way or another – said that if I did X then Y would happen. It was no coincidence that many others and myself found ourselves thinking along these lines. The advertising industry invests millions of dollars every year to engineer our thinking. Some of the equations we are sold are like the following: If I (X) move to the mountains for the ski bum lifestyle, then (Y) I will be happy. If I (X) jump into the party scene, complete with the alcohol, drugs and casual “hook-ups,” then (Y) I will find true fulfillment. If I ride on this board, I will be part of the rad community and life will be great. Obviously the equations are more subtle in nature but once you see them it is hard not to see them for what they really are: businesses reaching into your pocket and taking your money and the god of this world reaching into your soul to steal your happiness, joy, peace of mind, purity of heart, health of mind soul and body.
And now, having spent twelve years in the ski industry, I have seen in others lives and experienced in my own the outplaying of these bad equations and understand more accurately what is going on. By feeding us these equations, the world is “helping us” understand what we are. To “shred” is to be human. And so we believe the lie and invest our time, energy, and money trying to be as “human” as we can be. The problem is this: we end up running into a diminishing return on our investment and to get the same high as before, we have to invest more and more and more as we try to fill and infinite space with a finite commodity. Ultimately that which used to sustain us proves to be empty.
Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to love God. By doing so, we understand that we are made in the image of God AND that we were made for Him. The development of our talents, the use of our time and allocation of our resources point to HIM as an act of worship and serve as the most fundamental definer of what we are as human beings. Then Jesus told us to love our Neighbor as ourselves. We grow to understand that to serve is better than to be served: to give, better than to receive: to live for others, better than to live for one’s self. By learning to walk with these two commandments we grow to understand what it truly means to be human and what it is to truly live. To be a shredder is fine.
Application for SHRED LIFE:
As you’re out on the mountain, talk about the equations that are being thrown at you on the mountain, in the movies, in the culture of your town. Call them out. Talk about them. What are they offering? And what is it they promise to deliver? Discuss the greatest commandments. How do they promise to offer life? And how do they change the way we view the “shred” life?