Don’t Settle For Less
I have never been on a game show. I once worked for a youth minister who was on the “Price Is Right” during his honeymoon, and I officiated a wedding for a groom who appeared on “Jeopardy.” About the closest I have ever come was playing Alex Trebek in an elementary school play about Texas Jeopardy. I don’t usually watch game shows, but when I do, I enjoy pretending I was in the place of the contestants. How much would I wager? Do I know the retail value of that product? How sharp is my knowledge of 20th century Latin American leaders? Would I take what I have seen behind curtain one or would I hope there’s something even better behind curtain two?
In the letter to the church of Colossians, Paul is urging the Christ followers to take a fuller look at who Christ has been revealed to be in the world. It would seem that after having “curtain one” opened and beholding Christ that the Colossians were tempted to see if there were something even better behind the mysterious “curtain two.” Paul’s contention seems to be that if we really understood what has already been revealed to us in the life and person of Jesus the Christ, then we would see all other options as mere consolation prizes. In Colossians 1:13-20 we get a panoramic widescreen HD view of who Jesus is in our personal lives, our church, and the whole cosmos. It’s like Paul is the game show host and though the live studio audience is yelling at us to open up another curtain, he knows full well that we’ve already uncovered the grand prize.
We are often tempted to keep searching in our spiritual lives for something more… I believe part of this tendency is because God is infinite and mysterious. No matter how much we grow in our knowledge or understanding of God, it is only serving to uncover more questions and greater longing. Fortunately, the revelation of God in Jesus Christ is of One who is an Infinite Sea into which we can always dive deeper and further. We don’t have to settle for just getting our feet wet and then look for other adventures when we get bored of making sand castles. The invitation is to wade in deeper and to dive further into the vast sea of God’s Incomparable Presence.
C.S. Lewis put it this way, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
When I am tempted to focus on something other than Christ, it helps me to remember that I am not making an upgrade, I am settling for something less. Something far less than the awe-inspiring adventure of knowing Christ.