I have favorite movies, and I’m sure that you do too. Two of mine are The Man from Snowy River and O Brother Where Art Thou. I enjoy them both for different reasons, and I have no idea how many times I’ve seen each one; but let me just say that I’ve seen them many, many times, and I look forward to watching them again and again.
I saw The Man from Snowy River in my youth, and the story of a young man coming of age, proving himself, overcoming, and eventually being called a “man” resonated with me in a way that has stuck with me throughout my life. Plus, the musical score is amazing.
O Brother Where Art There is a favorite of mine because it’s set in the “geographical oddity of being two weeks from everywhere,” and just thinking about it makes me laugh.
I basically have both of them memorized. I anticipate the dialogue. I move my mouth as some of my favorite lines are spoken, and I often laugh in advance because I know what’s coming next. As many times as I’ve watched these movies, I could sit down right now and watch them again…especially if you want to watch them with me and you’ve never seen them yourself. I will have a blast watching you watch my favorite movies.
If you’re reading this blog right now, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard every major biblical story preached many times over. There’s no preacher in America that is going to surprise you with a new angle on David and Goliath. You know that David was faithful in little things (lions and bears) before God used him in facing Goliath. You know that David was outmatched in every way, except the Lord was on his side. You know that Goliath had relatives, and some people think that is why David picked up extra stones.
Ok. You know it already. So how does a seasoned saint engage in, enjoy, and find it refreshing when we’re anesthetized to what we’re hearing? How do you deal with it when you find that you’ve become like the Israelites and you’re so tired of manna? The gospel, the worship, the fellowship of saints has all just become white noise. That which was once your salvation is now on your nerves. That which was once an answer to prayer is now an annoyance. That which once inspired you now irritates you. That which once brought you peace and understanding now just causes you to roll your eyes and say, “Here we go again.”
Let me submit to you that you can find joy in the old, old story when you see it striking a chord in the hearts of those who are hearing it for the first time or as you see it just now sinking into someone’s heart. Let me make a suggestion. Bring a friend on your arm to worship. Do them like I would probably do you if you were to watch The Man from Snowy River or O Brother Where Art Thou with me. When you hear the intro to one of the choir’s sugar sticks, nudge you’re buddy with your elbow and totally ruin it for him by saying, “Oh, yeah, this one’s good. Listen, you’re going to love this.” Or when the preacher says let’s turn to the Prodigal Son, whisper an “Oh yeah, this is good.” Because it is good. Even if you’re bored with it. It might be the very thing your friend needs at that very moment.
Seeing the Word of God break through in a person who is new, struggling, or young in the faith can and should bring us veterans a great deal of joy. To see a growing believer applying the truths of God’s Word in a way that is transforming him or her should bring a smile to the Christian grown-up’s face.
Unless we’re trying to make it about us.
Now, here’s a truth, it shouldn’t matter how long we’ve been on our journey of faith in Jesus Christ, His Word is new, fresh, and applicable every day. That’s just the bottom-line. His Word does not grow stale. If you’re bored with it, be honest with yourself and recognize where the problem lies.
“For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.” 2 Timothy 3:2-3
Let me draw your attention to the word that is translated as unforgiving. The Greek word is aspondos, and aspondos actually means unappeasable. Could there be anything more challenging than an unappeasable spouse? An unappeasable friend? An unappeasable teacher? An unappeasable co-worker? An unappeasable boss? An unappeasable audience? An unappeasable coach? No matter how many concessions are made, that person will never be happy.
Talk about a tough life. Here’s the thing. If we know how difficult it is to deal with someone who is unappeasable, wouldn’t we want to determine on the front end that we’re going to be easy to please? I can’t fix you, and you can’t fix me, but we can set our minds on being appeasable. At different points in my life I’ve had to say to myself, “This is not my cup of tea, but so what!” At those times there has almost always been someone sitting right beside me who is loving it! I’ve had to ask myself, “Why am I not getting it? Why are so many having the time of their lives, and I feel like I’m in the middle of the movie, Groundhog Day?” (Not a favorite, but it is funny). Perhaps, for that moment, or for that season, it wasn’t for me. It was an opportunity for me to enjoy seeing someone else enjoying their moment.
I’ve used this verse in closing a blog before, but I’ll use it again. “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Matthew 16:25. Sometimes we’re a guest at someone else’s favorite meal. Let’s enjoy how much he or she is enjoying it. Even if we’ve had the same thing 3 times in the 3 days prior. We can enjoy someone else enjoying what’s being served.
Written By: David Jenkins