My husband, Derick, always gets the latest and greatest phones and gadgets. I'm sure many of you are already aware of that, since he's not ashamed to brag about his new iPhone and iPad. He talks about them, posts things on facebook about them, and demonstrates them at every opportunity. It's fun for him to show off his new toys and enlighten his friends and myself about all the wonderful and exciting things they can do.
I, on the other hand, have his hand-me-down phones. They, at one time, were the latest and greatest, but these days it only takes a few months...sometimes a few weeks...before they are surpassed by more exciting devices. Although the phone I have works just fine, it's nothing worth bragging about. In fact, it would be almost absurd for me to talk about my phone the way Derick talks about his since there are so many newer and more advanced versions of the outdated phone that I have. Usually when it comes time to upgrade, I settle for the hand-me-down, while Derick is jumping at the chance to get something new.
It's not that I don't enjoy new things. I love playing around with Derick's new gadgets. But usually I'm too cheap to want to pay the extra money to upgrade to a fancier phone when I can use his old one that works just fine. Secretly, I wish that I had an iPhone. I envy his iPad. I would love to have the internet at my fingertips and the app that lets you bump your phone and automatically transfer information from one phone to another. But I settle for less, because I don't want to pay the price.
As I was pondering the irony of this situation today, God reminded me that often this is how we treat our Christian faith. The wonderful thing about a relationship with Christ is that it is supposed to be always changing, always evolving, always growing. Much like the technology today, we can be constantly introduced to new and exciting knowledge about God. And many people have the joy of experiencing just that. They seek after God. They spend time getting to know Him through study of His Word, prayer, and worship. They get to a place where the experience they have been having with God just isn't enough, and they pay the price to upgrade to a deeper revelation of who God is. We know who these people are. Much like someone who gets a new gadget or phone, they can't help but let their excitement about the Lord overflow into their conversation with others. They feel that this new revelation must be shared!
Some of us see these people and their ever-growing, ever-deepening relationships with God, and desire the same thing. We hear their excitement about the new things they are learning and experiencing through Christ, and deep inside we hunger for the same thing. But instead of making the sacrifice to have a greater revelation of God ourselves, we settle for the same faith we have carried around since childhood. We cling to our 3rd grade Sunday School lessons and memorized prayers that we have been saying for years. We figure, they still work, so why change? Why put forth the extra effort to "upgrade" to a more meaningful, newer revelation of who God is when what we have gets us by just fine?
I have been guilty of this. Just as I sit and admire Derick's iPhone with envy, I have admired the vibrant spiritual lives of others, yet been unwilling to pay the price to experience the same thing myself. The crazy thing is, sometimes I have walked around with my out-dated, stale faith and boasted about my relationship with Christ, as if I had something worth boasting about! Can you imagine someone in 2010 bragging about their Zack Morris 80's phone as if it was just as up-to-date as an iPhone? It would be absurd! But I've done that. And I would venture to say, most all of us have. We are content with, even proud of ourselves for the faith we have when, in reality, there is so much more to be had if we will just pay the price. Time. Commitment. Study. Change.
So I challenge you, as I have been challenged today: how long have you been carrying around the same "version" of your faith? Is it time for an upgrade? And if so, are you willing to pay the price to experience a new revelation of Christ? If we are, endless possibilities, knowledge and understanding about God are waiting for us. Now that is something worth sharing!