The Good Life is the Enemy of a Great Life!
A New Sermon Series to start your year right!
I Would Rather Die of Thirst than Drink from the Cup of Mediocrity
Luke-Warm and Loving It: Never Settle for a Half-Hearted Faith!
I read a story recently about a group of amateur mountain climbers who were climbing Mont Blanc in the French Alps. Their guide told them to leave all their belongings behind and to only bring what was necessary for the climb. One of the guys thought he could make it with all the extras he had always dreamt of bringing to the top of the mountain: a block of cheese, a bottle of wine, two or three extra camera lenses, a nice blanket; so, he brushed off the guide’s advice and packed it all.
Halfway up, however, he couldn’t carry it anymore. It had gotten too heavy; too cumbersome. He had a decision to make. Leave the stuff behind or give up his dream of making it to the top of the mountain.
So, he sat down, opened the bottle of wine, laid out the blanket, and bid farewell to the group, and they went on without him.
As I read this story, I couldn’t help but see us. Human beings and the decisions we make every day, and one of the great blunders therein. When we find we can’t make it to the top of life with all of our accessories, or the way we thought our life should go, instead of facing the hard truths that maybe we miscalculated, or maybe we are trying to carry too much, or are taking a wrong path altogether and adjusting, we instead let the top go and pitch our tent in the plain.
We become, as C.S. Lewis once said, content “making mud pies in a slum when we are being offered a holiday at sea.” We settle for mediocrity. Shiny things that promise life but never deliver. Things that feel, or look, or maybe are indeed good, but in our going after them day after day we forget that ‘good is the enemy of great.’
In other words, a good life is the enemy of a great life.
And we shouldn’t settle for anything but great. A great impact on the world, great depth in taking in all that we can, contributing our verse to the story, being great for the people we love, and even for those we don’t.
The challenge is by the time we reach a certain age, have taken several risks, and have read a certain number of books promising things about self-improvement that didn’t deliver, something in us dies, and instead of going deeper or finding the strength to push on; instead of realizing that maybe we were looking in the wrong place, we just give up. We sit down, break out the things that make us feel good, and let the top go. The ‘top’ is the dream that life could be something beyond what we have known. Beyond the mundane; the everyday; beyond what we have been told to settle for. How tragic the settled life is. Because there really is a way to the top. To try to find this kind of next-level existence.
NEXT SERMON SERIES
Starting January 27