Thirsty Work

Are we there yet? What do you want to be when you grow up? Is it soup yet? Are we good? Over and over again, the question asked of culture, and the question that culture asks us, has to do with crossing some kind of finish line. There is a craving for completion so profound that it dominates conversations and dictates self esteem. People are often judged by how far along, and how close to a given milestone, they are. The destination addiction is so deep that it impacts leisure time; lots of folks dream of crossing things off of a bucket list. The experience is secondary to the completion. Your phone's app store is full of games that may or may not be particularly fun, but they promise to give you the sense of being done.

For a moment, anyhow. There are always more levels, more games. None of these pursuits, and I bet you can think of still others, actually scratch the itch. The cultural solution is to keep digging, keep super-sizing. Last year's large is now a medium. Move over Grande; there's a Venti Frappuchino available. I'll wait while you go see what a Trenta is.  

None of that works, of course, and the reason is simple: Nothing ever ends. When you get to a horizon, you'll find another one. Biologically, psychologically, intellectually, spiritually, and in every other way, there's no finish line.

Let me put that another way. God is infinite. You are made in the Image and after the Likeness. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that there's no end to the important, true, and beautiful parts of you. The only things that even seem to stop are things not worth pursuing in the first place. Show me somebody who's obsessed with finish lines, and I'll show you somebody who's miserable. God is not just eternal; God is eternity. No wonder running after endings makes us feel far from Him.

There's another way. Stop stopping. Look out for opportunities to enjoy the journey instead of worrying about the destination. If your job, or your relationship, or your church dangles a carrot of finality in front of you, you're being had. The logic of doing a thing just so that we can stop doing that thing escapes me. It's not about being full, it's about making room. Or, as Jesus teaches us:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6, NASB)

Make room. Embrace the space. It's the only way to let God in. We are looking for righteousness, which we can read as "right-use-ness." In other words, let's find joy in the journey, and let's use what we have to help somebody today.