In Search Of The Next Thrill

Have you ever battled an addiction?

We all know about addictions to drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, food…maybe you’ve struggled with similar demons. This weekend our pastor mentioned an addiction I’d never considered.

Do you think we can become addicted to excitement?

It’s an interesting notion.

I’m no expert on addiction, and I’m not sure Jeff was suggesting an actual physical or psychological addiction. But our culture surely seems to encourage a quest for immediate thrills.

Tonight I get to experience one of those “high” moments. I’m honored to speak to clients and families at a spinal cord injury support group. Such opportunities are true “mountaintop experiences” in my life.

But it isn’t, and can’t be, all about those moments. Most of my time is spent at a keyboard, sending words like these out into cyberspace, never quite knowing their impact. I’m preparing for presentations, creating slides, tweaking the web sites.

Or I’m cranking my bike, strengthening old shoulders for another edition of RICH’S RIDE after the New Year. I’m plotting a route around Florida, contacting possible speaking sites, engaging with supporters.

Much of that work is interesting, some is challenging, and some is just part of the deal. That’s the way it works. I suspect lots of folks give up on their dreams because of an unrealistic fantasy that life ought to be an unending series of thrills.

What do you think? Can we get trapped and derailed by a search for the permanent “high”?

Following Jesus wasn’t always exhilarating for his disciples. Certainly they witnessed the most exciting of events, but much of their time was spent in ordinary daily activity. They walked, cooked, ate, and talked together. Surely there were times of weariness, confusion, conflict, loneliness, and fear.

Being with Jesus may have been challenging and interesting, but I’ll bet it wasn’t one thrill after another. If His closest friends didn’t live out a three-year “retreat experience,” why should we expect something different?

I can see a danger in church becoming a place that creates the unrealistic expectation of an unending succession of mountaintop encounters with God. Once people believe that’s “normal” they’ll conclude God’s given up on them when the excitement fades a bit.

Hanging out with Jesus need never be boring or mundane. Seeking deeper connection with Him can always be interesting and challenging, but it won’t be endlessly exhilarating. Jesus doesn’t just want to be around for the retreat moments. He wants to be there, to be part of, our everyday ordinary daily lives.

Surely we ought to savor the high points in the journey. I’m excited about the opportunity to share my story tonight.

But life and work and following Jesus shouldn’t devolve into a desperate search for the next fix of excitement.

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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