One of the new aspects of our culture that’s spawned from the “millennial” age group is to take the focus off the product or result, and put it on the “experience”. It’s no longer about what the product may be, but the attractiveness comes from the experience of using the product. It’s more about the journey of completing something. One key aspect of the video game industry, it’s no longer about a big fantastic ending when the user completes the game, but about the “experience” the player has while completing it. Studying the graphics, in depth story line, side quests, and overall experience is what designers focus on enhancing in hopes of selling.
Our culture has developed such an interesting viewpoint in that we get a basic understanding of the end goal, then pour a majority of our time and attention on how to achieve that goal. We focus on the day to day and how to experience the life we hope to live someday. The use of social media has helped us to achieve this by getting to see how our idols experience their day to day life, and gives us an opportunity to try and mimic them. The rise of social media has allowed us to watch and also show others how we experience our lives. Something that I’ve been working on is how to use the Instagram story feature. It’s a feature where I can instantly upload photo’s I can edit in hopes that people will find my life interesting and make me trend. So I can believe that I’m experiencing life in a way others want to. It’s quite prideful when we think about it, yet so addicting!
No matter where we look we focus so much on the experience. Whether it’s getting the “better” seats at the ball park or making sure to have every kind of snack to watch the big game we focus so much on the experience over the event itself. I think of the Super bowl this last year. In Kansas City we could care less about the Patriots or Rams (even though we rooted for the Rams out of principal). We focus more on the experience of watching the game than the game itself. We need to make sure to have all the food, drinks, friends, and big screen so we have a good experience of the super bowl.
So in a culture driven by experience, why as Christians do we so often not focus on experiencing God? We often times as 21st century Christians we aim all our hopes, thoughts, and dreams on our eternal life. Our eternal life is hands down the greatest blessing we have and gives us something to look forward to, but we sometimes forget to focus on the fact that we have God now! We have the Holy Spirit inside us and a God that wants us to cry out to him on a daily basis, but we sometimes forget that we have that ability. We only come to God when times are tough or think about eternity, not on now.
When we live our life without experiencing God on a daily basis we’re almost cheating ourselves on what he has to offer. We miss out on how we can see, feel, and watch him nurture and mature us throughout our day to day life. We have a mentality that we will have eternity to experience God, so we can keep him at arm’s length during our life. We inadvertently want to live our life without God and not completely realize it.
When we talk about the idea of experiencing God, we have to understand that we don’t do it on our terms, but on God’s terms. We belong to him thanks to the sacrifice made by Christ, and in return we strive to live a Godly life. We think that experiencing God at church, Bible study, or volunteering is enough and we’re content with only experiencing God in those settings but never outside them. We like the idea that we can again have God on our terms and only have him around when we want him to, not all the time.
We do it not out of obedience, but out of delight. When we find delight in God we get to experience him on a deep personal level. When we delight in our relationship in him it’s like any other relationship, we seek him during trials, rejoice during victory, come to him during times of decision making, and see him during all times of day. It amazes me how easy it is to see and experience God. One of my favorite things to do once it gets warm out is go walking. Its amazing to see how God takes care of nature. Often times I go walking in English Landing park down in Parkville. The walking trail is nestled between a rushing river and gorgeous bluff. I can’t help but be amazed and humbled by the fact that we as humans live, modified, and changed the landscape, yet nature is still there, living, and in charge whether we want to accept it. I look around and see God everywhere. From the intricacies of the leaves and trees, the rushing river, and knowing that the God who created and controls it made me, chose me, and wants a personal relationship with me! He is in every corner that I look, I just have to open my eyes and look. It’s like anything else, we can’t find something we are not seeking, and God certainly isn’t an exception.
It’s so important as Christians that we strive to experience God on a daily basis. It shows that we take delight in our relationship with him not only to others, but to ourselves. It helps develop ourselves spiritually to see God in our daily life in that we are actively seeking him. Christ talks about it several times in that we must seek Him and His Father always! It’s such a hard practice but something that is so worthwhile, not because Christ charges us to, but because we take delight in our relationship with him.