Selfishness, and Mario Kart

Well, it’s December, and along with that comes advent, Christmas present shopping, and outreach missions to the poor. And all I can think about now is how much I don’t care about all that stuff. I kinda like giving presents to people, I sort of enjoy helping poor people, but all things given, I could care a lot more about these things. I have been thinking a lot about some things lately that I believe God is going to ask me to do before long, and I’m not really happy about it. This has led me to a lot of different thoughts. One of which that I find most interesting is the idea of selfishness. Specifically, I believe that we all become Christians for selfish reasons. I think that there is one thing that drives everyone in Christianity, and that is the “what can I get from this” mentality. Everyone wants either eternal salvation, or the benefits in life that Christianity gives us. Every thing we do in life that we think God is asking us to do is for the hope that our lives will be better because we do this. We say things like “God has a plan for us” and go on with our lives following what we think God wants us to do so that we can follow this plan. This is all so that we can get a better situation then we are in. A better life, a better way of doing things, a better answer to life’s problems. But the question is, what makes us stay the course when God asks us to die for him, or to do something that we think sucks for him. What would life be like if my Dad took that high profile job with the city of Indianapolis that the mayor offered him instead of doing what God asked him, what would have happened if he continued on with his acting career instead of becoming a pastor…would he be on Broadway, would he be on TV, would he have a lot more money and have an easier life. Who knows, but instead he takes crap from old ladies every day who don’t want to change anything in the church, and deals with the stress of an entire church full of people dropping their crap on him all the time. Is it that sometimes we are destined for greatness in the world and God asks us to give that up? And how much does that suck when that happens. I know there is a whole lot of good things that come from giving up your place in the world of success to follow God, but where does my selfish desire for improved quality of life and eternal salvation end, and my selfish desire for good things that the world can provide start.

Anyway, I’ve been kinda bummed out thinking about some of this stuff, so I have been playing video games so I don’t have to think about it. Mario Kart is fun. The computer is way better in the 150cc class, which is sorta cool because it makes it harder to win for me, and considering that I owned the computer and almost everyone else I played in Mario Kart 64 it is somewhat refreshing. I don’t like that the computer does things that people can’t do. That has always annoyed me. I don’t like when I hit the computer with a bomb and as I pass the cart it goes from zero to top speed so fast that it passes me almost right away agian….and this is a cart that has bad acceleration…..that annoys me. The computer players also zig-zag back and forth across tracks as fast as I can drive in a straight line down the course, and they steer on the edge of tracks with no guard rails better then humanly possible as well. I would really like to play a game that was hard because the computer played well like a person has to, not because they can be cheap, and drive the kart faster then a person can or steer better then a person can.

So at any rate. That is my story thus far…and I’m sticking to it.

  1. “Blah blah blah Mario Kart blah blah blah whining blah blah blah”

    All hail the king of whining. Hail King Ben! Master of bitching.

    And come on, you knew one of us would say something 😛

  2. Ya know – I found what you posted to be interesting. While I was reading your post it occured to me that most of the time I read my bible and serve God so I can have peace. Dang. Granted, peace is a good thing… but that shouldn’t be the reason why I do those things. The reason should be because I love God and I just want to get to know Him/praise Him/etc.

    So, in summary – your not the only selfish one 😉

  3. Oh, one more thing… I’ve discovered that no matter how hard i run or how much stuff I do to distract myself … reality and what God is saying always pops right back up, but sometimes it’s a lot harder after I’ve done dumb stuff to really do what I find I need to do.. and amazingly what was actually deep deep deep down in my desires to do (thus why God asked me to do it)

    thus, the short version… I’d stop running and hiding if I were you 😉

  4. We actually had a discusion about this in Caleb and Jenny’s small group a couple weeks back. I decided that there is nothing wrong with wanting good things for yourself. An improved life now and salvation later are both admirable things to desire. Just make sure you know what an “improved life” is; it’s not always what we’re expecting and in some exteme cases this improved life includes dieing in martyrdom. Scary thought, isn’t it.

  5. Yeah. God is good. We use him for everything we can get. Frankly, the only reason we are in this is b/c God IS good. We’d turn tail otherwise.

    Of course, God’s goodness isn’t always verified by our temporary experience. Martyrdom = good has always seemed a ridiculous equation to me. So why do we put up with things like that? Because after awhile of being around God, we start to like him. He’s infectious like that. And then we trust him. And we finally realize that all the crap we drag ourselves through could much more easily have been avoided if we’d just been listening to him.

    BTW, all hail Prince Daniel! Hail the prince of sarcastic praise!

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