Had the privilege of spending some time with Zane Black and Propaganda of Dare 2 Share conferences. They are doing a great work, led by Greg Stier of training students to share Christ relationally and relentlessly. Zane and I exchanged books, and I've been enjoying his short, flashy autobiography "InZane."
He writes of his pre-Christ, party days: "Sin is fun. People sin because at the time it seems fun, and it is. The Bible even recognizes this: Hebrews 11:25 describes Moses as "choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin." If you are honest, at some level you too have enjoyed the pleasures of sin ... any sin. All sin entices us by claiming to bring fulfillment or joy, but always fails to deliver in the end. But like the Bible says, you have also probably found those pleasures to be fleeting. It's like jumping off a building without a parachute. The first 100 feet is gonna be epic [at least for an extreme guy like Zane], but when the reality of the ground comes, you will find your epic free fall to have been short lived, with a terrible ending.
All over the world people chase after the pleasures of this world, seeking their own desires and end up being left unsatisfied. One of the top snowboarders in the world is Shaun White. Shuan turned pro at the age of 13. He has won over 24 medals through competition and has his own clothing brand. He has a video game made after him. Red Bull built him his own personal half pipe in the mountains of Colorado. They estimate he makes around $9 million a year! The show 60 minutes did a story on Shaun and in the interview he said something shocking. He put it out there stratight up and said, "I'm a bit lonely sometimes." He's gotten to the top of his career, is living out every "shred kid's" dreams, is traveling the world, snowboarding and skateboarding for a living, and yet he is lonely.
John Mayer, a well known musician, has 3.7 million Twitter followers and 2.3 million Facebook fans, yet he has a song where he sings about all that he has in the form of a checklist: "Friends - check, money - check, well slept- check, opposite sex- check..." He goes on, but the chorus of the song is "something's missing and I don't know how to fix it, somethings missing and I don't know what is is."
I recently also connected with Dave Sterret, co-author with Josh McDowell on several books and also author of the recent I Am Second book. We also swapped books, and I'm enjoying his book Why Trust Jesus?. He writes of a similar predicament, but many hundreds of years ago with a man by the imposing name of Augustine:
"Augustine discloses his own struggle with his pursuit of those things in Confessions. In 370, he studied rhetoric and investigated a variety of philosphies and religions, and Carthage [Northern Africa] offered distractions, entertainment and all the vices of a bustling port city. Augustine lived with his girlfriend for 10 years and had an illegitimate son by her, but he didn't love her enough to marry her. During this time, he also joined an intellectual religious cult. All through his time of rebellion, Augustine's mother cried out to the Lord to rescue him. Years later, Augustine realized how important his mother's prayers had been:
"Nevertheless, O God, You stretched out Your hand from above and drew my soul out of the profound darkness, because my mother, Your faithful one, wept to You on my behalf more than most mother's weep after the bodily deaths of their children. For by the light of faith and the Spirit she received from You, she saw that I was dead. You heard her, O Lord."
The more Augustine sinned, the more he realized he had no power on his own to break away from those sins. One day, in a state of turmoil, he creid out, "How long Lord? What will be the end of my uncleanness?" As he sobbed, he heard a group of children playing a game on the other side of the graden wall. As a part of their game, they said, "Pick up and read; pick up and read." Augustine interpreted this as a word of God being communicated to him. He returned to a spot where he had thrown down a copy of the New Testament Scriptures. He opened it and read these words from Romans: "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." As he read the Scriptures, he said that a "light of security flooded my soul, and all the gloom of doubt vanished away." Through the Word of God, the living Savior took control of Augustine's heart when he was 32 years old. Augustine later began his Confessions saying:
To praise you is the desire of man, a little piece of your creation. You stir us to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."
The notable writer C. S. Lewis adds, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
Blaise Pascal adds, "There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus."
Satisfaction is available. Satisfaction comes from making peace with God, through His Son Jesus Christ. It's what we were created for.