Sep 24 2012
It's Time to Party

I didn't write this. Mike Yaconelli wrote this. And I realize this is the second blog entry in a row inspired by heroes of mine, both of whom died in car accidents.  I didn't do it intentionally. And I apologize if I'm breaking any laws by posting this. I had to re-type it all, because I can't find it on the web, anywhere. He wrote it years ago, in a now-defunct magazine, and I made a copy of it (another law violation?) and stuck it in a box in my garage. When I read it on the air today, we were inundated with requests to see it, so here you go.

I highly recommend Mike's book Messy Spirituality, by the way. He was a game-changer for me.

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It's Time to Party, by Mike Yaconelli

 

Recently, my wife and I were having our devotions and reading our favorite devotional guide, Cosmopolitan. In it was another one of those mindless quizzes.  (You know the ones: How Responsible Are You? How Sensual Are You? Do You Have ESP? Will Your Marriage Last?) One of the questions caught my eye. It said:

Which would you prefer?

a) a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure - intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks, or

b) a happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by many friends and family, without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

I thought the answer was obvious. Everyone, I thought, would choose the first option. I was shocked to discover that a good majority would choose the second option. And then it occurred to me: I have been working with adolescents for the past twenty-nine years. And, when I ask them to describe adults, one word always comes up - borrrrrring.

As I began to think about it, I realized that most adults I know are boring. They don't have fun anymore. Oh sure, get a few drinks under their belts and they act alive for awhile. But that's not what I mean. I'm talking about being and acting alive all the time.

The truth is that games are wasted on the young. Little kids don't know how to play games. Remember when you were seven years old and you played hide-and-seek? You'd hide behind a telephone pole with half your body hanging out. No, hide-and-seek isn't for children. It's for people like you and me. Now that I'm 46, I know how to hide. I'm a darn good hider.

I have suggested a game of hide-and-seek to many adult audiences and I am always amazed at the response. I see adults all throughout the group nudging each other, quietly discussing a great hiding place they just thought of, secretly planning a game with their children. It doesn't take much to make most of us realize that we have become too serious, too stressful. The result is that we hae forgotten how to live life. It seems like the older we get, the more difficult it is for us to enjoy living. It reminds me of a description of life given by Rabbi Edward Cohn:

"Life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time, all your weekends, and what do you get at the end of it? ... I think that the life cycle is all backward. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live twenty years in an old-age home. You get kicked out when you're too young. You get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You go to college; you party until you're ready for high school; you go to grade school; you become a little kid; you play. You have no responsibilities. You become a little baby; you go back into the womb; you spend your last months floating; and you finish up as a gleam in somebody's eye."

It's hard to imagine we were a gleam in someone's eye once. What happened to the gleam in our eye? What happened to that joyful, crazy, spontaneous, fun-loving spirit we once had? The childlikeness in all of us gets snuffed out over the years.

A.W. Tozer once said, "This society has put out the light in men's souls." He had it right. The more pagan a society becomes, the more boring its people become. The sign that Jesus is in our hearts, the evidence of the truth of the Gospel is... we still have a light on in our souls. We are alive, never boring, always playful, exhibiting in our everydayness the "spunk" of the Spirit.

The light in our souls is not some pious somberness. It is the spontaneous, unpredictable love of life. Christians are not just people who live godly lives. We are people who know how to live, period. Christians are not just examples of moral purity. We are also people filled with a bold mischievousness. Christians not only know how to practice piety. We also know how to party.

I believe it's time for the party to begin.

 

Comments (15) -

9/24/2012 5:37:36 PM
Drew Crabtree United States
Drew Crabtree
I love this article! I agree the Benjamin Button life would be the way to live Smile Love Ya Brant. You're the best at it!
9/24/2012 6:00:39 PM
Larry Hehn Canada
Larry Hehn
I'm a big Mike Yaconelli and Messy Spirituality fan. Thanks for digging this out of the archives and sharing it, Brant. Party on!
9/24/2012 6:12:29 PM
Jacqueline United States
Jacqueline
Thank you, Brant. This was excellent! God bless you. I hope all is well. : )
9/24/2012 6:25:25 PM
Ming-Wai Ng United States
Ming-Wai Ng
Wow, I absolutely love this.
9/24/2012 6:52:50 PM
RED 7 United States
RED 7
Wow. This totally goes against my personality, but I need to hear that. Thanks for sharing, Brant!
9/24/2012 6:58:29 PM
Christine United States
Christine
Thank you so much for sharing. I know that is the kind of life I should be living, but it seems so foreign. I want a child-like heart, and I want to know how to LIVE!!!
9/24/2012 7:34:28 PM
Tommie Tran United States
Tommie Tran

Thanks for reminding me to be more playful, this is something that I really needed to hear today.
I always thought I had a child like faith, but I need to remember how to be a child again too.
9/25/2012 1:09:18 AM
Karen United States
Karen
Thank you Brant for this amazing post.

I'm going on 19, and just realized that I'm not having a child like faith. I LOVED your post, and am currently printing it off for a reminder to live life free, fun, but full of Jesus. A Christian should have a glint in their eye, and a spring in their step. This post touched my heart, and I thank you for it, & thank God that I was around to hear you read it over the radio. (that's what originally sent me on a mad search to see if it was on your facebook page).

Thanks for your inspiring words. Since being turned onto Air 1, and hearing your sessions (& producer Sherry's), I have come to have a better relationship with Jesus. It has created hope, thankfulness, and even Joy in my relationship with Christ...and I just thank you, Air 1, and God for that.

God Bless,
Karen
9/25/2012 8:46:20 AM
Mike Taylor United Kingdom
Mike Taylor
Thanks for that, it's very good.

But a tip for the future: no need to retype, just google for a characteristic phrase such as "I was shocked to discover that a good majority would choose the second option". Doing that, I found two online copies.
9/25/2012 8:55:08 PM
Corey United States
Corey
"Drew Crabtree
the Benjamin Button life would be the way to live"

sure, if i could de-age and look like Brad Pitt, that'd be great.

if i have to go back to age 20 and look like i did then, no thanks ;p

i'm happier at 50 where nobody cares about my looks ;D  20 blew.

Laughing


*i do wish i could be 7 again though, Hotwheels were awesome!*

9/26/2012 7:02:16 PM
Christine United States
Christine
I want to play hide and go seek now lol this is soooo true!! Love your show Brant! I look forward to hearing you every day Smile
9/28/2012 6:26:53 PM
Wes United States
Wes
Thanks for having a blog Brant. I really value your ministry. I really identify with you. Thank you.
10/23/2012 5:41:09 PM
Amber United States
Amber
wow, thanks so much for posting this! I loved it.
12/3/2012 1:23:51 PM
Jeremy Young United States
Jeremy Young
Dude, they had 5 different Nachos!!! It was the coolest Christian Concert I've EVER been too!!! The artists were so personable and cool, and most importantly they Love Jesus, please go to Club Awesome. You will NEVER, EVER, EVER regret going! Unless you wait and don't get in!
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