S04E07 #GoDeeper with Andy B: Meh! (Endurance)

Avatar Andy B | 24/04/2022

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Andy B begins this week’s episode of Endurance by first explaining what exactly we mean by the mundane with the emoji “meh.” He goes on to compare short-term happiness with the eternal joy of the Lord. Short-term happiness, or pleasure, obviously doesn’t last and could become a bit of an addiction.

He touches on Ecclesiastes, the Psalms, and 1 Thessalonians as he walks us through the difference between being happy and being joyful and what the bible can teach us about the mundane.

Andy B then takes the idea of the Olympics and representing your company and how we wall want to make a difference in the world whether for ourselves or others. But we can easily get hooked into seeking a short-term thrill, or even just a short-term alleviation from the mundanity and chasing the thrill of drinking or partying.

John 3 v 16 points us in the right direction for how we can truly be a part of something where we can make a difference for our own lives and for the lives of others: a relationship with Jesus Christ, because this never fades or spoils. It literally lasts for eternity, providing joy, peace, and hope in this lifetime too.

Andy B

So "Meh!" Or perhaps even "Muh!"

If you've seen the Emoji Movie, and a lot of people thought it was a bit pants, but I actually really enjoyed it. I thought was brilliant! And one of the characters is, is Meh. He doesn't quite fit. He's not joy. He's not sad. He's not angry. He's not even an ice cream cone. But he's an emoji which is "Meh". It's kind of in the middle.

I've used this before, but, where where I'm from, the Black Country you have, "how you doin?", "Fair to middlin". It's kind of you're not good or bad. It's just somewhere in the middle. You're Meh. And so much of life, I suspect, for most of us, actually, is Meh.

We get up. We go to work. We go to school. We go to the office. We go out and we ge to the gym. Or we we go and buy some fuel for the car. Or we buy some food. Or we go to the tip with the stuff we no longer need. And none of these things are necessarily, especially, exciting. The first day of a brand new job, yeah, that can be great. But the 15,000th day at the same job? And that's where Meh comes in.

Let's dive into a little bit of Scripture to really build us up today. Ecclesiastes, Chapter 1, Verse 2, says this,

"Meaningless, meaningless, says the teacher. Utterly meaningless. Everything is meaningless."

How many of us can identify with the words of that little bit of Scripture? Where life feels so the same, mundane? It's just day in, day out. And yet that's most of life. So how are we supposed to deal with that? As Christians aren't we supposed to be happier? Isn't there a better way?

Let's go to Psalms. We will go to Psalms when i've found it. Psalm 118, Verse 24 says this,

"This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Now if you're a certain age, and I'm probably that age, you might remember this song, and it always felt a little bit naff, but it was based on Scripture which is very good. And, actually, this is the day the Lord has made. And we should rejoice, and we should be glad. So why don't we? And I think part of that is because we let life grind us down. We, we forget the joy that it is to know, and have, a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

The first day that we've decided to become a Christian, if you've decided to follow Jesus when you're a bit older, it's an amazing day. I don't remember that I was 7. My boys were 4 or 3 years old. Jo, on the other hand, was in her 20s. She remembers vividly the day she followed Jesus. And it's an amazing day. And she still tells it with amazing excitement, because it was a great day. But, over the years, that amazing stuff can kind of start to wane, and drift a little bit, as we get on with life.

Let's just jump to 2 Thessalonians. No 1 Thessalonians 5, 16, which says this,

"Be joyful, always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus".

God's will for us is not to go through life depressed, fed up, down, dour. We're supposed to have joy. What does that joy look like? Well, that joy means that when bad things happen, we're not happy about it. But we have an inner peace about it. It's not some weird, wacky meditation thing. It comes from a relationship with the Holy Spirit. It's not really to do with us at one level. It's more to do with the Holy Spirit pouring out of us just like the fruit of the Spirit. It isn't something that we deliberately kind of create, it happens as a result of a relationship with Jesus.

Where am I going with this today? Well, the mundane of life can get us down. The idea of going through the same things time and time again. Yeah, there's kind of mini highlights. But, often, life feels quite, quite boring. But the world tells you to live life to the max.

So how do you live life to the max if you're a Christian, and we're supposed to be dour and, you know, not getting too excited. Well, that's a load of rubbish! We should be joyful. And I've met people who have got this down to a tee. Whenever you meet them they're beaming with smiles. "Do you know what I woke up this morning and I have breath in my lungs, and I praise God, and I can hear the birds, and it was raining, which is wonderful, because it's feeding the plants." And we can change our mindset to be less down.

When life gets fed up, and boring, and frustrating, and depressing, and mundane, it's easy to do what the world tells you. Go party. Go and sleep with a bunch of people. Get into drinking. And buy a faster car and do things which will give you short term fixes, a short term happiness. But what the Bible's talking about is not a bit of happiness. It's talking about joy.

Happiness is a counterfeit of joy. Joy is coming from the Lord. It's an amazing relationship with Him. It just fires you up in your heart. It brings a smile to your face. Happiness? Well, I can feel happy having a Mars bar or, or a packet of sweets, and then it kind of fades. Because it's not eternal. Joy is eternal. We need to be chasing joy, not a buzz, not a fix.

Where's all this going? Well, there's a piece of scripture, which I think sums up well what I'm trying to say better than I can, which is no surprise, 'cos it's the Bible.

If life is getting you down and you're thinking, well, I want to make a difference in life, I want to mean something, I want to stand for something, I want to make a difference to people's lives, you can! But when we try and build our own little kingdom, I can promise you, it's going to crash down at some point. Because we're gonna die. This isn't depressing stuff. This is just real life stuff.

So, how do we go through life well of joy, and doing something for a purpose that's going to last Because that's, ultimately, what we want, to make a difference. We want to be the difference.

I had this idea about the Olympics. We can't all go to the Olympics and represent our country in the 100 metres, or the 800 metres, or the long jump, or the pole vault, or cycling, or swimming. Only a few people can go and do that. It's the same with Armed Forces. You can't have 10,000 pilots. You have a tiny handful of pilots who are supported by all these other people, and everything works together for something that's bigger than one person.

The Olympics is bigger than that one person who's doing their representation for that country. It's bigger than that. But yet we can't all be in the Olympics. So, we can however, all walk or swim, or we can do a bit of archery. And we can do these different things. But we may not represent the UK, or the US, or wherever you're from, France, Italy. We may not be doing that. But it doesn't devalue what we're doing. And we can still take great joy in swimming for God, or running for God, or cycling for God. Making a cup of tea for somebody for God. It's all stuff that we can do for others. And it's building something where we can make a difference, where we're gonna matter. Perhaps not as we want to.

We're gonna matter 'cos we're gonna make a difference in other people's lives. So while we can't all be in the Olympics and represent our country we can still exercise and enjoy it. We can still run, or run, or climb or swim, or whatever it is that you enjoy doing.

So, what is it we can do that has a lasting, meaningful impact on the world? Well, let me let Scripture speak for itself. John 3, 16 says this,

"For God so loved the world that He gave one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

If you wanna make a difference in this world. If you want to matter. If what you do, you want that to make a difference to people's lives, then you need to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Because it's the only thing that lasts.

Yeah, you can go out and party. You can go drinking. You can do all sorts of stuff. You can go and do drugs, and it'll alleviate the boredom for a while. You can go and find a new girl every night and, you know, and there's kind of some excitement in that. It's true! But it's short term. And then we need something bigger. And the next time it needs to be something bigger again.

When we do something that, that we try and use to get away from the boring and the mundane, we have to increase it to be able to tell the difference, so it feels more exciting than the last time. That's basically an addiction. But if you want to make a difference in people's lives, so you're not addicted to something bad, but you still are meaning something in life, you're never gonna find it in what you do. But you can find that in whom you serve. It almost sounds a bit boring. 'Well follow Jesus and you'll find joy', but it's true.

I became a Christian at 7 I am now 44. That's quite a few years walking with Jesus. I have never walked away from Him. I've doubted my faith. I've questioned my faith. But I've never gone any further than that because my joy of knowing Jesus is too great.

If you want to make a difference in this life. If your life feels mundane, boring, it's just the same, I get up I go to work, or school, I come back, I do some emails, and I go back, and sleep, and.

Make a difference in the world. Have a relationship with Jesus Christ and you will find that you have joy. That that joy is eternal. And that joy, being eternal does all sorts of good stuff inside you to bring you peace and joy.

Let's pray. Father God, I thank you for joy. I thank you the happiness, whilst it can be good, I thank you that joy is your gift to us. You don't want us to be happy. You want us to be joyful. It comes out from inside us. And it pours out to people around us. Help us to make a difference to people's lives not by trying to be important. Not by trying to be the difference, but be part of something greater, be part of your kingdom and sharing your love with the people around us. Amen.

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Written by Andy B


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