The fact is that we are essentially consuming experiences and our thirst doesn’t seem to go away, but to increase.
We live in a time in which, at least on this side of the world, it appears that we’ve seen it all before. We are hungry for experiences and emotions because hardly anything surprises us anymore. Not only that, but nothing satisfies us. We have become consumers of many kinds, but above all, without a doubt more at certain ages than others, consumers of experiences.
In any case, speaking of age, nothing is as it used to be and even less as it appears to be. That means that even if that longing to live, explore, pry and to test was limited to the teenage years decades ago, for obvious reasons that we won’t analyse here, it’s not like that now. We are all more inclined to be affected by the pseudo-adolescence that is multiplying like a virus and we walk through the world, day by day, with the expectation that a surprise is just around the corner.
Now nothing motivates us. Nothing entertains us. The variety of television and radio channels on offer, advertising available on demand, different opinions, different antics; it’s all so extensive that it seems as if at any moment we could run out of alternatives to satisfy the consumer who’s compulsively seeking experiences. But that moment of drought of ideas never seems to arrive, because there’s always something even stranger, more attractive, absurd, outlandish or immoral to surprise us.
We are machines that consume experiences. We insist that they continue to give us our daily dose, whether it’s in front of the tele (“Let’s see what they give us today”) in the supermarkets and shopping centres (waiting for the best offer, or the most aggressive or persuasive suggestion) or even between people (in which when a relationship ceases to be entertaining or motivating enough, we simply change it for another, or dump them it as if they were junk.
Are we like that? Have we become like that? And what else is there? The fact is that we are essentially consuming experiences and our thirst doesn’t seem to go away, but to increase. Unless it’s about God and, surprisingly, that’s the case for Christians as well.
In comparison, that area is probably the one in which we seem to have least expectations. We serve and worship the God of the times, the Almighty, the One who can do anything and in such surprising ways as the accounts that we’re given in Scripture. But, nevertheless, we expect the same that we would expect of a mediocre God, a meagre God who can’t do anything for us, in us or on our behalf. “Perhaps he did it on the cross so that it will be useful in the moment of our death” we think, “ but it doesn’t seem useful to expect anything from a God that we can’t see in a tangible way in our daily concerns.” When all’s said and done, He doesn’t resolve my paperwork, vacuum or pay the electric bill.
However, it is sad how short a memory we have. If we are honest, all of us could give an account of the small great miracles that the Lord has done for us (among other things, he hasn’t struck us down each time that we’ve deserved it). It would be right to recognise that His work isn’t only past and future but that he also works today. In Him everything is supernatural because He Himself is supernatural, and that should make us live the life that we have, and that is under the control of that God, with the total expectation that something truly great awaits us.
“What are you going to do today, Lord?” would be a great slogan that reflects the hope of one who is sustained by an infinite God who has a deep desire to constantly work for our good. The very essence of grace implies surprise, but His good always arrives when we don’t deserve it. We don’t deserve anything and so that clarifies everything. But we take it for granted; we don’t wait longingly. We have determined what it is that God has to do and we live life accordingly. But life, in all its parts, in every tiny detail, is a miracle and an undeserved gift that we should be capable of constantly giving thanks for.
If your mercy is new every morning, Lord, what do you want to show me today?
What do you want to do with my life and in my life?
Help me to live every day expectantly, as a God given gift.