I’ve been doing a lot of thinking today. Among other things, I’ve been thinking about how shallow people are. It makes me sad, because so many of them are living their lives in a way that is not really living at all. I hate it when emotions take over logic and truth. When people embrace what feels good rather than what IS good and what IS right. I have a lot of “friends”. I wonder how many people are really the kind that would be there through thick and thin. I only say that if I mean it. I am sure that nearly all of them would say that they would. But its easy to say that. It’s too easy to let idle words come out of your mouth. They sound nice, and they make people feel good, but there is no truth in them, there is no depth in them. We have so many shallow conversations. I am constantly trying to take it deeper. To take it to communion between two human beings.
And then there are shallow actions. “I am going to do this for you because I will feel guilty if I don’t”. You know what, I admire this person. Because at least they have a conscience. That is a lot more than can be said for a lot of people. Too many people don’t care about anybody but themselves. And I have this idea about an ‘appearance conscience’. You only try to make it right because other people will see that you didn’t otherwise. You have to protect your reputation. And people put so much effort into thinking about these things trying to figure out how they can manipulate life and people to get the most out of them and still look good at the same time. So many people aren’t real. They’ve been working so hard on building this façade, that when you do get a glimpse on the other side, you find that they haven’t even started building their house yet.
“I like you because you make me laugh.” “I like you because you make me feel good.” “I like you because you buy things for me.” “I like you because you entertain me.” “I like you because you pay attention to me.” “I like you because you make me feel important.”
I have done this experiment before. I ask my friends why they hang out with me. A lot of times they try to make it a joke, another avoidance of depth. Or they might say that they hang out with me because they like me. Ask them why they like me, and they give the above responses. “I hang out with you because you make me laugh. Therefore, we are friends.” End of syllogism.
That is not real. “I’m here for you because I love you. I love you because you are worth loving. You are worth loving because God made you.” That comes so easily to me. It seems so natural to me. I have shared that logic with people who have then claimed to adopt it as their own. But did they really? Why is it so hard for people to say? More importantly, why is it so hard for people to do? Why is it so hard for people to BE?
I can’t imagine loving somebody for what they had to offer you. That makes you be a parasite, a blood sucker. And yet, there are these groups of people who are all that way and they hang around each other and claim to be real. They are each other’s hosts! They are taking turns sucking on each other. That is dead and stale. There is no life in that. They are reaching and grabbing for whatever they can get until there is no life left. It is a competition to see who can get the most. And so, sadly, they settle for, “Lets do something fun together to distract us from the painful reality that our relationships with each other are selfish and shallow. Heck, we are so shallow we can’t even talk about that without lying about or making excuses for reality. Reality depresses us, and we need a distraction. By doing something fun together, we can pretend like a real relationship actually exists.”
People are afraid of depth. People are vulnerable to fear. So many people desire depth, but Satan exploits their fear. And they settle for dangling their toes in the water. Or they get distracted by the mesmerizing reflection on the surface of the water, and they forget how good it feels to be wet allover.
God created us for deep relationships. What makes a deep relationship? I have found out that it sure isn’t time. Years don’t make a difference. There are people I have met in college who, I know, the minute they graduate, will forget that I existed. There are friends who I have had really good times with and felt close to who have moved on and now have new friends. They have forgotten me, but I haven’t forgotten them. I can’t forget them. The problem is that a lot of people consider others to be replaceable. If this doesn’t work out, then that will work out, right? Friends are only there for each other as long as they are getting something out of it. That is the most selfish kind of “love” that I have ever heard of. You shouldn’t be a friend to somebody because of what you can get out of it. Maybe they have something to offer you in return and maybe they don’t. It’s not about that though. It’s not about loving someone because of the ways they benefit you. True love is modeled in the way Christ loved. He loved us the way we needed to be loved. He died for us. For the vast majority of the world, the sacrifice He made didn’t pay off, but for a blessed few, His loving without expecting to get anything in return resulted in a real and deep and true relationship.
I have no reason to love this Man who lived and died 2,000 years ago. By loving Him, I DO get something out of it, but is that why I love Him? So that I won’t go to hell? No, I love Him because He loved me first. I love Him because of who He is. To Him, I know I am not replaceable. I know that the way He feels about me will never change. Even when my side of the relationship waxes and wanes, He will always love me just as much. I know He misses me. I don’t spend as much time with Him as I should. But still He waits ready, willing, and able to take our relationship deeper. I am that special to Him. I am the one and only to Him. I could never be replaced by anybody else. That’s how much He loves me. That’s how much I love Him. And that’s worth holding on to.
I pray that He uses the depth He has given me to give people a taste of depth. A taste of life the way it was supposed to be. Take away the animation. I don’t want to show a 14 megapixel print. I want to take them there, to the place the photo was taken, the place the picture was painted, the place the song was written. Because there, under that tree, is where they will meet Him for real.
So many people are afraid to swim in a pool where they can’t touch the bottom. I would rather go deep diving. That’s where the pearls are. Will you come with me?