Wake up, O sleeper!

Realization about my generation: we will do whatever possible to take the easy route. We’ll allow projects to be mediocre, we’ll give less than half our effort and say it’s enough, we use about an eighth of the passion instilled in us by our Creator, etc. It is, first of all, pathetic. Secondly, it’s a terrible witness to those outside the Christian faith. I may have the story slightly skewed, but there is a man who is known as “The Friendly Atheist.” There is a bid for his story on Ebay, and for every ten dollars bid, he will spend an hour in the local Irish Catholic church, or, if the bidder wants him to be in a different church, he’ll go to a different local church. The point being he is MORE THAN WILLING to convert to the Christian faith if someone can just prove to him it’s worth it. If someone can answer the legitimate questions he has, then he will sign on with the Christian faith. To get an introductory idea of the whole shabang, check this out http://friendlyatheist.com/faq/

It’s really no surprise that he hasn’t been convinced. Even in the services that accept everyone, why would he be sold on Christianity? Our contemporary, relaxed services sort of have me annoyed. We show up ten minutes late. No big deal, it’s just church! I think it’s great to invite people to bring in coffee cups or whatever else, but at the same time, I’m frustrated by it. We’re in WORSHIP people! We’re communing together, as one body, with the HOLY GOD! Yes, God is a personal God. He’s an all-loving, enduring, faithful, and unfathomably gracious God. Christ called him Abba – a Jewish term that literally means “Daddy!” But he is still an awesome, righteous, and holy God. He’s still a God that deserves our reverential attitudes and deserves our best worship, our full attention, and our full devotion. No wonder people aren’t convinced by what we believe. If we believed it, we’d actually LIVE it out! But let’s face it. We look, talk, and act the same. My generation thinks we’re entitled to success, happiness, and a pat on the back just because we gave 45%. After all, people should be thrilled that we’ve even considered to grace them with that 45%.

I’d really like to know when this cancerous thought began. At what point did my generation find it okay to tell the world “Screw you!” until we get our way? I’ve noticed this in my attitude towards Orchestra lately. Here’s my side of things: the top players in Wind Ensemble are expected to be in Orchestra. I personally did NOT sign up to be in Orchestra – it was decided for me. I’m not paid to be in Orchestra. I didn’t decide to be in Orchestra. Quite honestly, I think those of us in both WE and Orchestra are screwed over. We have rehearsals five days a week. Everyone else in the music department…EVERYONE ELSE…has four days a week or less. Yet somehow it’s okay for the twenty or fewer people who are in both ensembles to rehearse everyday. The best players, whether they be performance majors or not, or music majors or not, have to rehearse five days a week. How many times have I been to Orchestra rehearsals on Friday this semester? Twice. I have been there twice. I skipped one rehearsal, and the remaining weeks I’ve had other things going on. Why? Well, sorry, I have other things to do that are required of me for which I’m receiving credit because I actually CHOSE to sign up for those classes, thankyouVERYmuch. Full Orchestra technically meets twice a week. It’s not my fault the conductor chooses to run the same piece that doesn’t include the piccolo every Wednesday and never run the piece that includes piccolo on Wednesdays. That’s only done on Fridays. That’s ridiculous in my mind.

See? Entitlement. I don’t have to go because I’m entitled to what I want, what I believe, etc. Do I believe that the rehearsal schedule needs changed? Yes. I think it’s ineffective, unreasonable, and unfair. I’m not a professional musician, I never intend to be one, I’m done with music after college, etc. Quite honestly, I’m growing further from music the more I’m involved in our music department. I’m pretty turned off to it because I’m sick of the typical musician’s attitude. Yes, our department is FULL of the typical musician. That’s a completely different rant though. My attitude about Orchestra should be different. I should be THRILLED that I have the opportunity to make music with the group as a whole for five days a week. Others don’t have that freedom! Others don’t have that opportunity or privilege! If I were TRULY devoting my ability to make music to Christ, then I wouldn’t have this attitude. I would be thrilled to make music. Fact is, kids, that’s not my attitude. I despise it. It’s the exact opposite.

Back to what I was saying.
My generation needs a wake up call…and quick. Whether it be our attitudes or our work ethic, all of it is completely unrighteous.

“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 10:31

Our actions don’t speak of giving glory to God, especially when we slack. Just tonight I experienced this frustration when people thought they were entitled to recital credit just because they stayed for a small portion of the recital. That’s not how recital attendance works. It’s all or nothing. That’s how our walk with Christ needs to be : all or nothing. If you’re going to ride the fence and only do what’s convenient for most of your life, then stop. Seriously. Get out now. If we aren’t willing to go the distance in EVERYTHING we do, then it’s not even worth it. I’m not say do everything perfectly. Ain’t none of us gonna pull that one off. But if we aren’t even willing to try, if we aren’t even willing to step out on that limb and give God at least a shot of faith…then maybe we shouldn’t really bother with calling ourselves Christians. I’m not surprised The Friendly Atheist hasn’t converted. He’s seeing half-potent faith. Church looks like a routine, not something we actually look forward to. Christ said either be hot or cold. If we’re lukewarm, then he’s going to spit us out without thinking twice. I think most of our lives look lukewarm. I had a friend from high school tell me she’s struggling with her faith. She has multiple Muslim friends, and they are COMMITTED to Allah. They’re consistent in their prayer lives, they know the Koran inside and out, and they live out what it tells them. How often do we spend it prayer? I’m not talking about those moment-by-moment spontaneous prayers that we have throughout the day. I’m talking about meaningful prayer that says something to God and let’s him know we’re thrilled to be talking to him. No wonder she’s struggling with her faith. She’s comparing a half-baked faith to a faith that’s sold out in what they believe.

“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” -Ephesians 5:14

The alarm clock went off a long time ago. Are we going to continue to hit snooze or are we going to wake up, put our feet on the floor, and make Satan shudder at the very thought that we’re awake again? Wake up, O sleeper!

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