I heard the expression “experience-rich but reflection-poor” used about this generation at the conference I attended this week. Are you one of these people? Have you experienced all the thrills, bells, and whistles this time can offer and been left empty, used, and shallow? You are not alone.
We are so easily distracted by everything that is going on. But there really is such a thing that too much of good things. It does not pay off to do everything, experience everything, and go everywhere. Life is too short to do everything. Life is too short for busyness. Life is too short to be shallow. But that’s what you get if you are always too busy. You become experience-rich but reflection-poor.
I’d rather be reflection-rich but experience-poor. Seriously. I’m an extrovert who is passionately embracing life. I do love life, experiencing new things, exploring the world, learning new skills, and loving to the fullest. I do value fun, fellowship, and laughter. Yet I’d rather be reflection-rich but experience-poor.
A rich inner life is much more than experience-rich busyness. A rich inner life is much more than bragging about stuff done, places visited, and things earned. A rich inner life is a home for God’s Spirit to do its work in us. Rich inner life happens when we take time to reflect, to be in the presence of God, and to listen what the Spirit has to say to us. It does not mean that we would retreat from the world. But it means that we prioritize God, the invisible world, and the things God has called us to do in this world.
I’ve come to believe that there is nothing worth doing if we are not reflecting upon our experiences. A shallow life does not bring happiness. I’ve come to believe that there is nothing worth doing if we are not right with God. Seriously. Everything else falls into place after we have peace with God. I’ve come to believe that there is nothing worth doing if we are not living in the Spirit. When the Spirit lives in us and we in the Spirit we are ready to face the challenges of life with gusto.
When we are right with God (saved by grace through faith in Jesus) we are free to embrace experience and reflection-rich, Spirit-filled lives. We are free to become what we were all along called to become. We are free to be true to ourselves. We are free to find meaning, depth, and purpose for our lives. We are free to explore God’s peace and joy. And, most of all, we are free to live in God’s grace.
Thanks for calling our names.
Thanks for inviting us to live in your grace.
Help us to fix our priorities.
Guide us to see what is important in life.
Empower us to live meaningful, deep lives.
Send us your Spirit to fill us with your peace.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What do you think? Tell your story!
Be blessed, fellow pilgrim, as you find your way to live out your faith!
Photo courtesy of Sandy Lee