More and more, people in the new millennium are looking for a rush, a thrill, a high-risk adventure that produces a non-stop flow of adrenaline. Think about it — the return of Fear Factor, the Amazing Race, as well as various game shows that promise bigger and better prizes are indications that some people “can’t get no satisfaction.”
With society pushing the adrenaline surge to an all-time high, some ministries (and families) are asking: Should we follow suit? Is providing repeated thrills and one high after another the next step for those involved in making disciples and/or raising kids?
So…what’s the answer to the question above? Is it worth it to follow the culture’s model and provide an endless array of spine-tingling “rides” for those under our care? A resounding ‘no’ should be heard across the land! “Big-top” excitement is unable to sustain anyone over the long haul of his or her spiritual journey. Why? Concisely, the Law of Diminishing Returns. It is impossible to maintain the increased necessary level of excitement repeatedly. That detour is a dead end road.
One thing is true: We are doing our ministry, our family, and our church a disservice when we create the false illusion that life is one big thrill after another, and people are only there for the in-between times. Quite the contrary! Life is actually somewhat routine, typically a matter of engaging in daily discipline. And deep relationships – with God and others – is the high point of it all!
Here are a few diagnostic questions to ask yourself as you think through your own addiction to adrenaline:
· Do you sense a lot of physical motion but little spiritual progress?
· Does your calendar dictate more than your purpose/mission?
· Do you, your family, and/or friends “hang out” even when there is no official event?
· Do your family or church events allow adequate debriefing and processing?
· Is there a small group emphasis in place among your sphere of relationships?
· Is your overall spiritual growth plan based on events (“I need to go somewhere!”) or relationships (“I get to be with someone – God!”)?