Island Nation of Seriously

Micah 6:8 (MSG)

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.

The verse above is a movement among people and churches around our nation. I recently found out about it from a friend who has attended a church which made this their central theme. I like theme’s and often find them in my life in a variety of ways. I firmly believe that these themes are no accident but are in fact my God talking to me and trying to help guide me along the path he’s designed for my life. If I pay attention to these themes then all is good, but when I start to ignore them, miss them, or anything else, well life gets “interesting”.

I’ve started to see themes appearing again in my life. It kind of makes me chuckle a bit as I realize just how far I’d gotten out of synch. The themes have always been there I was just so focused on myself, and my marriage, and my life, and my job that i missed them. I wasn’t paying attention to them at all, even when they were screaming at me, figuratively of course, but sometimes I wish they were more vocal.

The last line in the above verse “And don’t take yourself too seriously — take God seriously.” is pretty convicting and is a growing theme in my life right now. How many of us spend hours getting ready in the morning? Or stress over what others might be thinking about us, our car, our home or any number of other things. How many times have you worked long hours at work and burned the candle from both ends but not gained anything from it?

Why is life so hard? Because we make it that way.

Seriously we make life hard. We pile on burdens by taking ourselves so seriously. If you ask my wife she’d probably tell you that I’m the leader of the Island Nation of Seriously. The problem with being the leader of this vast and encompassing nation is that it’s a very lonely nation to be a part of. When you take yourself too seriously you are very inward focused. It’s harder to laugh at yourself and even others when they want it because you’re so fixated on finding perfect solutions, or over analyzing themes, and other serious stuff.

Serious people have a hard time letting loose.

When I look around at the people I know, who are doing things for God’s Kingdom, I wouldn’t classify them as primarily serious. They are unique, driven, artistic, talented, silly, passionate and about a million other adjectives but they aren’t primarily serious. Now this doesn’t mean they show up to meetings in cut off tee’s and jean shorts, at least not all the time. These people know there is a time to be serious but they never take themselves too seriously.

They take God seriously.

The other thing about these people who don’t take themselves seriously, they all embrace the DO portion of the verse “Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love”. I know a fresh college graduate who’s traveling around the southern US trying to get people to be unthinkable. I know a man who took years of experience loving the homeless and now runs a non-profit educating all of us how to live love. I know a guy who has a talent for photography and a way of bringing people’s souls and their struggles into your face. I know a buddy who throws parties where the cover charge is a blanket and easily “covers” 300 homeless people once to twice a year with them.

I get around these people and you know what happens, I forget to take myself seriously. I’m learning slowly how to not take myself seriously but it’s definitely one of those two steps forward one step back processes, with some days being three steps back. It’s hard to not take yourself seriously, to just laugh and have fun. To poke fun at others around you and to find the sunshine in your life. But we have too because if we spend all our time taking ourselves too seriously then we will never take God seriously.