Day 5 • Getting Lost in The Epic • Rebuking The False Epic
Focus your heart in worship by listening to this song:
Gain heart focus by praying Scripture out loud:
In the beginning, you were there, God. And you created this world with nothing more than your words. My spirit hungers to be a part of something epic and there’s no greater story than the truth that God created. And He loves his creation. Period. Help me to return to a place where being a part of your story is enough for me.
(Adapted from John 1:1-2)
“Once upon a time…”
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”
“Once there were four children …”
“Long ago, in a land far, far away…”
Something about these lines call to a place deep within us. A place of natural longing to be a part of something that started long ago. Something big. Something with a story so intriguing that it bares the naked burden of telling over and over again.
I’ve been learning lately how much I long for the epic. And this turns me to learn something about myself that I don’t much care for: when I craft the epic in my mind I’m the protagonist. More appropriately, the heroine. How fitting for us females that this weighty word has the sound of an addictive substance. For I am addicted to my own quest for fame.
It shows up in the little things.
If you visit Times Square these days you can buy your way to fifteen seconds of fame on larger-than-life electronic billboards. I did last year. Paid $39.99 for a white shirt I didn’t need at American Eagle so me and my girls and my mom could have one epic moment on Broadway.
783. That’s how many comments are on my most-read blog. (But who’s counting?)
Those days when I write something really great on Twitter and the world is a-tweet with retweets. My adrenaline rushes.
Text me. I like it. I get off on it. Really! And you probably do, too.
That dopamine I wrote about yesterday. The drug that causes addiction to someone you have sex with. Well, it shows up anytime we feel pleasure and apparently we feel a lot of pleasure when we get noticed. A lot. It occurs to me that getting noticed has the feeling of worship to it. “He worshiped the ground she walked on.” We are creatures of worship who crave to steal the worship from the One who rightly deserves it all in a quest to have a moment in the epic spot light.
And we’re addicted to it.
And with the Internet, twitter, and texting we have a kind of I.V. drip of approval that is fueled by our craving for more dopamine. Apparently, the brain is actually more fueled and frenzied when we are ANTICIPATING approval than the moment we actually get it. (Read: waiting for a text or watching the comments pour in after we post on Facebook.) And that little sound your computer or phone makes when we know someone’s noticed us? It’s the stuff Pavlovian dreams are made of.
It’s not real.
They’re false epics.
Here’s some relieving truth: you and I were created to live in an epic, but we’re not the heroine. Not the protagonist. God is. Let these words sink in to your epic-loving soul today:
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
How’s that for the beginning of a story. And you and I get to play a role in this grand and cataclysmic battle of good vs. bad. Not a starring role. Just a role. Maybe a speaking part. Probably an extra.
Even Jesus (who the verse talks about above) was OK with giving God the lead role.
“Father, I want those you have given to me to be with you where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
He pointed to the Father. Always. He knew who the epic was about. Rejected every notion of false epic.
The reality is that a simply life well-lived is often the greatest contribution we can make to God’s story. When everything we say and do points to him. When we are satisfied in Him alone and stop the quest for success and things and more friends. At the end of a long sixty or eighty or one hundred years of ordinary living where we’re so aware of His presence that others are too…that will be when we have found the authentic epic.
A Note From Your Love
You’re not the first one to cooperate with me in the telling of my story. There is a cloud of witnesses that came before you. And they see you. They’re cheering you on even now. So strip away all the false epics and run well. Here’s the key: keep your eye on Me. I’m the author of this story and I’m producing it too. I have a great finish in mind. But you have to keep running. Just simple, paced running. Follow me and you’ll see that the rush of life that you get from me is more than you can get any where else.
(Based on Hebrews 12:1-3 )
Write Your Story
I challenge you today to write a manifesto of the great epic. This manifesto will declare how you, a small part in the story, will rebuke every false epic in your life that seeks to distract you from lifting up God and his story as the ultimate epic. Use this time to make a commitment that enables you to continue to feast on his presence as we end this feast together.
If you have enjoyed this devo-style “feast” today, consider getting a copy of my latest release, “Get Lost: Your Guide To Finding True Love.” Included in the pages of the book is a ten-day Love Feast, and we offer a free on-line video talk show for groups to enjoy the feast together.
Sources cited for this blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-wise/201209/why-were-all-addicted-texts-twitter-and-google