...maybe it's time we coin a new term.

We talk a fair amount about lifestyle here at IHOP. The fasted lifestyle. A Sermon on the Mount lifestyle. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous...well, maybe not so much that last one.

I am politicking for a more limited term, because this one is feeling unobtainable to me.

The word lifestyle conjures up epic thoughts - as if a lifestyle is a vast and intricate web of thoughts, deeds, attitudes, advantages and disadvantages. In my mind, a lifestyle is so pervasive that it's hard to escape. I think that's where I get jacked up. Our lifestyle has little to do with our DNA and much to do with management of our most primeval urges.

One of my more unlikely friends once told me "Lifestyles are chosen from the vast vending machine of experiences."

In addition to being one of the greatest one line quotes of all time (I've used it a number of times in teaching and it never fails to elicit a low "hmmmmmm" from even the most staid crowd), it's dead on true in that our lifestyle is not an atmosphere we were born into, but rather the choices we make moment by moment.

In other words, our lifestyle is more directly impacted by what we did in the last 10 minutes than what we've done in the last five years.

Given the immense impact of today's vending machine experiences that we could choose from, I'm wondering if the word lifestyle is misleading. Perhaps daystyle is more accurate. Every day we stand at the plastic window and stare at what we could choose... Humility hangs there next to anger. Purity is displayed beside bitterness. Meekness competes with jealousy for our attention.

Some of the packaged goods are dusty. You can tell they're rarely chosen and have hung in the machine a long, long time. Other choices look newer, more immediate - as if the machine gets restocked with them every day because they are chosen by so many.

We drop our coins and hesitantly press M1, praying the selection we hoped for falls out the slot at the bottom. Of course, the machine works flawlessly. It always does. We always get exactly what we choose.

That's it. Today, I want to live a Sermon on the Mount Day Style. My the choices I freely make, I want to deliver the day to God, fully lived and fully submitted to Him.

Tomorrow, I get to choose all over again. Make it or break it, I find myself back at the glass, pressing my choice once more.

Choose well today.


Shelley Paulson said...

Randy, thank you for the encouragement today. I find that I so want to make big sweeping vows and changes to instantly change my heart and life, but reality always brings it right back down to the current moment and what will I do with what is before me NOW. I am reminded of the phrases "Day by day, step by step, choice by choice, yes by yes" that have been sung in the PR a lot lately. I think it's the only way to get to where to where we want to be in God.

Tracie Loux said...

Reminds me so much of Julie Meyer's exhortation to choose minute by minute to go low. Maybe I need the Sermon on the Mount Minute-style. It is nice to know that if I mess up minute 467 that I can choose to go low in minute 468 and 469...

I'm so glad the Father sees my heart, because I can be weeping on the floor one minute in a bit of a pity party, and the next minute up realizing that I am not warring against flesh and blood.

I really think I'll sign up for the Sermon on the Mount Minute-style. Might be safest for me!

Steve Bunkoff said...

You put it SO WELL. Of course, I keep losing my dollar in the machine. How's that for not taking responsibility????


steven hamilton said...

hmmmm...may our daystyle be marked by the abiding in the DaySpring...

thanks for that randy...


Jeremy said...

good stuff.

everything is so much closer than we think. We are so good at distancing ourselves even though in the thick of life we often don't live. Life becomes habit, and we settle into zombie-mode.

I dont want to sleep now, for He could come and surely is coming every minute of every day to transform me. May the revelation of this nearness never leave us.

reallyniceday said...

I'm glad you expounded on the quote afterwards cuz I was doing the huh? not hmmmmm.

You're encouraging Randy! Thanks!