Isn’t It Exciting?

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When I was a boy I would sometimes hear people say, “Still waters run deep.”  I knew what the person meant.  They meant that people who were jabbering all the time did not seem to have much to say.  Wise and thoughtful people did not seem to talk much.

That’s not the conventional wisdom anymore, of course.  People are supposed to be honest and always say what they think.  There is a certain arrogance about it.  Are people supposed to care about everything I think?

Shallow people always crave excitement.  I taught a history class once, where a student complained that the subject was boring.  [Sideline:  Most of my students thought my classes were interesting, if not “exciting.”]  Her mother wanted me to do something about it.  I insisted that history was not supposed to be exciting.  History is about important events and important ideas.  It isn’t a clown show.  It isn’t like a roller-coaster ride.  To make it “exiting” is to make it cheap and irrelevant.  Did you notice that when people are really excited, the event usually has little meaning?  They cheer at a football game.  Circuses are exciting.  Riots and car collisions are exciting.  Detective and horror stories are exciting.  Shallow things are exciting, like action movies and basketball games.

The Bible is not exciting; it is convicting.  I don’t want church to be exciting.  I think it should have meaning.  We should not go to church to be thrilled, or to escape boredom.  The church that tries to be exciting destroys the relevance of its mission, and reduces the Gospel to circus and sideshows.  It perverts the Gospel and trivializes the plight of mankind.  If there is a heaven and a hell, there is no room for excitement in church, but thoughtfulness, reverence, seriousness. 

We teach children to be shallow when we insist that everything be exciting.  A thin veneer of experience and sensation replaces thought and meditation. 

When man’s life is defined by the lust for excitement, he loses his perspective and is reduced to sideshow.  Wisdom is not exciting.  Discernment does not bring a shiver.  Man’s lust for excitement ends in the clown show, the monkeys, and the shriek of excited children.  Some people even seek church for this.

The life of the godly man in Scripture is not defined by excitement, but by reverence, patience, thoughtfulness, and love.  He is like a tree, planted by a river of water (Ps. 1).  He is dependable and steady, not tossed about by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4).

Even Henry David Thoreau said it succinctly:  “The language of excitement is at best picturesque merely.  You must be calm before you can utter oracles.”

Someone else said, “Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or in misfortune at their own private pace like the ticking of a clock during a thunderstorm.”

Philippians 4:7  “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

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