I am super excited to start off this new youth ministry season with all of you. If this is your first time here at Beulah youth or if you’ve been here for a while, we are glad you are here. We are all about Jesus, community and giving back here at Beulah. We hope that you find a place here that you are able to connect with Jesus, grow in community and serve this world that we live in.
Over these next few weeks in youth we will be starting off the year by talking about our hearts, your heart. Specifically the topic is titled “Wake up and retrain my heart.” To get an idea of this, let’s talk about driving.
Who here has a license that they can drive on their own now? Isn’t Alberta great? You can start learning to drive at 14. When you were learning to drive what are all the rules and things that people told you, maybe your parents, or driving instructor, that you had to remember?
(Maybe prompt them: “Hands at 10 and 2, check your blind spot, etc.)
When you learn to drive you have all of these conscious decisions and things you have to remember. At the beginning, you have to train yourself to remember these things. If you have to drive a standard transmission vehicle, that’s even more you have to learn. Anyone drive standard with a clutch and shifting? That was a lot to take in at the beginning right? But now, for many of you, it’s not necessarily like that anymore. It’s become second nature.
Let’s say you had a horrible fight with a friend, or fast forward and you have graduated school and are in some working environment where you have a coworker or boss that you had some conflict with. You hop into your car and you head towards home. You think about what you said, about what they said, about how angry or sad you are. Then all of sudden, you are in your driveway. How did you get there? You drove and it’s become so second nature that all of those instructions you practiced over and over again have become second nature.
Some people think that we are led by our conscious thoughts. René Descartes says “Je pense donc je suis.” or in English “I think, therefore I am.” This idea that I make conscious choices all throughout my day to lead me life the way that I intend to lead it.
I would suggest, that’s not how you lead, and that’s not how you live your life. Sometimes that’s the case, but that’s not most of our day. Most of how we live our life is second nature. We’ve done the same things over and over again and we are in particular rhythms of how we live our life.
This isn’t my own idea, a book I’ve recently read called “You Are What You Love” by James K.A. Smith talks about this idea that we actually live out of what we have practiced and we’ve trained our hearts to love. So we live our lives not just as thinking heads on a stick, but we live them out of our loves that we’ve trained our hearts. This is also how we live our life everyday. Most of what you and I do are from days, weeks, months or years of practice. It starts with a conscious choice but then it becomes rhythm.
Here’s the problem we can buy into patterns that are unhealthy and we can do so almost unknowingly. We are going to tackle a number of these rival rhythms over the next couple of months. We are hopefully going to WAKE UP our hearts up to them, as they are often difficult to see and then we are going to RETRAIN our hearts with new rhythms. That will be the plan for these next few weeks. The awesome part to how we function is we can set new rhythms to tune our hearts towards God and break out of the rival rhythms that we may have easily fallen into.
This is what is says in Colossians 3:1-3:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
The moment we chose Jesus, or maybe better put, he found us, we were given the ability to live our life differently than the rest of the world. The problem is we might not even know what rival rhythms we are following and have tuned our hearts to. Here are a number of rival rhythms, see if you are stuck in any of these rhythms:
(Jasmine, this is where it gets a little more point form, sorry)
- Finding our identity in the accomplishments rhythm, school, sports, video games.
- The social media rhythm: portraying our perfect lives; filters; pornography, getting our emotional needs met through scrolling through instagram or facebook
- The Consumerism rhythm: Filling a need by buying something
- Rhythm of entertainment: Spotify and Netflix, getting our fill there
- Formed by the opinons of others, family and friends
- Rhythm of political correctness, silencing our declaration of faith
Hear that list, which one are you most shaped by?
Personal story of the one that I am most often shaped by (for me it’s the opinion of others and seeking approval through that)
Some things that can help us retrain our hearts:
Going to Church our youth (as we cover all of the rival rhythms)
Pausing – Sabbath-ing
Pray for group