Summary: Examines how working too much causes us to miss God’s purposes for our lives, to miss out on fun and recreation which God wants us to enjoy, and to have a distorted view of God and ourselves.

Life’s Too Short To…Work All The Time, prt. 2

Life’s Too Short To… 5 of 8

Wildwind Community Church

David Flowers


We’re in the middle of a series of things life’s too short for. Life’s too short to play it safe, to carry a grudge, to work all the time, to live in the past, to worry about the future, to follow the crowd, and to go it alone. Before we finish up Life’s Too Short to Work All The Time this morning, I just want to point out how easy it is to spend our lives doing all those things life’s too short for. It’s easy to play it safe. It’s easy to carry a grudge against someone. It’s easy to work too much, to live in the past with regret pounding in our heads, to worry about the future and live fearfully with our heads in the sand, to follow the crowd and let others determine what our lives will be, and to go it alone, refusing to ever really let someone else get close to us. These are all easy things. We play it safe because it’s hard to take risks. We carry a grudge because it’s hard to forgive others. We wallow in regret because it’s hard to forgive ourselves. We work all the time because it’s hard to live a balanced life. We worry about the future because it’s hard to not be controlled by fear. We follow the crowd because it’s hard to make our own decisions. We go it alone because it’s hard to be vulnerable enough to really enter into community with others.

Any computer people in the room? Computer people are familiar with the idea of a “default value.” Do you know what a default value is? A default value is a number (or sometimes a name or something else) that comes up so often that that it is assumed. For example, if you go to Wildwind’s website there is a form there you can fill out to submit your contact information to the office so we can get you into our directory and stuff. That form asks for your street address and zip code but not for your state. We can safely assume that very nearly everyone filling out this form to get our mailings and be in our directory lives in Michigan. In other words, when Dena is entering data into our church database she doesn’t need to see the state written out, it’s a default value. The state is going to be Michigan, almost every single time. If by some chance a person wanted to get us their contact info, and they were out of state, they’d have to specify that somewhere else on the form because we don’t have a place where they can note what state they’re from. Also in our database, 810 is the default area code. There will be occasional exceptions to this, but again it’s safe to assume the vast majority of people at Wildwind will live in the 810 area code. The church database is set up so that if the area code is 810 you don’t even have to enter it.

Now there are two main things we can learn from default values. First is that default values are so basic, so universal, they apply to nearly everybody. [Almost everybody at Wildwind will live in Michigan and live in the 810 area code.] Second, default values require effort to be changed. If someone lives in the 810 area code, we don’t have to enter their area code. But if they live in the 248 area code, we have to specifically enter those numbers.

The things we’re talking about in this series are default values, folks. I’m using default values because I want you to understand those same two ideas about the messages in this series. It is simply human nature to struggle with these things we are talking about. They are default values – struggles most people will have at some point or another. And if they are going to be changed – if for example we are going to live in real community with others, if we are going to live a life that is fairly balanced and not totally work-absorbed, if we are going to escape the crushing weight of regret on one end and fear of the future on the other – we must exert effort. Guilt and fear and overwork and avoidance of risk and avoidance of community – all these things we are talking about – are default values. They are nearly universal struggles that come somewhat naturally to most (though not all) people, and they require effort to change. If you are not intentional about identifying which of these has you in its grip, and getting a plan together to break free, chances are very good you will remain in the grip of those things.

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