Sometime in the fall of last year, I began to notice that the music channels in the upper region of our cable television selection were not working properly. Not that I visit them every day; but occasionally I like to put the television on a music channel and listen while I work on projects around the house.
I noticed that whenever I put the television on a music channel, I would be given the message that it would be available “shortly”. The problem was that “shortly” became “never”. I know because I decided to run an experiment. The day after Thanksgiving, I put the television in our bedroom on the “Sounds of the Seasons” channel and left it there just to see how long it would take. Twelve hours later, the “shortly” message was still being shown!
At this point, I was thoroughly heartbroken. I knew Christmas was coming on; and I was looking forward to having Christmas carols and seasonal songs in the background to help set the mood for Christmas. Alas, however, it was not meant to be. I went the whole Christmas season listening to CDs and iTunes instead.
But when January rolled around, I found myself tired of paying for services I was not receiving. So I called the cable company; and they promptly sent a technician out at the agreed upon time. After voluminous tests, he concluded that I had an interruption in my signal and informed me that, in such cases, the music channels always went out first.
He went outside and found that a wire had somehow been exposed out at the box. This wire had obviously been chewed upon by some varmint. Having replaced the wire, he then tested the incoming signal and determined that it was finally correct. But still no music channels! He continued testing and then concluded that my box was bad and needed replacing – which he next did.
The new cable box was much thinner and sleeker than the old one. It was also an HD capable box; whereas the prior one was not. I quickly told him I did not need an HD box because, even though our children had gotten us a big, fancy modern flat screen television with all the proverbial bells and whistles, I was simply too cheap to pay for HD. As a result, I did not need that particular box.
At this point, he connected the television and, to my amazement, showed me that I did indeed have access to HD programming. The cable package I have had for years includes HD! I had been paying for the HD signal all along, even though I had not known it!
I was simply stunned! All this time, your truly, a.k.a. “Mr. Tightwad”, could have been watching sports, movies, and documentaries in high definition and never knew it! All along, I had been watching an HD signal though a non-HD capable box, all while smugly assuring myself that I was being frugal. In reality, all I was doing was cheating myself! Something had been bought and paid for; but I had not embraced it. And worse of all, I had no one to blame but little ol’ me!
But not anymore! For the same amount of money per month, I am now living in a whole new world! I have now had my digital eyes opened and have seen the light of high definition! And I like it! So much so that there is now no going back! I won’t watch another ball game in low definition! Nor another movie! Nor another documentary! Not me!
Of course, somewhere in all of this is a good life lesson. In the New Testament Gospel of John (chapter 10, verse 10), Jesus tells us that He came in order that we might each have a full and abundant life. The New International Version says He came that we might “have life, and have it to the full”!
And yet, as I look around, I realize that many who profess faith in Jesus Christ do not always necessarily seem to enjoy a full, abundant, and/or meaningful life. Quite frankly, it seems as if they are living beneath their privilege!
To anyone experiencing such frustration, I would offer the following for consideration. Jesus Christ freely gives eternal life to all who seek Him. But it is important to remember that the wonderful thing about eternal life is that it involves both a quantity of life and a quality of life. It involves the hereafter, to be sure. But it also involves the here and now!
To be sure, having eternal life means that we will one day live forever with God in His presence in a wonderful and perfect world called Heaven. What a day, glorious day that will be! But eternal life means more than this. It also means that we can a quality of life here in this world that greatly surpasses anything this world has to offer!
Now, if Jesus is offering all of this to us, then why would we ever not avail ourselves of it?! Now, do not get me wrong, here. I am not naively asserting that once we embrace Christ as our Savior, all of our problems will somehow automatically disappear. But I am asserting that we can live a full, meaningful, and victorious life here and now even in the midst of difficulty!
It all has to do with our perspective! Once we are in Christ, we can then view life in an entirely different way! We can see this world and its concerns more clearly, more realistically, and in their proper perspective! We can look at life in spiritual high definition!
It is not by accident, therefore, that Jesus’ statement in John chapter 10 comes immediately after He has healed a blind man in John chapter 9. The testimony of that man was that he had been blind; but now he could see! Once he encountered Jesus Christ, for the first time in his life, he could truly see things in all of their splendor! And thanks to Jesus, so can we!
SCRIPTURE SOURCES: https://biblehub.com/john/10-10.htm and https://biblehub.com/niv/john/9.htm.