This is the mantra of “pop culture.” I want what I want, and I want it now.
It’s OK to want most things, and it may even be OK to want many things now. There’s nothing wrong with wanting something immediately. But a palate that will only be content to eat morsels of this flavor has some real problems.
One problem is that most things that are nutritious take time to prepare. This is true for both for food, for relationships, and for worship. Good food takes time to prepare. There’s a reason why “fast food” is thusly called. Substantial relationships take time too. A good relationship has survived the onslaught of years and the hurtful bruises that occur over the seasons of life. It has learned to forgive over time. Our relationship with God is no different. Good worship takes time for worship is the formal fleshing out of our relationship with God. It is the person who worships consistently over a long period of time that comes to really know and love God. “Me!Now!” just doesn’t work with food, marriage, or God.
Another problem with a “Me!Now!” mindset is that the more one lives this way, the more one will need to stay satisfied. And when one isn’t immediately satisfied today with what immediately satisfied yesterday, then one looks for cheap substitutes. Or one grows restless. And boredom sits in. This is how we can be a culture that is both overly entertained and overly bored at the same time. You can’t consistently satisfy yourself at another’s expense and expect your friendship to improve without getting bored with that person. What marriage thrives when both partners are focused on “me”? A husband and wife get bored with each other, and the next phase of their marriage realizes many painful hurts. You know what the devil does with an idle mind.
Modern technology makes the “Me!Now!” mindset not only possible but probable. The next new technological invention is always “bigger and better.” Nobody markets a new product as “guaranteed to break quicker than the previous model.” We expect the next machines to become time savers; it will afford the opportunity for less work. This is why we all tend to think that anything that is new is automatically superior to anything that is old. We can then assume that all of life should just automatically follow suit. It doesn’t. It never will.
Pop culture isn’t evil in itself. But contemporary pop culture is unable to provide you the necessary discipline to enjoy pop culture without being shaped by it. You will have to get discipline somewhere else. You will have to come to know Christ and grow in his grace. It is a gracious Savior who will change you over time and give you the necessary tools to live in pop culture and not be shaped by it at the same time. Paul said it this way in 1 Corinthians 7:31. We should be as…
… those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
In order for that to happen, the believer must be formed by grace, in love with a greater Being, and belonging to a different time and place. The believer must have his palate adjusted to have “tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:3).
A heart that is satisfied with Christ can live in pop culture without being infected by it. That heart can rest content in Christ and deal properly with those things that are passing away. That heart can not only survive but thrive in a “Me!Now!” world because it has found that real meaning and joy is found in fellowship with a transcendent God and with his Son, Jesus Christ.