Are you Stayin’ Alive?

Jen’s Gem: Walk in Love, Light and Wisdom.

The movie “Saturday Night Fever,” was a massive hit for John Travolta and the Bee Gees, whose music took over the radio stations and dance clubs in the late 70’s. I can vividly remember being awestruck by the singing and dancing skills of its star. As a fan of “Welcome Back, Kotter,” it was pretty cool to see his star begin to rise. And let’s face it, he could dance!

The lyrics to one of the movie’s songs kept popping into my head this week. “Stayin’ Alive” opened up this iconic film and you could tell from the moment that first kernel of popcorn hit your mouth that this movie was going to be high energy. I decided to revisit the lyrics of the song and the very first line struck me:

“Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk.”

This one line describes the main character, Tony Manero, perfectly, wouldn’t you agree? Immediately you get the sense that this is a ladies man who is on the move. This got me to thinking about what people’s walks say about them today.

If you look around nearly any store, school, or even a movie theater, nearly everyone is doing the same thing: staring at their phone. Heads down, fingers tapping, their attention is glued to this object that has transformed life as we know it. In the palm of our hand, there’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish in your daily life.

You can communicate with anyone around the world. You can order a meal. You can buy movie tickets. You can listen to music. There’s more power in this 3×5 machine than the Cray Supercomputer of yesteryear. It’s mind-blowing.

With all of the good one can do on this little device, there’s also much harm caused. Cyber-bullying and hacking of private information are rampant. Our youth has become obsessed to the point of isolation and neglect of their education, their relationships, and sometimes, their mental health.

It’s a sad commentary on our culture today when you see an entire family out to dinner and instead of sharing meaningful conversations or an occasional joke, everyone is staring at their phone. I’m always especially struck when I see a parent alone with their young child and they are paying more attention to their phone, than the little person they brought into this world. 

But this is not a post on the perils of cell phones and their contribution to the breakdown of our society. My intention for this post and the reason I think the “Stayin’ Alive” song kept popping into my head this week are rooted more in my Bible college’s current study of the book of Ephesians

In this powerful New Testament book, which I spoke about briefly in last week’s post, the apostle Paul is instructing the people of Ephesus on how to live their best life under God’s grace and the gift of His Holy Spirit that is inside each and every one of them because of their belief and faith in Jesus.

In Chapter 5, Paul gives the Ephesians three simple instructions on how to walk: 

  1. Walk in Love – not our fickle human love, but aspire to walk in the same love that God has for everyone.
  2. Walk in Light – reflecting all of the goodness of God that is inside of you.
  3. Walk in Wisdom – showing the world God’s purpose in your life.

If you spend any time at all people watching, it will become abundantly clear that their daily walk or life is far from what’s described above. Many of their faces reflect sadness, anger, hopelessness rather than joy, positivity, confidence. Their outside circumstances are likely the culprit for their downcast expressions and labored or distracted walks.

It’s understandable. Our world is cray cray. But I’ve come to know and better understand that no matter what’s going on in the big, bad world or even in my own little world – that my happiness and my peace are not outside. They’re  inside because I know this simple truth:

“…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

(John 4:4 NKJV)

This week, I’d like to encourage you to examine your daily life. Is it full of energy, hope, and purpose like Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever? Or is there some room for improvement? Are you walking in love, light, and wisdom as Paul instructed the Ephesians? Or are you being influenced by the insanity of our world?

Let’s do more than stay alive this week. Let’s thrive!

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