Complacency, boredom, too much time on our hands, or maybe too little time to even let yourself relax and have fun- whatever the feeling, these have the potential to lead to doing the wrong thing. People to this day still refer to going to Las Vegas, escaping into the world of fantasy, as a way to combat the aforementioned. Just what's in Las Vegas?
Well there is the risk of winning or losing, the shows that glitter, and countless other things that blow ones mind in extravagance. Many years ago in a different phase of life I was there for a few days and did not sleep. Just being in a casino watching the many different kinds of folks risking it all was exciting and I even ran into a few movie stars. Later, after reading Solomon, he too had his Las Vegas but in a different era.
It's all about escaping from reality into a world where we can be something or somebody else. We who have struggled with addiction can vouch for the fact that we never liked where we were at, we always wanted something more. There was never enough, that is why many folks want to just pack up and go to Vegas. Our eyes seem to never have enough of seeing, our appetites never enough of consuming, our hearts never filled up with enough love.
Maybe we should live Las Vegas every day, that way we wouldn't need to go there. Some of you folks may think I have flipped (a natural thought) and are ready to stop reading this blog right about now, but please, I beg you, read on it gets better.
Las Vegas is a state of mind that every day can be a day of excitement, love, adventure and most importantly impromptu behavior. You know one of my greatest moments in life was asking someone I loved to dance with me in a vacant parking lot, no music, no flashing lights, just spontaneous and pure behavior. Just think of laying your love, your faith, your honesty and willingness to engage with others in the human race on the line every day. I would bet you and I would feel so incredibly alive that Vegas would never cross our minds.
In a weird way, this is how God asks us to be. Completely so sold out to Him that we roll the dice of chance on following his will every day of our lives, not trying to control our moments, never being afraid to be us and to extend the full extent of love. Think how exciting it would be if we just woke up and said to ourselves, let me see how many folks I can love on today?
So Living Las Vegas may not be such a bad thing after all because it would certainly take us out of the mundane tasks that keep us buried in all work and no play. It could definitely take us on a long journey of joy as we impact so many other lives that we can't count how many people we have impacted.
You know there are even a few verses that talk about that state of mind.........whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think of such things. And it goes on to say, put it into practice. There is much risk in this because it is contradictory to human nature.
But my point (take a deep breath please) is that going to Las Vegas is not the answer, but living in the style of not being afraid to take risks, always ready to extend joy and hospitality to strangers, and allowing the full array of God's glitter to be on display to those we love, this is living my friend, this is Living Las Vegas!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.