Chapel speaker uses his minutes wisely with cellphone message
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
If Jamie Rasmussen’s Chapel talk Monday morning at Grand Canyon University persuades even one student to stop obsessing over a cellphone, he will have succeeded where so many parents have failed.
As if parents aren’t cellphone worshipers, too.
The senior pastor of Scottsdale Bible Church used a story about spending three hours trying to find his lost cellphone to transmit the idea that we too often spend time doing things that don’t really matter in the big picture. It’s as if God is saying, “Can you hear me now?”, and we just don’t get the message.
Rasmussen based his talk on Galatians 5:22-23, which reads in part, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
The problem, he said, is that we approach these ideas as a “set of values and mores that we need to live up to, that we somehow need to attain in our Christian lives.”
Rasmussen noted that sociologist and pastor Tony Campolo once said, “When you approach the fruit of the spirit that way, it’s an adventure in missing the point.”
“It’s not something for you to attain,” Rasmussen added. “No, the fruit of the Spirit is something that you are to submit to as you submit to God and ask Him to do those things in you.”
Contrast that thought with what’s in the three previous verses (Galatians 5:19-21): “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.”
Rasmussen said, “The point is, as Paul the apostle was saying, inspired by the Spirit, you don’t need God’s help doing those things. That’s why they’re called deeds of the flesh.”
You wouldn’t ask God’s help, for example, to be angry. But such misdeeds go beyond the flesh to things that are useful to us in our busy lives but don’t serve God. Things like cellphones — specifically, lost cellphones.
With that, Rasmussen launched into the story of how he accidentally placed his cellphone on top of his car and drove down Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale, not realizing it was gone until his car’s Bluetooth told him it had lost the signal. Thus began the process of trying to find out alongside the road, watching it “move” on the “Find My iPhone” feature and tracking it to a casino in Fountain Hills.
After three hours, Rasmussen had had enough. When he realized that the phone probably was unusable anyway after falling off his car, he knew he could have spent that time serving his congregation.
“I wonder how much time you and I spend on things that don’t matter. Can you own that at all today?” he said. “… We spend a lot of down time in our lives, and down time is good — we all need to rest. But the reality is that the Scriptures say to make the most of every moment, make the most of your time.”
Rasmussen told the students that Galatians 5:22-23 is a concept that Millennials understand much better than the previous generation, which, he said, was too focused on programs and “the trappings of church.”
“You guys have one up when it comes one up to your generation over mine. You really do,” he said. “You’ve started off your journey focusing on the things that matter. Galatians 5:22-23 really is your theme verse. It’s the fruit of the Spirit, and you guys have really started off well with that. My encouragement to you is to continue on and don’t let Satan, don’t let your flesh, don’t let this world rob you of the focus God wants you to have.”
Like a good cellular plan, the more minutes, the better.
● For a replay of Rasmussen’s talk, click here.
● Next week: No Chapel (Presidents Day). On Monday, Feb. 21, the Chapel speaker will be Dr. John Lennox, professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford and author of “Against the Flow,” about Christian engagement in the public square.
Contact Rick Vacek at 602-639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.