Consumed or Captivated?

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Consumed or Captivated?

 

It was Tuesday evening at about 9pm. I had my laptop open searching for a new house in London (to rent, obviously), in the other hand was my smartphone as I trawled through the usual cycle of endless apps. I’d also just started another episode of a hearty and uplifting Netflix series called Black Summer, a delightfully original show about a virus that turns half the world into zombies. If I was employed at the time, I’m pretty sure I’d have been checking emails too.

“I was insecure at the sight of how much more enthralling my friends’ lives seemed than my own” .


Needless to say, as the hours went by, I couldn’t find a house in our price range or anywhere near it (classic London), I was insecure at the sight of how much more enthralling my friends’ lives seemed than my own, and you’ll be surprised to know that the character development in Black Summer was quite poor and the plot one-dimensional. Somewhere in the midst of it all I somehow bought a new pair of trainers I probably don’t need. I had a headache. 

I’d love to say this was a one off; It was just an evening of bad choices; I didn’t set myself up to win; three screens is too much for anyone even if you have excelled several levels in Castle Crush; I should have lit more candles. The reality is, I spent hours enviously looking at multi-million-pound mansions just for the lols, I’m embarrassed to share the screen-time statistics my iPhone keeps volunteering, and I’m now on Episode 7 and concerned by how long I’ll have to wait for Season 2. I was consumed.

“If someone was to evaluate my life… what would they suggest I’ve been truly captivated by?”


As I sat there disheartened and fairly exhausted, having actually done very little with my evening (the paradox of infinite stimulation), it all got me thinking; if someone was to evaluate my life, the ups and downs, I wonder what they would assume is most important to me? What would they suggest I’ve been truly captivated by?

I sometimes wonder if the conclusions they might draw could be somewhat startling, and yet I also have a slight suspicion that plenty of you might be able to relate to my Tuesday night experience. Addicted to the constant cycles of stimulation; our millennial right to never be bored. Silently struggling through the comparison fuelled discontent driving much of our social media usage. Exhausted in an age of consumerism in which brand after brand fuel and feed on our growing dissatisfaction, promising to satisfy eternal longings they have no answer for.

And yet, we’re called to be a people whose existence is rooted in eternity; citizens of heaven (Phil 3:20), content through all circumstances (Phil 4:11-13), our minds set not on earthly things but things above (Col 3:2), our eyes fixed on that which is eternal and unseen rather than succumbing to the assault of the seen and temporal (2 Cor. 4:18). A people not of exhaustion but a people of rest, not consumed but captivated. Captivated by the One who gave his life to save us, not just from our sin but from the hamster wheel of striving, status, and success as the foundation for identity. The only One who offers the rest and freedom that our souls desperately long for.

 “…not an intimacy that transports you to a distant and ethereal world, but more firmly plants your feet in the present world; the world of flesh and blood, bruises and scars, bread and wine.”

God is calling us to be a people utterly captivated by Him. Those who have tasted what it’s like to walk in such intimacy are spoilt for anything less. Contrary to what one might think, it’s not an intimacy that transports you to a distant and ethereal world, but more firmly plants your feet in the present world; the world of flesh and blood, bruises and scars, bread and wine. Such intimacy draws us toward our families, neighbours, co-workers and strangers. Salt and light to all those who desperately need to discover they are image-bearers of God; called to something more.

As we long to live lives orientated around His presence and to take that transformative presence to a broken and hurting world, the Shift Weekend is an opportunity to step back. To retreat. To be with family and allow Jesus to speak; positioning our hearts to hear His whisper. To meet with Him and orientate our lives in response to his call. To once more lose our lives that we might find Him and watch our world change as we do so.

“Join us in rebellion against the consuming patterns of the cultural moment we find ourselves, come and root your life in the slow rhythms of grace.


A weekend devoted to meeting beautiful like-minded people, standing with each other in the depths, yet calling one another to greater heights. Worshipping, praying, resting, eating, playing, partying. We invite you to come and be part of the family. Come and be captivated by Jesus. Enamoured with Him. Join us in rebellion against the consuming patterns of the cultural moment we find ourselves, come and root your life in the slow rhythms of grace. Come and rediscover the rest from which we’re intended to live. The answer isn’t actually another weekend away, the answer is Jesus. But sometimes it can be hard to hear when you can’t drown out the noise (of zombies).

 

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Exciting News - The Shift Family is Growing!

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Exciting News - The Shift Family is Growing!

 

Friends, it is with great joy that I make this announcement.

For many of you who have followed the journey of Shift, from university days to now, you would know that as we’ve grown, so has our hunger to see our vision come to life - the vision “to see our generation captivated by God and impacting culture”.

“We gather to pray and contend for our nation and the nations, that we’d see a cultural renewal with multitudes coming to know Jesus; this is our heartbeat.”


Each Shift Weekend we gather, share stories, hopes and fears as we’re inspired and challenged by leaders who are championing the vision we long to see come to fruition. At New Year’s we gather to pray and contend for our nation and the nations, that we’d see a cultural renewal with multitudes coming to know Jesus; this is our heartbeat.

These events have been very significant for us in cultivating a community of people who long to see a move of God in our time. But for a while we’ve been desperate to do more than just these two events in pursuit of this cause. This is why I’m so excited about the following announcement.

It is with great joy that I share the appointment of Jordan Prance, our brand-new Strategic Director. Jordan will take on a full-time role and, with the support of the board and a team of committed volunteers, will drive Shift forwards into this exciting new chapter.

Jordan is someone who carries great leadership and vision, partnered with a deep relational and pastoral heart. He’s married to the wonderful Rebeka Prance, a powerhouse in her own right. Jordan and I will be working closely to explore how Shift can further serve the city, nation and nations in bringing the vision of Shift to life! It’s an exciting time to get involved!

We are so excited about the next chapter Shift is stepping into. With this new appointment, two more members are also joining the Board of Trustees; Heather McCormick, a communications guru working for Google, and Rowan Smith, a chartered accountant at PwC, both of whom have been actively involved in Shift over the years. We’re thrilled they’re coming on board (excuse the pun).

“As we now step up our activities, resources and initiatives, we invite you to continue to journey with us into this next season.”


Thank you to all who’ve been involved so far. It’s because of the generous giving of this community that we are able to employ Jordan. As we now step up our activities, resources and initiatives, we invite you to continue to journey with us into this next season. We’d love for you to pray for us as we seek God, asking how he wants to use Shift going forward.

Stay tuned for more info and resources coming soon, not least the beginning of this blog!

Lots of love,

Caleb Meakins

 

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