When I was in middle school, I decided to learn how to use a yo-yo. I saw someone do it, I thought it was cool, and I decided to learn.
I bought a book, read it, practiced, practiced some more, stoved every finger on my right hand, and, eventually, learned to use a yo-yo fairly well.
Now, if you were to ask me today, I would say that the yo-yo has lost a measure of its cool. At the time, it was da’ bomb diggity for me (Did that sentence make me cooler? I hope so.).
A few years ago, toy manufacturers started making yo-yos that had mechanisms inside that made them automatically retract. They had plastic rings for the finger so the slip knot around the middle finger would not irritate. They always came back. Any number of tricks could be performed by the novice.
When I was 17, I decided to learn the guitar. I received a beginner acoustic guitar for Christmas, bought a chord chart, practiced, practiced some more, developed thick calluses on every finger of my left hand, and eventually, learned to play like the guitarists I admire.
A few years ago, video game manufacturers came out with a game called Guitar Hero. For this game, players could strap a plastic guitar around their neck, and by simply fingering five colored buttons and a thumb trigger, they could “play” the most popular guitar anthems ever recorded.
The other night, I was introduced to the innovation of a small basketball that attached to a plastic handle with a magnet so that anyone can appear to spin the basketball on their finger.
I’m sure there are other examples.
This world is full of shortcuts, isn’t it? Shortcuts are counterproductive. They give a person the feeling of accomplishment without them actually accomplishing anything.
There are no shortcuts to Christ, either.
There is a bit of controversy these days regarding universalism (the belief that all roads lead to heaven). While this view sounds loving and fair to some, it is a dangerous shortcut which, in the end, has an eternal consequence.
Do you know anyone that is buying in to the “all roads lead to heaven,” “God loves us to much to send us to hell” bait-and-switch?