... than self-interest.
In less than a week, I attended two very different events. The first was Adobe MAX, their creativity conference. The second was a men's Cursillo retreat. Back-to-back, it provided firm proof that Christianity is more fun than secular self-interest.
I blogged before about artist Elle Luna's "inspirational" talk given as a part of MAX's second day keynotes. She wanted us all to focus on ourselves and ditch as many obligations to others as we possibly could so we could concentrate on our "calling." As an exercise for the audience, she handed out small cards with questions on them for us to answer and pin to a wall in the MAX exhibit room. The results were mostly unhappy whining and griping about having to earn money, please bosses and work on things we did't particularly like.
We concentrated on ourselves and ended up mostly miserable.
At Cursillo, in his opening talk to those of us working the weekend, the rector (leader) told us to give up ourselves for the weekend and put all of our energy into lovingly working for the candidates (newbies). We were to "die to self" so that we might live for others. We then spent 3 days working long hours preparing food, decorating rooms, giving talks, praying, singing and more for people we'd never met. Personally, I worked from 0530 to 1930 every day. I've got cuts on my hands from chopping ingredients and doing dishes until my hands dried out and split.
We had a blast. What happens at Cursillo stays at Cursillo is one of our sayings, so I won't share the photos, but I will say that I wouldn't miss working a weekend retreat for the world. Some of my deepest friendships and happiest memories come from days where I died to self and served others at the camp.
At first blush, it seems counter-intuitive that sacrificing for strangers can make you so happy, but to me, that's evidence of the pure genius of Christianity.
If a loving God was going to give you rules to live by, wouldn't they tend to lead to more fun?