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It was GOOD to be an Eastman kid. How good? My first viewing of “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” was at the Eastman Recreational Center, in a theater that (at the time) had the best picture and sound, the most comfortable seats, and was easily the cleanest theater auditorium in the entire Tri-Cities. And I watched it for free.
That being said, these perks did come at a cost, and I’m not just talking about the fact that my dad was an Eastman employee, nor am I referencing the very minor TERC club fees.
First off, the movies that came to Eastman typically came there a year after their commercial theater release, which meant patience was required. If I watched an amazing trailer for a movie, my parents would assure me that the movie would be just as good in a year’s time. Better yet, parents had time to read reviews and confer as to whether a movie was worth their time as a family.
The auditorium was the cleanest in the Tri-Cities for a reason: No food or drink were allowed in what was, at the time, a practically brand new auditorium. So one had to forgo the normal libations and sustenance of movie enjoyment. But to my young eyes, watching movies there was a highlight of my youth. The costs were minor compared to the experiences I had there.
Some people see the Christian experience and only see us giving up things. They view church attendance on a beautiful Sunday morning as wasted potential “lake time.” But living for Christ means living in the Spirit of God, and living for him means that — in the long run — results bear out in the human soul.
What kind of results? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25)
All of these virtues are the singular result of living in the Spirit of God. One doesn’t get to pick and choose, as if at a buffet. Learning self-control and patience enables us in the long run to experience life at its fullest.
Mike Beverly is the pastor at Indian Springs Christian Church in Kingsport.