(Due to a family reunion, I haven't had time to write a new post, so I'm rerunning one from last winter. Thanks for stopping by.)
I had a friend once who thought he knew how to live. "Life is for the now! Have all the fun you can. I get what I want when I want it, long as I'm not hurting anybody!"
"Sure I'm a Christian," he said. "I believe all that stuff just like you do, but I don't go overboard with it. It doesn't have to affect my everyday life."
We had endless discussions about what it meant to live for Christ. He would smirk, shake his head, and say he couldn't see that he needed to change. "Convince me," he'd say. "Convince me that what you've got is better than what I've got."
I never did convince him. He was so entrenched in self-worship, he had no adoration left for anyone else. A relationship with God through Christ is a mystery, not easily comprehended at first glance. God could have made it simpler, a connect-the-dots path to spiritual wholeness. But instead He shrouds his truth, gives hints and whispers, and remains ever-elusive except to those who seek him with their whole hearts.
We are incapable of convincing adamant unbelievers of the joy of knowing God on an intimate level. Our words fall like dead leaves on pavement and are quickly caught up in the whirlwind of the world's enticements.
Most people are a little like Susie was a few years ago. Our family decided to take a vacation to Disney World. We planned to do it all: five parks, the ocean--seven full days of non-stop fun.
When Susie realized she would have her ninth birthday while we were gone, she decided she didn't want to go. "I'll miss my birthday party! I can't have my regular party with friends over. I don't wanna go."
The other kids were ready to strangle her and we tried in vain to describe the fun that would be far superior to any birthday party she could arrange. She had never experienced anything like what we were telling her, and therefore refused to believe that there was anything greater than her experience.
But when we walked through those gates and she saw Cinderella's castle, her whole face lit up. "Oh-h, now I see!" she laughed, and we have laughed about it ever since.
People entrenched in this world's offerings are just like Susie was. They think the non-stop quest for fun and entertainment is all there is and when we try to describe the richness and joy of fellowship with our Creator, they give us a blank look. "But I'll miss my birthday party!"
Sadly, there are many people who profess to know Christ who are stuck in the same mindset. "I'm willing to go this far with God, but no farther. He might want me to give up something I like if I let him take over totally. I'll give him this corner of my heart, but I'm keeping the rest: my habits, my attitudes, my future, my relationships. I need to control that to make sure I'm happy."
What about you? What are you clinging to that is robbing you of something far better? Are you forfeiting Disney World in favor of Pin-the-tail-on-the-Donkey?
Introduction - Boy, are we all different! The world is colored by a vast array of personalities, opinions, and interests. Aren't we glad we are not all the same--dull...