Friday, April 19, 2013

What Matters Most

Eyes glued to CNN as the horrific scenes replayed over and over again. Monday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon had an eerily familiar tone. And now, days later, the horror continues in the city on lockdown. We've been here before... in that frozen state where the things that seemed important in the moments prior to hearing the news no longer matter at all. That place where we're hovering between the sadness for those affected and the relief that our family members are still around us and everyone we know and love is safe and sound.

Moments likes these remind us how short life really is. A vapor. The things we thought we cared about mean little to nothing when all eyes are on Boston after a bombing at the marathon finish line or on Newtown after the horrific killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School or on Aurora after a movie theatre shooting... 

But then, just a short while later, just when we think we'll never be the same, we are. Life goes on. Our responsibilities resume. We go back to "normal." Places to go. People to see. Bills to pay. No one in their right mind wants to become accustomed to such acts of wickedness and despair yet the reality is that it is very easy to become desensitized and go back to business as usual. We often forget. It's subtle. We don't mean to. But we do. When 9-11 hit, we said we'd never forget. And though a glimpse at our skyline won't allow us to forget what happened, we sometimes forget what matters.

Until the next tragedy hits and we're reminded that every moment ~ going to school or to the movies or for a run ~ is a gift and nothing to be taken lightly. 

Our hearts are tender in these moments.

The time span between catastrophes and tragedies has gotten shorter. Much shorter. And so are the days we have left before our time on this earth is up… a grave thought when all one lives for is what’s on this earth, but a blessed hope for those who have put their faith in Christ Jesus.

Which one are you? What do you live for? Who do you live for? 

Family? Friends? Education? Health? Career? Recreation? 

I’m not one to guilt-trip anyone into the Kingdom of God so know this is not the blogger version of that creepy guy on a corner shouting to everyone that they’re going to hell. No condemning rant here. Just real talk. So... bottom line... God loves you and longs to have a relationship with you. His only Son, Jesus, took on sin and death and paid the price for our redemption. Don't buy into the YOLO lie. It's not over when we die. We will spend eternity somewhere. And that choice is made here on this earth. Heaven is eternal but so is hell. And tomorrow is not promised. We don't know the date when we our life ends here and we will cross over...

There are many who have pushed this conversation to the back burner because they'd rather not think about it or really don't care. And then some people think they have all the time in the world. I know, because I was one of those people. I knew about serving God, I knew Jesus was the answer to all my frustration and hurt, I knew I was called to live for Him, but I wasn't ready to "give up" stuff (which was nothing in comparison to what I gained) and just figured I'd get to it when I was done living the way I wanted to (which never brought any joy whatsoever... I was miserable). Then one unexpected day, I was at a crossroads and knew my only hope was to choose the path that God had for me. And in His great mercy, He grabbed hold of my life and redirected my path. He showed me His love and it's not just for me to hold onto, it's for me to share.

We are all faced with this choice in life, but don't wait until you think you're ready or "strong enough" because in and of ourselves, we are never ready. We will never be strong enough. But God is ready, waiting with arms wide open to receive us. He loves you with a love as stronger than death and is jealous to have you as His own. 

Do you know that Love? In these perilous times we live in, I encourage you, choose faith over fear... faith in Christ Jesus. Choose Love over lies... He is our Hope, our Light, our Life. Eternally. But you must choose

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. - 1 John 5:11-12

Choose what matters most... Choose Life... today.  

"The answer to our individual fears is found in a personal faith in the living, glorified Lord. And the answer to collective fear is a corporate faith in the living glorified Lord. The answer to national and international tensions and fears is for the world to know Him who is alive forevermore. We do not worship a dead Christ. We worship a risen Christ, who has broken the power of sin and death and hell and is alive forevermore. Why then should we fear?" 

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