Saturday, September 1, 2012

Is Life Supposed to Be Fun?

Postcard used with permission from
I went to a private high school in the upper mid west, back in 71 - 75. I was an army brat and a scholarship kid, and my roommates were from families of wealth and privilege.  I know that now.  Back then, they were just kids.

Anyway, I was on the wrestling team, and we had a match against a team from a Blind School, where all the children were legally blind.

There were different rules.  If we let go of our opponent, the match was stopped, for example.  We destroyed them.  My match was very easy.  I wondered, at the time, why they even bothered.
Then I found out.  The were evangelical Christians, as well as blind.  The each approached us, and starting tell us how we were going to hell, and how God loved us so much, he had a way out.  I can recall thinking something like, "You are already in hell, save yourself and leave me alone you freak."

Most of us bugged out as fast as we could.  This was not fun for us or for them.

That picture colored the rest of my educational life and how I looked at Jesus.  I find it amusing now, how I can't remember where I live or what time it is, or how to add 2 digit numbers, but I can remember a spiritual event that happened a lifetime ago.  God really does work in mysterious ways.

From that point until today, I think most Christians fall into 1 of two or three different categories.

Category one is the one I find most often applies:

1) I am duty bound to work out my salvation, after the fact, by following every law in the bible and in the land that I can, except for ceremonial law.  I will keep my head down in prayer, and never make a noise in my life, as life's purpose is about God, not me.  I can not have fun, it would be disrespectful.

This one is pretty classic.  You either believe that you were saved by the grace of God, as outlined in Ephesians, or you believe that you have to work your salvation out by works, from James.  Perhaps, you believe that you must do good works because you saved.

Personally, I do what is right when I am walking with the spirit, because is gives glory to God's name, and it seems as though there is no other choice.  Simple example.   I always return the shopping cart to the place that it belongs at the grocery store.  Even if I am late.  Even if it is raining.  It seems right.  I would hate to have someone who is NOT a Christian yet, see we just rolling it next to my car and leave, just because I did not want to get wet.  I am not a fair weather Christian.  I love the Lord.  All the time.

Category two is the polar opposite, and seems to apply to the youngest adults most often:

2) I am already saved, if I have been called to be saved, and God has given me the world, so I will use it. All of it, un-apologetically and without gratitude to my fellow humans, since God gave it to me.  Those who help are only vessels for God's grace, so I don't owe them anything.

This example nearly prevented me from becoming a Christian as well.  One of our karate students, about 16 at the time, and a member of a very conservative Evangelical Baptist church in our area, was bragging about how he and his girl friend (now wife) had gone to a move, and since there were already in the theater, when that show, for which they had paid, was over, they just got up and walked into a different movie, for which they had not paid.  Why I asked them.  "Why not," they answered.  "I thought you were a Christian?" I said.  "What's that got to do with it?" they said.

What would Jesus do?  Go to the movies for free, because God has given him the whole world, right?

The third category is the reason for this blog.  Live life large, as God intended us to do.

3) You must celebrate the life here and the life eternal you have been given.  Every living thing has difficulty, and we too will have our share.  Some of it will be because we live in a fallen world and some will be there for teach us.  But we have something those who are not yet saved do not have.  We have the helper (John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you"), they holy spirit, praying for us, guiding us and keeping us within God's grasp, (Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words..  We have assurance of life everlasting (John 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.), and we have the love of the creator of the universe.

Live you life like you were the child of the King, because you are.

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