Thursday, January 18, 2007

can you tell i've been cooped up by the scary ice storm

When we are born, we don't choose to be brought into this world. We don't choose where we will grow up or who our parents and siblings will be. We don't pick out the color of our hair, eyes, or skin, or even our own names. We don't pick the socio-economic status or religion in which we'll be brought up. I imagine that, for a lot of people, what they are born into is very similar to what they will die out of.

However, regardless of who raised us, where we were raised, and what we were raised to believe, we were born into this world in order to fulfill a task that God has created us to complete.

We weren't given a choice on a lot of things, but how we live our lives is up to us. We can choose to try to satisfy our every desire, controlled entirely by our fickle urges, until we destroy ourselves, for what we want and what we need are usually not the same. We can choose to deny our wants and needs, like eating and sleeping, to the point where we damage our bodies. We can jump on someone's bandwagon and become puppets, shadows of what we look up to, replacing our voice with another's. I would imagine that most of us, however, fall into a more grey area than these extremes.

We are told that we can have everything we want if we work hard and earn lots of money. We are also told that it is important, almost necessary, to get married and have kids. So many of us start a family, only to ignore them by working so hard to provide for their needs that we never get to see them. The more efficient new technologies make our workload, the more is demanded of us. These technologies were created so that we would not have to work so hard, but the opposite has happened. We are a world hungry for more.

Unfortunately, the ‘more’ we are feeding ourselves is not the more we need. We don't need bigger happy meals. We don't need four story houses. We don't need that shiny new car that can scream down the road at 160 mph making it impossible for the rest of us to see how cool you look in it. We don't need a bigger tv with thousands of channels. We just don't.

What we need, what we've overlooked in our efforts to create a life for ourselves, is to realize that God didn’t create us to live for ourselves. He created us to live for Him. He has a job for us. That’s why we’re here. It is what we were created for. He even gave us specific character traits and skills in order to perform our job. We have been uniquely created for it. No worrying if the boss will want to hire us for this job. We were made for it. We can never be fired from it, and it comes with a sweet benefits package that has been pre-paid for us. All we have to do is accept the job offer.

The job is to tell people about your boss. That’s it. We are here as God’s PR firm. Now, if you’re thinking that all you have to do is make a few flyers on Photoshop and staple them to a few trees in your neighborhood, then perhaps I’ve misled you. You see, what really tells a person about your boss is how you behave. Basically, your life is the reality show that reveals the heart of God. Does your life show God as the merciful, loving, undefeatable Creator of the universe? Or would people think differently about God when they saw you? Would they even see God or would they only see you trying to figure out this life alone?

In order for you to accurate portray God, you need to bone up a little on His character and what He wants us to do. The handbook has already been provided for you. God wrote it Himself. In it, you will find why this world exists, why we exist, and whether there is more to life than just the experiences we’re having right now. You will meet Jesus who loves us so much that He came to this world in order to save us from the consequences of being born ‘fallible.’ You may not have known it, and you certainly wouldn’t have chosen it, but when you were born, you were infected with a terminal illness called ‘sin.’ There’s nothing you could have done to keep it out of your life. It’s genetic, and we’re all infected with it. And if we aren’t ‘born again,’ we will die from it.

What in the world is being ‘born again?’ It’s our opportunity to choose who we want to be, who we want our Father to be, who we want our siblings to be, and where we want our lives to go. It is a choice. It won’t accidentally happen to you on the subway or while you’re dreaming; there’s no lengthy governmental forms to sign, and you certainly don’t have to spend any more time in a uterus.

Choosing to be born again involves understanding that we indeed have this illness called sin. It also involves understanding and believing that God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to give us a sort of blood transfusion. He even paid the hospital bill already. In accepting Jesus’ free transfusion, our blood, thick with sin, is replaced with the clean, life-giving blood of Christ. There’s no waiting list for this blood-transplant to happen like there is with heart transplants or new kidneys. As soon as we ask for it, it is given to us.

Now of course, this is metaphor, but it’s how I understand it. As far as I can see, there’s nothing physically different about me since I’ve had my transfusion. I don’t actually have someone else’s blood flowing in me. And I still have this nasty ability to misbehave, which surprised me at first. I had thought I wouldn’t have to worry with sin anymore. But I became a Christian, not Christ. I’m still in this earthly body while I’m here on earth and because of that, I still have the ability to sin. Only now, I have better guidance and the strength from God to overcome the temptation to sin, when I ask for it. I ask for it pretty often since I’m tempted to screw up a lot. And I really want to thank Jesus for giving me this new life, this ability to interact with God the Father, Ruler and Creator of the Universe, so I try really hard to represent Him well by learning what my job here is supposed to be and then asking Him to help me accomplish it. Because I now have the ‘blood of Christ’ flowing in me, I have been adopted by God. He is my Father, and from what I read, He has a really nice inheritance for His kids. Not only that, but in my life right now, I am experiencing a peace that I never knew was possible. And I feel useful, worthy, special and loved. I thank God all the time for this life that He has made for me. I enjoy my today and look forward to my tomorrow. I hope to see you there.

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