We have an issue with our time. It is the one thing none of us can get more of – and the one thing all of us seem to struggle to give up. But the reality is our time is short – and the lives of those around us time is possibly shorter. This past week I have had conversations with adults, high school students, and middle school students. As we were challenging one another to examine what the biggest roadblock of following Jesus most gave the same answer: my time.
We are either too selfish, too busy, or too lazy to give of our time and respond to the call we claim to have made on our life.
In the midst of this my personal spheres of contact have been shaken with 3 lost lives: a student in Plain Township, a friend of my wife’s family, and a student in the town my father taught in growing up. 3 lives lost – 2 of these taken of their own accord. And no matter how much time we wish we could give them – they are gone.
My heart is torn – how do you wrestle with following Jesus in this self-centered culture we have created. I myself am victim to it. Last Sunday I was exhausted, worn out, fighting sickness. I just wanted to nap with my wife, when suddenly my phone began to vibrate. Ignore. Vibrate again, and again. Then there was a knocking on the window. Going outside – I found three students from the community who hang out with us on Friday nights. The last thing I wanted to do was spend the next 30 minutes with them. But the Gospel compels me to be a presence in their life – because I am not my own – I have been bought with a price. (1 Corinthians 6:20) I no longer get to live in comfort, I am not only living for God when it is convenient for my schedule, at my church’s events, when I have the energy. Every breath I take means I am living for Christ.
I admit I am worn. I am so tired because the world around us is so desperately in need of Jesus. The harvest is plentiful but the workers few. We don’t need workers to show up for an hour – we need workers to show up for a lifetime. Students don’t need someone to care on a Sunday and be lost until the next time they show their face. Because between those hours there is hurt – they feel alone, and in that quiet when it seems no one cares, they lose hope. But the voice of one bringing the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – brings it loud not just for an hour but every day in that person’s life. Through social media, through a text, through a letter, through showing up at their soccer game, being a presence at their football game, saying “You are known, You are loved. You were bought with a price and you are not your own. Hope in God – don’t lose faith.”
Will we change? Or will we continue in our selfishness, laziness, pride, business – as the world around us remains in darkness. If we will not proclaim the Gospel with our day-to-day lives then what are we doing? If Jesus is not lifted high beyond our comfy buildings and feel-good bible studies…something must change.