Friday, November 12, 2010

saturated in eternity

I had a conversation with a teenage girl the other day that really opened my eyes up. We were discussing the matter of "cliques" and I ventured to say that maybe this group needed to reach out a bit more to others instead of always hanging out with the same people. The response came as follows:

"Well, other people have said things about us being a clique, but we [the clique] talked about that and we decided that if we like hanging out with each other then why should we hang out with anyone else? We don't want to hang out with others because we love each other so much." (this was said in a very sweet manner, not rudely or with even an ounce of attitude)

I sat there, hoping to interject a peice of wisdom that would be heeded by the young girl, and not stuffed under the seat to rot and decay where other "jewels" I have given end up.

I started out, "Well, at least you're honest...but what happens if we only 'hang out' with those that we like? We stop being a Youth Ministry and become a Youth Group. Instead of reaching out, we become so exclusive that we don't minister to anyone but ourselves. That's not really the purpose of the Youth Ministry."

I went on to reference a message Tyler had JUST PREACHED on Wednesday night about "Saturated In Eternity." He told the funny story of one of his high school teachers that took a bottle of Eternity cologne on a trip with him. When he opened his luggage at his destination, he discovered that his bottle of cologne had been crushed and the contents of the entire bottle were distributed somewhat overwhelmingly onto each and every single garment he owned! He washed and washed his clothes but nothing could rid the smell of "Eternity" from his clothing. When he came back to school the following week the kids were almost knocked over with the stench. "What is UP!?" they asked their teacher. He told them the story and ended with the line, "I can't help it guys, it seems that wherever I go, I'm just saturated in Eternity."

The main point of this story being that our lives are lived simply from point A to point B. Lasting about as long as a vapor of steam (James 4:14). But eternity lasts, well, forever and ever and ever and ever and well, you get the point. What we do in this life is but for a moment, but living for Christ is a life spent living for others and laying up treasure that lasts for an eternity.

Was I saying that it's wrong to have close friends? Special friendships with people that are encouraging and fellowship with those of a like mind? No, of course not. But I was saying that if those friends were true and real and worth having, those friends would understand if you chose to sit with a visitor on Wednesday night instead of with them. Would understand you inviting someone to your house that isn't normally on your "Saturday Night Sleep-over" list. Would understand giving a hand to a struggling fellow believer or newcomer to our church family. These are the friends that would help you to be "Saturated In Eternity" and these are the friends worth having. And if you don't have these friends, why not reach out and find some friends like that?

Encouraging this young girl to live out the sermon she had just heard on Wednesday was an exciting and yet, humbling experience. Why? Because I know that in my own life there are days and I might add, weeks where I lived 'in the moment' instead of 'in Eternity'. 

We are such selfish creatures.

From the beginning of man, to the end of time, we will either continue to live for self or decide to live "Saturated In Eternity". When I drive through Chic-Fil-A next week will I selfishly take my No.1 with extra pickle and pull off or will I take the time to hand the cashier at the window a tract with the life-saving gospel of Christ? Will I lounge on the couch and spend countless hours on Facebook and Lightroom or will I sit with my child on the floor, sing Bible songs and teach him about His sweet Creator?

What will you change? Will you pray and ask the Father to help you become "Saturated In Eternity" today?

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