You have to live for something…

July 4, 2011

He we are the newbies on the parade scene, not prepared for anything.  At 10am it was already hot enough to feel like the entrance to Hell and it just kept getting hotter. We rookies are parked almost a mile from the parade route and we’re walking.  We have no sunscreen, umbrella, water, chairs to sit on, or cash to buy any of these items, and apparently no common sense.  As we walked towards the parade route we realized how unprepared we were and that neither my wife or I could remember the last time we just watched a parade and not participated.  Honestly, as a former Boy Scout who had the motto “Always be prepared” driven into him from the beginning I was frankly shamed (but I digress).  After walking a mile and finally finding an open spot on the street (with absolutely no shade for our baby and toddler) we settled in and we were in for a surprise.

The parade began…

tractors, horse drawn carriages, Antique cars and trucks, local Dance studios, Girls scouts and Boy scouts (who pelted us with candy), political representatives, Renaissance Festival people and surprisingly churches (and other religious organizations).  The one that left the deepest impression were the Shriners (pictured above).  Despite the silliness of a grown man riding in a miniature car in a parade the  Shriners actually do a lot of good things.

My daughter was standing right in front of me as they approached performing power slides and figure 8’s, a mesmerizing sight for any child.  My wife looked out on the road as they went by and casually said something very profound,

“I guess you have to live for something.”

You see I run into people all of the time who look at Christians and Christianity and simply say “this doesn’t pass the smell test”.  I said this when I was 8 years old.  Our focus is somewhere else.  Most of the people that I see or hear about attending a [Christian] church of any stripe I see them striving to be a good person.  Listen, Jesus said that we will be known for our love for each other not for being a good person!  Actually, being a good person is not a sign of love and in most cases is a sign of self fulfillment as a person strives to manipulate others for their or ultimate outcome.I’m not saying that what you are focused on is necessarily bad, but I am saying that it takes you and I away from what is suppossed to be the first thing in our lives.  Jesus said:

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35

The love that Jesus is referring to is not casual butterflies toward Him or that special hymn or K-Love song you sings to Him as your boyfriend, but the experiential reality coming to Jesus is desirable above all things.  You see to love Jesus from the Bible’s perspective means we experience Jesus as precious and perfectly satisfying in our lives.  You see if you are viewing Jesus through the Gospel filter you will treasure Him for who He is, and for what He has done and is doing.  That same love, once focused on Jesus, then made to permeate our community and be reflected into the world around us.

In light of this I have a few questions (surprise):

  • Does your faith pass the smell test?
  • If I asked those who truly know you what would they say that you are living for?
  • Is Jesus is desirable above all things in your life?

“I guess you have to live for something.”


About Jon Nelson

I am just a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody [Christ Jesus]!

Posted on August 29, 2011, in ...from Jon, Apologetics, Life. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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