Friday, January 13, 2012

Jesus Skeptic: What are you doing here?

What does your life look like? If you are the "average" American, chances are it looks like this:


You wake up too early because of school or work (or wake up dreading the day because you have school or work later). You drag yourself to one of the two places, fight through your time there with the only bit of hope being that there's a sports game or TV show on at night that you love. As the TV shows end and time grows later, you start to dread your own bed knowing that sleep only means waking up and doing it all over again the next day.


The only time of the week some of you will thank the Lord. Everyone is excited because Friday means there is a 2-day vacation with your name on it just around the corner. Waking up in the morning is a little easier and all of your peers are slightly less annoying because nothing will slow down the fleeting bliss known as "Friday" (insert Rebecca Black here). 3, 4, and 5 o'clock just can't get here fast enough as the weekend is quickly approaching and "me time" will soon commence. 


Some sleep in, some get up moderately early; but one thing is for sure-- this day is about relaxation and fun. Aside from the annoying grocery run and the little chores around the house, this day is great. In fact, the honey-dos aren't even that bad because it is all done on your time. No one can tell you what to do on a Saturday. Free at last, free at last. 


This day will tend to vary for most people. Some of you are avid church goers who wouldn't miss stepping foot in church on a Sunday. For others, Sunday morning only means church on convenient days or days that you feel especially guilty or perhaps just Christmas and Easter services. Still, some of you snooze on through the whole of Sunday morning because you stayed up way too late Saturday night (my old tried-and-true policy).

And then, of course, there's Sunday afternoon. And for 99% of America, in one way or the other, that means football for nearly half of the year. Naps accompany this time too, along with TV shows like The Simpsons and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Then reality sets in and we all realize that the next day is Monday, a day to be condemned. 

This ends the happiness of the weekend and the entire cycle starts back over. 52 times a year (with the exception of vacations) this pattern is followed, and most of you, when pressured with the question, are left puzzled, wondering "What am I doing here?"

The author of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament writes, 

18 I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. 19 And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! 20 So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.
 21 Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy. 22 So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? 23 Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless. 

Ecclesiastes 2:18-23, NLT

This is what the majority of us call "rock bottom." Have you been there? Have you thought about all the things you do day-in and day-out and thought "why bother"? Most of us have. And this man used by God to write Scripture is no different than me or you. 

So what's the answer? Where do you go when you feel like all that you do is done in vain? Look at what Jesus says,
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Matthew 16:24-27

These are strange words in our culture. "What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" It's an intriguing circumstance. The author of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, says that he "question[ed] the value of all [his] hard work in this world."  But Jesus claims that by letting go of everything you do (i.e., losing your life) and giving it all to Him, you will be saved from the toils of this world (finding your life).

What are you doing here?

Are you questioning your own life?

Deny yourself, give your life to Christ and see how He will use it. 

God bless you.  

1 comment:

  1. This was very well written, Jeremy. Even got me thinking.