Sometimes, in moments of melancholy, I wonder if my life has counted for anything. I am especially wondering that during this season of my life. I am forty-five years old. I have stayed in youth ministry way beyond my prime. I have no money to speak of. I am just now, after 20 years, finishing my master’s degree. I am not an ordained pastor. I rarely get to preach. I have never served communion. I have never baptized anyone. I am 25 pounds overweight. I have acid reflux. My present ministry as an Assistant Pastor often leaves me scratching my head, wondering what it is that I really do. To top it all off, I live in a van down by the river!
Not really. I’m not quite Matt Foley. But I’m working on it.
With this said, today I received a remarkably encouraging e-mail from Eric Griffin. I first met Eric several years ago while visiting Rock Hill High School (Rock Hill, SC). Eric was a freshman (or sophomore) who played soccer and sometimes kicked field goals for the football team. After a while, Eric and I formed a friendship and he became a key student leader in our Young Life ministry. Eric is now married to his beautiful wife, Wendy, and he works as a successful businessman with The Cason Group insurance agency.
Somehow we seem to have lost touch with the fact that we’re dying. I don’t know how this happens. It is the one thing in life that is absolutely guaranteed: we will die. Yet, we tend to live as if our days will last forever. We make money, buy big houses, buy new cars, watch our big screen televisions and whisper to ourselves that death is long way off…that we should eat, drink, and be merry, and pretend that life will continue on forever. That we are able to trick ourselves like this – to blind ourselves to our impending demise – is one of our strangest capacities. For death is all around us. Our friends and loved ones pass away. The evening news is filled with the reality. And if we’re still and quiet, we can feel ourselves getting older…heading toward death. How is it that we are able hide our eyes from this?
In this podcast Justin and Tim draw comparison’s between the Gospel of Corporate Culture v. the Gospel of Jesus. Corporate Culture practices a gospel of exclusion that only allows those who are able to measure up to company standards. Meanwhile, the Gospel of Jesus calls precisely those who cannot possibly begin to measure up.