1999-12-30 - Worlds in Collision
James 4:14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. (NAS)
Another year draws quickly to a close. I will have seen 40 New Year's Eve celebrations and yet that seems somehow impossible. We work and plan and play as if tomorrow will always come. Somewhere in the back of our mind, we know that is not quite so. It is very hard to think of the brevity of life when you are holding a newborn baby in your arms, especially when it is your own. As a teenager, we often think of ourselves as nearly indestructible. People say, I want to do this and that when I retire, or when I get a chance. Sometimes that chance never comes.
It is the same with the things the Lord calls us to do. He calls the world to repentance and salvation. To those of us who have heard and answered that call, we hear the clarion to grow and learn in this amazing new life we have been given. Sharing that life is almost unstoppable and nearly impossible at the same time. The joy we know in Jesus Christ is something that is often beyond the reach of words to describe. The fear of rejection or simple uncertainty can keep us from telling someone we know or meet about that joy. And yet, we must live that joy before the world. They need us to be ready to share what makes us different with them. If they are honestly asking, they want to know. They may be a little surprised by the answer, but that's okay. Just tell them.
There is a line of logic that says Christians are to come out and be separated from the world (2 Cor 6:17). This is true of "yoking", or being involved in business or where our reputations are at stake. And yet we must work and we do not all run our own businesses. We are going to be involved with the men and women who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. It is that simple. We do not have to go out and get drunk with them, and we do not have to laugh at inappropriate jokes. In that way, we are living separated lives from the world system. In living a separated life, we may draw some jeers. Those jeers and taunts are only there because the life you chose to live makes them uncomfortable. Deep down, they know that the life you are living is right and they may even want it for themselves. They may be being drawn by the call of the Master and not know what to do, or simply be afraid of being different. The natural world is familiar and still it grows darker and holds less and less allure day by day. The world we live in as Christians is uncomfortable because it is unfamiliar, but it pulls at the heart and mind of the one Christ is calling.
The real danger is if our two worlds do not collide. If sparks don't fly from friction, if our lives are not there showing someone else that there is a better way, that this life is not a bygone thing of the past, but a real, vibrant possibility - they will never know. We are all at very different levels in our walk along the narrow road with Jesus Christ. Some of us have been walking and learning for a very long time. Others have been Christians for a long while, but have not taken the time to learn and to grow. Still others have poorly used their new life in Christ. And still others are brand new Christians, just starting out. And yet in all of this, each of us is the best example of Jesus Christ to someone who does not know Him. That thought may frighten you a bit, but it should not. You are exactly where you are by God's appointment as this year draws to a close. The all-knowing Creator of the Universe has you where you are for a purpose. Trust Him if the opportunity to be a little different or share a little of the peace and joy you have comes along. It may take a little while, a few times of extending yourself. But it may surprise you how soon someone may come back to you and ask for a little more insight into the world in which you live. Your two worlds will have collided.
Lord Jesus - open our eyes to see where we are and those around us with Your heart and Your eyes. Amen.
Grace & Peace,