Sunday, November 29, 2009

What's at Stake?

I'm watching an old Christmas movie, one of those adaptations of Dickens Christmas Carol, and enjoying the warmth of the heater on this chilly day and the familiar story. While watching the ghost of Jacob Marley I was struck with the line, "Don't you understand what's at stake?" It reminds me of how little I keep my mind focused on what's at stake in this life and with humanity. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is a good day to reflect on what has been so graciously provided to me by God and this year was no exception. It was a busy day but I was still overwhelmed by gratitude at what I have, the people I am privileged to know and love, and the opportunities I have each day to serve God. But one thing I don't do nearly often enough is to reflect on what is at stake. For each bad decision I make someone besides me is affected. With each wrong turn I have to struggle to get back on course. Every critical word I speak cuts someone and everytime I give in to moodiness I lose time I can't get back and sink a little from the joy God wants me to have. This list is just what is at stake when I get off track. Multiply that by all who name the name of Christ and we waste what God has given us. The stuff I am thankful for is just stuff. I appreciate it and am thankful for it but it is stuff and can be replaced. Time, energy, opportunities, these are things that disappear. I may get more of them but the results of the ones I waste cannot be realized or brought back. While talking with my Life Trek Youth they all shared how they wanted to live an extraordinary life. They were passionate about it with the passion of youth that still can see all of the possibilities. Well, I don't think God cares how old we are, how much time is passed, or how much we have already wasted. His mercies are new every morning and He stands ready to welcome our decision to commit our all to Him and live extraordinary lives. He can and will use us to rock our world, at least I am counting on Him to do that in mine. It is time for us to wake up and realize what's at stake, to see all the faces around us as God does, people who need Him, that He loves and desires to be in His Kingdom. We have an obligation and a privilege as Ambassadors of the living God to reflect on what is at stake, to know and understand that being lost is real. It is important to let go of our fear, that nameless, faceless beast that keeps us from doing what we know to do and from living the way we know we should live.

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