“Going… going… going… gone!”
If you are familiar with baseball, you are familiar with this phrase. Announcers use it when a baseball is hit out of the park. We live in a culture that encourages us to be like that baseball. We are told to go, go, go; if you stop to rest, you are lazy and not being efficient with your time. By the time you stop and take a break, the precious moments are already gone. We live in culture that wears busy-ness like a badge of honor.
Sadly this attitude has found its way into the Church. We keep ourselves so busy that we rarely take time to stop and think about life. To think about the fact that God Almighty — the Creator and Sustainer of the cosmos — looks at us small, finite beings and desires a relationship with us. The problem with the go, go, go attitude is that it causes us to lose sight of Him and His good news. We are so busy doing things for God that we never take the time to be with God!
With the invention of the cell phones — and now smart phones — we have the ability to stay connected to the whole world 24/7. I don’t want to say technology is bad, but it can be a distraction. If we have spare time, we spend it scrolling through social media, reading news articles, watching Netflix, or being with people. These things in and of themselves are not bad, but when the Creator of the universe calls us to spend time with Him and we would rather spend our days distracted, they become bad!
In early February we took the teens on a winter retreat centered on this very principle. It was a time to stop and think about God. We spent time hearing the Word of God preached by Tony Villafane. We spent time just getting to know one another. And we spent time alone with God getting to know Him. We asked the teens to reflect upon God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. If they did not already have a relationship with Him, we asked them to consider it. If they already had one, we asked them to consider giving up a sin that they were holding on to. We did this for one simple reason: God is better. By God’s glorious grace two teens crossed over from death to life and many others made commitments to remove sin from their lives!
All through the Scriptures there is a call to remember. God tells the Israelites to keep the feast of unleavened bread and pass it on to the generations as a sign to remember the God who brought them out of Egypt (Exodus 13:3, 8). The apostle Paul exhorts the believers in Corinth to remember the most important thing they had received, the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The point is that it is really difficult to remember these truths if we never take the time to stop and think.
by Charlie Hirschy, Director of Student Ministries