Sunday, October 19, 2008

RMC Editorial: And Now, the News

Some very important things happened today. You probably heard. Fox News or CNN told you all about it on TV. Or maybe there’s a website you check. Or maybe someone just told you. Everyone is talking about it. Impressive events shook the globe and have been deemed newsworthy.

There’s an election just around the corner. On the far side of the world a war rages on. The economy has a persistent cough and might be running a temperature. By the time the ink on this paper is dry, even more breaking news will have us all talking and texting.

But don’t be fooled. These things are not that big of a deal. The really important events will be overlooked. A relatively small number of people will hear about them. In some cases, no one will hear about them. These moments will truly be earth-shaking moments. But they won’t make the news.

At some point today (chances are) someone will be immersed in water for the forgiveness of his sins. He will end up living forever. Cured of death, he will start living a completely brand-new life that has a real purpose.

Somewhere, a Christian is making the time to talk to someone who is spiritually dead. In many cases, this will set in motion a wave of influence that will reroute generations and change the final spiritual destination of literally thousands of souls.

There are those who have been following Jesus in their words and actions and have now finally settled into a well-deserved rest. The cheering isn’t that loud on earth, but the roar in heaven is along the lines of deafening.

There was a grudge somewhere. Not anymore. A Christian stepped in and gently killed it. Now the conflict is over and the souls involved are no longer in jeopardy.

Someone taught a Bible class, planting seeds that will grow forever.

Someone started a conversation that will become a congregation.

All this happened—and more. But you probably won’t hear about it. None of it will be on TV. None of it will hit the talk show circuit. Not one word will reach the general public. For the most part, the world will ignore all of these events—or more accurately—it will be ignorant of these events.

These things will go by unseen and unheard. And even the people who do see or hear—most of them will fail to grasp the significance. They won’t even remember the baptism they saw by the time they’re browsing through the lunch menu. Even the most profound lesson seems to dissolve at the door of the church building. Such things may be truly important, but they are easily overshadowed by the distractions that swirl around our head.

All of these spiritual matters are far more important than the war in Iraq or the price of gas, or the issue of who will be a sitting in the Oval Office in January. These worldly matters—despite their volume and glare, ultimately don’t matter at all. When placed alongside things of eternal consequence, everything else is revealed to be what it really is—temporary and insignificant.

No doubt, there will be some pretty amazing achievements. God will use talents and words and incredible acts of kindness to accomplish His will. It does matter when people echo the goodness of God on an earthly level. A physical rescue presents an extended opportunity for a spiritual rescue. Souls are in a precarious position and anything that allows a person more time to pursue salvation is at least indirectly significant.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s all going to burn. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (II Peter 3:10). We are actors on a condemned stage, so we better make sure we’re following the plot that gets us out of the theatre.

We need to be up front. Anything that doesn’t include Jesus is ultimately worthless. Unless the Son of God is deeply involved, it all adds up to one big fat zero. “I am the vine and you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Don’t be fooled. Despite the passion of the talking heads and the frantic music of “breaking-news,” all of it pales next to anything a Christian does in the name of the King of Kings.

It is so much more than the Sunday stereotypes that initially come to mind. We need to get past the images of the flimsy gentleman who spouts trite religious phrases. Don’t reduce this to a quaint cliché of a pious matron babysitting with flannel boards and gluesticks. There are gentlemen who are speaking potent words of encouragement, powered by Scripture. There are women who are affecting hundreds of futures by building a foundation in Bible class—and yes, sometimes with gluesticks. These men and women of God are nothing less than the only ones who are genuinely changing the world. The rest is just background.

So ponder this. Wouldn’t it be a shame to miss out? Wouldn’t it be the ultimate tragedy of all to get so caught up in the irrelevant commotion of the world that you end up not being involved in what actually matters? Tyrannized by our calendars, it is very possible to move through a whole day and do nothing of any significance. There may be food in the fridge and dollars in the account and kids in the van, but if there’s no Bible in your hand by the time the sun is going down yet again, what was it all for? Line up enough of these days in a row and you end up with a life that was merely a prelude for death. A series of token Sunday pew-sitting sessions does not a Christian make.

What if you got to the end of the day, able to look back on a moment that really mattered? What if you got to the end of all your days, able to look back on a life that really mattered?

The news will rage on. But for all its noise and bluster, there’s nothing new about the news. Like a tired song it will hit second verse same as the first—again and again. Meanwhile, the men and women of God will continue to alter the universe one soul at a time.

It’s happening. It’s often quiet. It’s often subtle. But it’s happening. Something important happened today. Something big. Did you miss it?

1 comment:

Abbie said...

Love it! I am completely living on the wrong plane for so much of my time. Thanks for a great reminder. :)