Tonight I asked the young ladies in attendance at our Bible Cafe what would it take for life to go smooth. Bearing in mind that most of them were young teens, the first thing they said was, of course, "money." My daughter estimated that about 1 billion trillion would do the trick. This could create a bit of a problem, for the total U.S. budget for 2005 is 2.4 trillion, so either the U.S. Mint had better get to printing, or someone is guaranteed to have an unhappy life.
After that chuckle moment, we talked about other things that people think will bring satisfaction; relationships, public acclaim, fame, whatever. I then told them that whatever it was, was God to them, to which most of us "spiritually mature " folk would say, "duh!"
But then I got to thinking, am I selling God short if my strongest bit of good news is that the Creator is better at bringing satisfaction than the Creation? I mean, is that really all that God is good for? I can't believe that the "Herbrews 11 Heroes" did it because "Jesus was the best thing that ever happened to [them]; sorry Clark Sisters!
The Kingdom of God is more than meat and drink, Paul wrote. I'm pretty sure that it's more than personal fulfillment and having "your best life now." In consumer-driven America of the 21st Century, the Church often seems to be offering little more than a better way to get ahold of the temporal things that we will end up losing anyway, according to the common experience of those who die. AS the old saying goes, "you can't take it with you," so why are so many Christian books, tapes, and DVD's offering the very thing that Jesus said would only come to those who let those things go?!!
I caught myself just in time, and directed the girls to look at Christianity, not as the best way to get personal fulfillment, but as the world-view that best fit with reality, if we were honest about it. But how do I know? I haven't exactly test driven all of the alternatives, like Buddhism, Islam, or even a robust Atheism.
Then I remembered the way my life was before I met Christ, it ran kind of like a four cylinder motor on three cylinders, not totally off, but really working hard. Now, while the road might be rough sometimes, I know that I have enough power under the hood to handle the course.
That is what I want my daughter, her friends, and anyone else who graces the NU View Cafe to know-not that God is the best way to have your best life now, at least not as most Americans would picture it. Rather, the Lord Jesus Christ really is the One in whom all things are held together (Col 1:17).