The Terrible Tragedy of Having Everything
My job is to convince young people to forego lucrative careers and enter ministry full time. It’s like giving candy to a baby. Just kidding.
I digress. Last week, my team and I visited students from Harvard, MIT, BU and the University of Connecticut. Yep, we are crazy enough to think that even those students whose intellect and opportunity surpass the 99% of the country might, just might, want fulfillment over every single other opportunity presented at their fingertips.
It was a great trip. The students involved with FOCUS from these schools are not only brilliant, but they are warm and hospitable (you know who you are). In the middle of an environment dripping with stress and depression as each young person grasps for the top, our students are an oasis of joy. They truly are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to their peers who often scoff at the idea of God.
As I walked around Boston from meeting to meeting and prayed for the Lord to give me a message worth sharing, my mind kept returning to the word Everything. I have continued to ponder this theme as I observe our culture.
We have everything and if we don’t, we can get it.
See, the sin of the society in the old bible story, “The Tower of Babel”, occurred when the people in that society said, “Come, let us make a name for ourselves.” It is in the very next chapter with the Lord says to Abraham, “I will make your name great.” Humanity is unchanging. We have perpetuated the very glamorous sin of “Let us make a name for ourselves” since the beginning of time and our name is now very great. We have EVERYTHING but have lost sight of Everything’s maker. In doing so, we have landed in 2016.The Baby Boomer generation is most likely the wealthiest generation to ever have walked the earth. We have created the most prosperous society in history and not only do we not recognize it, but we still aren’t happy!
This is the tragedy, the irony. We did it! We built Babel and Babe has betrayed us. Isn’t there a happy ending in obtaining our wildest dreams? If so, where is it? Why are we still grasping for just a straw of fulfillment when we are just so comfortable?
Maybe everything isn’t everything at all. Maybe our goals should be just a little bit different. Could there be a turnaround? What if this election cycle is actually our collective rock bottom. It seems that almost no one likes our presidential choices but I have often heard it said that we don’t like in others what we see in ourselves. These candidates are a dark mirror reflecting back to us what we look like now that we have gained the world and forsaken our souls. The tower is crashing again. It always does.
So, what do we do? How do we start over?
My co-workers and I stood in front of students who have the world at their fingertips and asked them to consider passing it up for one thing. We asked them to consider that maybe the Lord is asking this generation to magnify His name by giving Him our trust and LIVING out His way of life. I write now and ask you, the reader to consider the same.
In this lap of luxury, are you seeking fulfillment? Do you wish that our nation was defined more by truth and character than by shock and headlines? Do you wish that power wasn’t the main driver of our politics and our entertainment? Do you long for the soul to return to the people of this nation and for truth to be definable again?
Awesome. The good news is that society is never changed on a macro level, it is changed on a micro level. A people are transformed when people are transformed. A culture of death becomes a culture of life when individuals create that culture and invite others out of death and into life. All of this is accomplished when people choose to love God according to His terms and love others. You can be that person; you really can do something. Let your American Dream answer to the call that God has placed on your life instead of the other way around.
No matter your age, you can still submit your everything to the Lord. Let Him make you part of our redemption.