I had a guy at work yesterday interested in what our classes in seminary were like. I think his exact question was, “So, what is your textbook at seminary? Like, the Bible?” Yeah, pretty much. I think you could call the Bible a required text for most classes at seminary. He then went on to ask me how we approach the Bible in class. Did we look at it objectively, and by objectively he meant as just another piece of literature. I proceeded to tell him that those of us in seminary (all Christians really) have basically staked our lives on the fact that the Bible is not just another piece of literature to be interpreted and analyzed along the same lines as Shakespeare. We’ve built our lives on the fact that the Bible is God’s word and that it is Truth. If we don’t read it and approach it in that light, then then the whole thing is up for grabs.
As the conversation went on, he revealed that he had studied a lot of different religions at school, but always objectively and that he was actually an agnostic. He said he had a lot of respect for “people like us” but he just couldn’t make himself believe it. But he also wondered what life was for…just a f*#@ing rat race where you work, sleep, and eat? I thought to myself (and later wished I had said out loud), yeah, without Christ, that is what life would be. Pointless. Hopeless. Just a rat race. That was when I was reminded again that Christ is my hope. He is my reason.
I woke up this morning thinking about that. Truth is, I completely understand the guy’s perspective. I had just forgotten. I had forgotten what it was like to live apart from Christ. I then thought about what I would be like today if it weren’t for Christ. I saw two very real and very potential paths I could have taken in life. Real and potential because I took them both, if only for a season. The first being that I would lead a religious life. One where I worked really hard to be really good and keep God happy and hope that maybe he would reward me for all of my goodness, or at the very least not allow harm to come to me. One where I always wondered if I had been good enough and lived in fear of a God I hardly knew, but served out of obligation and duty. The other path would be to live a life doubting that God really did exist and thinking (even if not admitting out loud) that if He did exist He sure didn’t seem to care about me. And that if he didn’t exist and he didn’t care about me, then it was up to me to live the rat race…a purposeless, meaningless existence. Oh, how I have been there.
I drove into work this morning overwhelmed with gratitude that neither of those situations were realities in my life today. They were both realities at one point in my life. They would still be realities were it not for Christ. Were it not for Christ. He is my hope. He is my salvation. He is my reason.
While these thoughts were circling my brain, this ultra cheesy song by Mandisa (remember her from American Idol?) came on. It is an obnoxious, way-too-peppy-especially-for-early-in-the-morning song talking about it being a good morning. I generally find it annoying. And I probably just offended some of you because you probably love it. Today, I couldn’t help but sing along – well hum along – to that way-too-peppy-especially-for-early-in-the-morning song, because I was reminded that because of the hope I have in Christ, it was indeed a good morning.
Who would you be were it not for Christ? How would your life look had he not saved you…from yourself, from this world, from the rat race, from religious effort, from despair, from doubt, from fear?