Wednesday, May 25, 2011


As the majority of the world knows, the supposed "Rapture" was due to happen this past Saturday, May 21. As we all very well know, it didn't happen, and while I could rant about that whole situation in general, it's not the point of this blog post. The point is, I actually learned something from the whole thing that, dear reader, you may or may not be interested in learning, too.

While people on Friday and Saturday kept mentioning things about the Rapture and such, I either replied with a witty response or just kept mum. However, here were the following thoughts going on in my mind: I know there's not going to be a Rapture because the real Rapture will come when everyone least expects it (see verses in Matthew and the epistles to the Thessalonians) , but hypothetically if it did happen soon, would I be ready? What would I say? How would I react? It was kind of funny because while these thoughts went through my head on Saturday, which was the same day as my boyfriend's prom, I also started thinking, "Well, if it happened today, I'd sure look ready! I look like a princess!"

But herein lies the rub. People don't become a part of God's Kingdom just by looking the part. People become a part of God's Kingdom through faith in Christ, legit faith. And it's the people who legitimately yearn for God wholeheartedly that He brings into His presence. And as I was sitting in my dress, thinking about what would happen if Jesus came back at that precise moment, the convicting thought for me was, "Looking at my life, am I prepared to return home with God?"

Preparation is the key word. "Ready" is a decent substitute, but "preparation" carried the weight and denotation that I'm looking for better. How have we been preparing ourselves for Him? Have we been good stewards of the resources He has granted us? And are our hearts prepared, in the sense that they crave Him more than anything else?

For me, it's a question of the way I live my day-to-day life. When I say that my way of living isn't glorifying to God, I don't mean that I drink or smoke or am sexually immoral or anything like that. What I mean is that I forget that He is my reason for living as I go about the busyness of my day. And that very fact is as appalling to God as much as any sinful behavior!

I can only imagine the awkward conversation that would ensue when I hit the pillow after a long, busy day of everything on my agenda all about me, maybe saying a few quick prayers before falling asleep, if then all of a sudden the Rapture happened and Jesus appeared before me. Oops, sorry Jesus, I was too busy for you? Like that would go over well! Seriously, though, think about it.

When it comes to living life as a Christ-follower, there's no question of means-justifying-ends or ends-justifying-means. The means and the ends always justify each other. This exact reason is why I don't want anyone to think that "getting to Heaven" is so important that we do everything so that we can achieve this. No, no, not at all. Definitely not. (PS: I'm grateful to my friend Kevin for calling me out on this on Monday.) Heaven could be considered the cherry on top of this whole delicious sundae of life in Christ. As Christ-followers, honestly it's rewarding simply being in an amazing relationship with Jesus. And there is much more to be said about this last concept, but that's a different topic for a different day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Some thoughts post-Osama

Last night around 11pm, I saw tons of people start posting on Facebook that Osama Bin Laden had been killed via American bomb. At first, I was like, "Okay, ha ha, joke's over, let's get on with it." Then it started dawning on me that it was true (and hammered into my brain by the screams and shouts and music coming from the frats across from where my dorm is). Honestly, even looking past my annoyance with the loud music and celebration until 1AM, though I understand why people are so happy and everything, I could hardly manage even a half-smile. A parade of people stood under my window last night with an American flag, playing The Star Spangled Banner with an accordion and trombone and snare drum and vocals, and I simply watched from above in disconnected silence as a small wave of sadness washed over me. I stopped and wondered why I was feeling so, and then upon thinking about it more I knew why things regarding all of this celebration weren't sitting right with me.

Where is the line between justice and revenge, first of all? It seems like the people whose loved ones were involved in the 9/11 attacks have reason for wanting justice and being angry and having some closure with Osama's death. But what about everyone else in America? Where does justice end and revenge begin? In fact, it shouldn't even be about justice, because guess what, guys:

It's not our job to take care of justice, no matter how badly we want it.

In Romans 12:9, Paul writes, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord." Osama deserves and will be receiving eternal death, as far as I see. But guess what? Each of us deserves the same. We are all sinners, in God's eyes, and each of us has transgressed farther than we'd like to think. Without Jesus' sacrifice, we wouldn't even have the chance at eternity with God. Without His grace and forgiveness, we would be in Osama's situation for sure.

God is loving, merciful, and slow to anger, but He is also just. He will make sure everyone receives what they deserve when Judgement Day comes. Don't worry, your enemies will be punished for what they have done to you, but guess what? You will be justly admonished for your own wrongs, as well.

What does this mean for us when we look at Osama Bin Laden's death? While I think we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there's one less terrorist in the world, I honestly think we should also understand a couple of things: 1) God created Osama just like He created you and me, 2) It is God's job to deliver justice and ours to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (see Matthew 5:44), and 3) Our growing knowledge of the sacrifice Christ made for us, of God's grace and forgiveness, should humble us daily and work in our hearts to make us more capable of forgiving those who have hurt us, personally or not. Romans 12:20 says a little more about how we should treat those who we believe to have hurt us.

How we love our enemies says a lot about the conditions of our hearts. It's easy to love those who love you in return, but to love even those who seem like they are beyond forgiveness (which nobody is, by the way; look at Saul/Paul's life!) is something incredibly difficult, even impossible. What it requires is the power of the Holy Spirit.

For more reading on this, check out my friend Alex's blog: