For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
I stared at my brother-in-law as if he’d just announced he was an alien from another galaxy who’d evolved from insects and could temporarily morph into any form he wanted. He only appeared to be human.
He was crazy, a raving lunatic, I thought. Babbling on and on about Jesus and how he’d come to have a personal relationship with Jesus, and I could, too. The message of the cross was foolishness to me because I was in the process of perishing.
A personal relationship, my eye! I thought with contempt. Jesus was a great guy who was here thousands of years ago and did great things, but since then He’s been off somewhere in heaven with God, the two of them doing their own thing. Far away. In some other world. We’ve been left here on our own to deal with life as best we can, and if we can do enough good, then maybe we can go there when we die.
I momentarily focused again on my brother-in-law as he earnestly continued his discourse.
You’ve totally lost it, I thought. You’re a fool. People don’t have PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS with Jesus! It’s not like He’s HERE! Something like that just CAN’T happen!
OUCH. I THINK I HAVE A SPLINTER OR SOMETHING…
Yet, the whole time he was talking, and I was judging him as a fool and his words as foolishness, there was the tiniest little flicker somewhere inside me that spoke of the opposite. Like one of those little splinters you get in a finger that is so tiny, you can’t even see it without a magnifying glass and bright light. But as you take hold of, or brush your hand across something, you can feel it! And sometimes we can’t get it out, so we go on our way and try to ignore it, hoping it will work itself out eventually.
Which is what I did that day – little knowing that I was the biggest fool of all.
The message of the cross was foolishness to me because I was in the process of perishing.
I don’t remember the exact year that conversation with my brother-in-law took place, but somewhere between 21 and 26 years elapsed before I finally stopped running from God as He so relentlessly, lovingly pursued me. He wanted a personal relationship with me. Go figure! 21 to 26 years of restlessness, reckless living, trouble, pain, and misery, all stuffed down and hidden behind friendly smiles, laughter, and “fun”. 21 to 26 years of trying to fill a void inside that only grew bigger and more painful.
21 to 26 years of foolishness.
And since being saved, whenever I’ve skipped to the back of the book and read Revelation 20:11-15…let’s just say it scared the hell out of me, literally. As it does to this day when I read about where the foolish road I’d chosen to travel was taking me.
And that’s the crux of it, isn’t it? God has given us all free will so we can make our own choices – for good or for bad. For wisdom or for foolishness.
NO REGRETS – ARE YOU KIDDING?
I’ve always shaken my head in wonder when I hear or read of people, especially at the end of their lives, saying they have no regrets.
I have plenty.
Yes, my hero, savior, King Jesus snatched me from the jaws of death as soon as I stopped running and fighting Him and repented. And of course, He’s washed me white as snow, I’ve been adopted by Father God, and their Holy Spirit lives inside of me. He’s made me new and continues this beautiful process of sanctification. I am part of the Bride of Christ, betrothed to the King of kings and Lord of lords. He has made me be royalty.
I can’t even wrap my mind around the awesomeness of it all.
But regrets? Oh, yes. For the rest of my life, I will regret that I wasted so many years! I careened recklessly through life, doggedly insisting on living it my way, doing my own thing and in reality, worshiping everything but God. Including myself. It seems like a strange dichotomy, but it’s not – we can hate and worship ourselves at the same time.
But having regrets doesn’t mean my life is sad and I wallow in self-pity. Life is awesome! I have a joy that I can’t even begin to describe. Yet, while I don’t waste time sitting around and dwelling on the past, I will always regret having wasted all those years spent digging for fool’s gold.
Take it from one who went quite a way down that highway to hell. That smooth, broad, level-looking road with eye candy that makes the Vegas Strip look like a ghost town, drops by such small degrees that you don’t realize it’s going downhill.
Open your spiritual eyes before it’s too late. Leave the fool’s gold, veer off the highway, through that narrow gate, and onto that narrow lane. The going can be tough, as there are potholes, bumps, and curves along the way. But it leads in the right direction.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:13-24