Monday, July 26, 2010

Is Jesus Just a New Toy?: A Guest Post

Andrea is my youngest sister. This spring, she graduated from college with a degree in music. She just turned 21 and has spent the last few summers as a camp counselor. Her immediate plans, after camp, include seeking piano and flute students. She posted this piece on Facebook, and I stole it to share with you!

Last week I was sharing the gospel with a camper. This particular camper was a ten-year-old girl who knows very little about the Bible. She thought that Adam and Eve were detectives, and when I told her the story of Jesus feeding the five-thousand, her jaw dropped. But I am not writing this note simply to tell this little girl's story, but to share with you her thought provoking response to the gospel of Jesus. I shared with her about Jesus' life from beginning to end, doing my best to fill in the most important parts of the gospel, all of which were new to her. When I was done sharing, I asked her if she would be interested in following Jesus. Her response has stuck with me all week. She said, "I think that sounds like it would be cool to do. But I don't know if I would remember about it after a while. My family doesn't read the Bible or go to church. So I think I would just forget about it. It's kind of like when you get a new toy and it's exciting for a while and then you forget about it."

A new toy. This little girl hit the nail on the head. So often, that is what Jesus is to us. He is simply something new and exciting now and then, to be pulled out and played with, and then put back on the shelf to be forgotten about. Is Jesus like a new toy to you? Has he become an old toy put on the shelf and forgotten, to be pulled out again years later? I think that in a child's language, rather than being a new toy, Jesus should be like a favorite blankie. Jesus should be dragged everywhere and be a part of everything, as a child clings to that blankie. He should be well worn and obviously loved- even obnoxiously present when people tell us to put Him away, rather than shoved away and forgotten on a back shelf.

This little girl did not want a new toy only to be forgotten. If she accepted Jesus, she wanted to be real. So she decided not to accept Jesus. But though I am reminded that for many that is what Jesus becomes, I am challenged that Jesus is so much more than a new toy to be forgotten. Jesus is our life and our everything. From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. And I pray that someday the seeds of the gospel would bear fruit in this little girl, that Jesus would not be some toy discarded, but her everything.

Thank you Andrea, for all your hard work with our kids at camp, for loving them with the love of Jesus, and for speaking truth into their lives. I love you!