And here is the third and final point of my upcoming youth rally lesson. If you haven’t read parts one and two, you can start with part one by clicking here.
Third, The world is holding you back.
Because the world tells you that you can never be good enough unless you are a rock star, a football player, or a movie star. They tell you that you have to be someone important, like a brain surgeon or a governor, if you are going to contribute anything extremely valuable to the world.
When I was growing up I wanted to be an artist, like a cartoonist for Disney, and I learned how to draw Disney characters like Donald and Goofy. And then I wanted to be a veterinarian. I wanted to rescue hurting animals. And then I wanted to be a singer. At first it was a country singer, but then I slowly realized I didn’t really like country music. Then I went to college and got a degree in Biology because I thought I had finally decided that I wanted to study and do research with wildlife. And through all of that, not once did I consider how I would use those careers to serve God, not once did I think about what was really important….not once did I seriously consider being a preacher. Despite all that, God made me a preacher, anyway.
And I am not saying you have to be a preacher. That’s another lie the world tells you: that to be important in the Christian world you have to be a Christian leader, a preacher at a mega-church, a religious advisor to the President. Think about it. All the most “religious” people in all the TV shows, movies, and on the news are always Catholic priests or nuns, or preachers, or professors of theology at big name universities. But, you don’t have to be a preacher. You can be completely committed to God doing whatever it is you do, whenever it is you do it. But…you have to be intentional about it. You have to decide to make serving God most important.
Harding University has a program for this. They realize that not every committed Christian is going to be a missionary or preacher. So, they have a program called Vocational Ministry. You can get a degree in, say, business management, but you can pair that up with the Vocational Ministry program that will give you extra classes in Bible and evangelism and how to reach out and serve your co-workers. They can help you learn to use your career to serve God. But, you don’t have to go to Harding to learn that. You just have to start now thinking about what is most important.
And the world will try to distract you—with iPhones, Wii, Facebook, football, basketball, texting, movies, sex, drugs, and Rock n’ Roll…or Hannah Montana…or the Jonas Brothers…or High School Musical 10, the Retirement Years. The world will tell you that these things are important. And slowly, if you haven’t already, you will come to believe it. You will go to church, you will pray before you eat dinner, you will talk about religious things with religious friends, but when it comes to living your life, you will look no different than the world. It will happen, unless you realize that Jesus Christ suffering in agony on a deadly cross is the most important event in all of human history, and unless you realize that you reenacting the cross by sacrificing money and time and energy and football practices and video games to serve God by serving others is the most important career this world will ever know.
You don’t have to be a rock star to do something incredible. You just have to understand that fearing God and keeping His commandments is your one and only purpose in life.