In one of the conversations with the multitudes, Jesus tells them that there is a possibility for a person to accumulate all the things that he thinks he needs for his life, but if he had not provided for the eternity of his soul, he has mismanaged his life (Matthew 16:26).
In the fall all the programs are kicking in full time. There is a high level of competition for everything – school time, homework time, sports, arts, personal enrichment. Sometimes, one gets dizzy listening to all the activities of the youth. Sometimes, parents stop and think that indeed they have tired themselves and their children with this accelerated pace. Yet, they are caught with the fact that unless they are doing this or the other thing their child will not be successful or achieve whatever the contemporary society thinks that our children should achieve. Sometimes the church tries to provide all the things that society tells us are attractive to people today. Churches need to have sports arenas, they have to have special groups, and they need to be competitive in order to survive.
The Old Testament tells us that we should train a child in the ways he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. One of the ways is to introduce them to Christ in order for them to receive eternal life. Two hundred year ago, Robert Raikes introduced the concept of Sunday School for adults and children, but the Sunday School attendance is down because it competes with one hundred other activities happening on Sundays. Churches are struggling with what will replace the Sunday School classes, but the essence of the Sunday is of vital importance as it was in the days of Robert Raikes – imparting truth of eternal value for the young and old.
In one of the speeches that Bill Cosby gave he mentioned that the false advertisement in the African-American communities for the children to become famous as basketball players is almost impossible to reach. It would be more practical to encourage them to study trades or become a science teacher, than to aspire to become like Kobe Bryant. All sorts of sports academies have arisen throughout the United States that promise if our kids become a part of these academies, they will be successful athletes. One of the commentators stated that on average, we have a greater percentage of being hit by lighting than becoming pros.
Yet even if we become pros and we get everything that we want in life, but we never gain eternal life, we have been big time losers.
All of us have major questions about our lives. Jesus tells us to come to him and he will give us eternal life. When we come to him, he also asks us to be committed to him and shows that not everything that glitters is gold, that not everything that the world offers us has everlasting value.
If you are a parent, have you talked with your children about Jesus Christ? Have they made a commitment to him so that they know that they have eternal life? Can they see in you that commitment as you are an active participant in a church, a gathering of the saints who have been redeemed?