Monday, February 16, 2009

Today is the Day

Last night I got a message that my 11 yr old daughter and my sister in law happened by a car accident that had just occured. They didn't witness the accident (thankfully) but they arrived at the intersection just seconds after it happened, and before the emergency vehicles arrived. From what my sister in law told me, 3 boys were on the side of the road and one decided to cross. When he did he was struck by a car, and knocked a good distance from where he was. By the time my sister in law arrived on the scene (she was on her way home, just around the corner), the boy had just been hit and was laying in the street, face down, suffering severe convulsions, with his two friends standing over him, in shock. She pulled over to the side of the road and grabbed a blanket out of her car and covered him up. She stayed with him, rubbing his arm and making every effort to comfort him until the paramedics arrived.

Thankfully, my daughter stayed in the car and did not see the full scene as my sister in law described to me (I've left some things out, it is way too sad to include them), because call me an overprotective mom if you like, but some things people are better off, without ever seeing in this lifetime. My sister in law downplayed the situation to my daughter when she got back into the car, for the simple purpose of not upsetting her more than need be. She'd already seen the boy in the street so she knew he was in trouble, she didn't need to know any more than that. I tried to locate any kind of news report on the status of the boy, but so far I've been unable to find anything. My heart goes out to his family, and his friends who saw it happen, and the man who hit him. I hope he makes it and I hope his brush with death causes him to think deeply about eternal things.

This accident, and several folks I know who have recently said goodbye (at funerals) to a young person, brings the reality home once again, that this life is truly but a vapor as James says, and what we do with it while we're here makes an eternal difference. Not one of us knows what tomorrow might bring. Someone could be struck down by a vehicle, or receive a terminal diagnosis at a routine doctor visit. It doesn't just happen to other people (as some go through life with this invincable attitude), it happens to us all. It happens to the young husband and father with a promising career. It happens to the young bride on her way to work. It happens to the busy mom, the executive dad, the actively retired grandparents and everyone else. Death comes to us all, there is just no way around it.

When it happens close to home, it's a reminder of the urgency to share the gospel of grace, as much as humanly possible. We have to be teaching this truth to our kids from the time they are old enough to understand basic language skills. We have to share the gospel with extended family, friends, co-workers, schoolmates and anyone else we come in contact with. No, it's not always easy and yes it's quite often uncomfortable and awkard to even bring it up with many people. Yet, their very eternity depends on whether or not they hear and believe the truth. This is not 1962 where just about everyone growing up in North America went to church on Sunday and heard the gospel message whether they liked it or not. This is an entirely new generation of young people that in many cases have never once been inside a church, never owned a Bible, have no idea who Jesus really was, or what He taught. This is a people group that came out of the degraded family values era, complete with divorce, broken and dysfunctional homes, an increase in crime and violence and vulgarity in every entertainment avenue, pro-abortion, anti-God, uber-liberalism. This is a people group that cried so hard and so loud to be free from the shackles of anything conservative and moral, that they've found themselves sitting happily and most assuredly deceived into oblivion. I'm no history expert, but from what I do know of American and Canadian history, North Americans have never really seen a generation of people like this that are so horrendously and happily ignorant of basic Christian teaching.

Indeed we do have a mission field right here at home. In most cases, probably even closer to home, and/or IN our homes, than we're even comfortable admitting. It's a really good time to sharpen our evangelism approach, and make every effort God affords us to share the good news of the gospel with anyone that will listen.

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