You might think I'm about to go on about the evils of television and getting sucked into the Internet for hours at a time. Not exactly.
The last few weeks have brought a lot of heavy issues to the forefront of our family's attention. I won't go into too much detail as these things affect many members of our extended family.
I will note (politically incorrect as I may be) that our families are your fairly typical middle-middle class folks. Probably right about average as far as dysfunction goes. Maybe it's just been a rough year. Our families are professing Christians of one denomination or another, a few skeptics thrown in. Overall there is a fairly non-biblical, universalist, hold hands and sing "Kumbaya" vibe about them. Don't get me wrong. We love these people dearly. I'm just being frank.
Some of these problems have been percolating for some time and my husband and I have had numerous discussions regarding how to approach them. Some came to a head over the course of one or two weekends lately.
Here's what happened that changed our perspective completely on all of this:
On the Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend, we were visiting some of our church family who were camping together. An annual tradition and we came for the giant communal breakfast. We had only been there for an hour when the sheriff's car pulled up to deliver the news to one of our dear friends. Her husband had just been killed in a motorcycle accident on his way to the campground. He was 47. As the rest of their family was called to her side, we were witnesses to the news being broken all around us. That entire day became dominated by offering prayer and support for the family. Dealing with the shock of the tragic news. The only consolation being that our friend who lost his life that day was a faithful follower of Christ.
The rest of that weekend was also riddled with some of the issues I mentioned above. I remember mentioning to my husband that I suddenly felt like all those horrible things were distractions, even though they are things that need fixing. In the wake of our friend's sudden death and his family's grief, we were being bothered with someones repeat offenses in "name your sin." Losing someone you know so suddenly truly forces you to think about the brevity of life. None of us is guaranteed another day on this earth. If we aren't putting the kingdom first we are wasting our time.
My family, my husband's family, your families... there are thousands of problems out there. If we tried to address each of those problems individually we would have to become rather knowledgeable about several subjects such as addiction, legal statutes, psychology, etc. We would have to be fighting a battle on many fronts, with many people. And let's not forget that we have our own shortcomings that need attention.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
If we aren't changing people's hearts with the Gospel, we aren't helping anyone. The world has ways of getting people to change their behaviors to fit society's standards or legal standards. Why do we want to do what the world can do? If we have Christ, and seek Him first, we can do much more than the world can do for our families. It isn't our job to "fix" people in the world. It's to spread the Gospel of Christ so that He can work in their hearts and help them overcome their problems. It's about eternal life with God or eternal death without God.
The death of our friend is still a sore wound. His family still grieves and misses him dearly. But they have the strength to continue because they know where his soul is. He didn't leave them any doubt. I don't want my children to have any doubt. I really struggle with the spiritual state of our loved ones. If any silver lining is to come from a tragedy, one silver lining can be that my husband and I have resolved to stop wasting time on the distractions that this evil world supplies and focus on the hearts and souls of the people in our lives.