Something has been pressing on my heart very much in the past month, and the past year.
People label me a geek. People label me a Trekkie. I don't mind the Trekkie so much... And the geek I allow. But if I want to be known as one thing, I want to be known as a Christian.
In youth group, I was for awhile the "Star Trek" one and that hurts me. I want to be the "one who loves God."
I look around me and see girls all over the world spending their time alone in their rooms watching Doctor Who... Or blogging alone in their rooms. Remember that guy from Doctor Who, in the god Complex episode? He was a blogger, and he was made fun of because he was weird and alone all the time.
Does God call us to be like that? No! He calls us to go out and tell the world of His love! The Great Commission!
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Do you think Jesus was kidding? How can we be out making disciples if we're in our rooms all the live long day being anti-social hermits?
I spent the last three days watching the first season of BBC'S Robin Hood. I really enjoyed it. But when I wasn't watching it, I was thinking about watching it. I was wondering what happened next. My dad and I played Star Trek: Catan... Was I thinking seriously about the game? Not really... I wanted to go and watch more Robin Hood. Last night, I stayed up way late past my bedtime just to watch one more episode when I knew full well that I had to be up at 7:00 in the morning to go to worship practice. This afternoon I skimped on my piano practice just to get back to watching it.
Is that healthy? No. It's not. Would I ever recommend watching a TV show in 3-days? No. I would not. Because they become idols, without us meaning them to be. We don't even realize that they've become idols until we're in too deep.
I fear someday that someone will come up to me and say "You're such a fangirl!" (in a jokingly "good" way) or "Welcome to the fangirl ranks, Abbey!" I don't want that to happen! I don't want to be a fangirl! I never want to be known as a fangirl! Because I look at their lives and think, what substance do they have? How can they spend so much time on things that don't matter in the end.
When you get to heaven, will God look at you - at me - and say "Well done for watching all the popular TV shows and joining all the fandoms!" No. I believe that he'll say, "Why did you spend so much time watching those popular TV shows when you could have been spending time with me? I called to you but you didn't listen."
I wonder how many amazing things we're missing out on by shifting our focus off of God? By putting our focus on idols that we think will make us happy? You name it, and I've probably made it an idol in my life... right now it's fear and doubt for my future - fear and doubt that I'll be alone - that I am alone - and that I'll have no friends. I know God will always be there for me... but we were created to be in relationship with each other too! And how can we build good relationships when we're glued to our screens all day? How can we share the love of Christ if we're glued to our screens all day?
I don't believe that the Word of God can effectively be shared to strangers across the internet. For one, on the internet, just by the way you write things, you could come off as pushy and rude, when, in real life, you were intending to be satirical and funny. Inflection and body language is very important. Without it, too many arguments break out online.
I've tried to "fit in" with the "cool kids." In the real world it was trying to breach the gap between the "cool kids" and the "quiet kids" in youth group. I exposed myself to some bad youtube channels/videos (Ellen DeGeneres... Kids React...) and some bad TV shows (Friends and other sitcoms) and also started being more outspoken and a bit brash and maybe even a bit flirtatious. On the internet world... Getting involved in Doctor Who and Sherlock, and trying to copy what I thought was the "cool way" to write blog posts in the author blogsphere... when I'm not even sure if God wants me to be an author/writer!
Those things are not me. Undoubtedly I will fall back into these things... trying to be like others by acting like them... countless times in the rest of my life, but that's not who I want to be.
I want to be a messenger of God. I want to learn more about Him and tell others about Him. I want to make friends in real life and I want to build relationships with people in real life so that maybe, if they aren't Christians, they can see something different about me... I want to live for God. But I have to stop leading a double life. I need to stop struggling and let him take over.
Does this mean I'm giving up blogging? Doctor Who? Star Trek? Being a geek?
No. Because it's okay to be all those things. It's okay to be a geek... Just so long as it doesn't come before God.
There's a story in Gospels... I'm going to copy it from Luke 9 (the story is also in Matthew 8). The little header above the paragraphs is called "The Cost of Following Jesus."
So here it is... the cost of following the one who Created everything. The cost of following the one who saved your life by giving His own (because there is a cost. It's not just "I accept God and now I'm going to heaven. Done"):
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. He said to another man, "Follow me."
But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Are burying your father or saying goodbye to your family bad things? No. But if they come between you and God, then yes they are.
If Jesus came up to you, and said "follow me" would you unhesitatingly say "yes!" or would you say "just a minute... but first let me..."?
If Jesus came up to you in the middle of Sherlock premier on Sunday, right before Sherlock revealed how he fell at the end of season two - if Jesus came up to you at this point and asked you to follow him, would you unhesitatingly say "yes!" and get up and leave without seeing the resolution to the long-awaited season three of Sherlock?
Casting down idols (whether they be addictions, entertainment, money, fear, doubt, guys, attention, or even little gold figurines) is something that has been in my mind a lot this year. And I've struggled over whether to post about it on my blog or not... But now I just have to. I have to make my priorities straight.
I still enjoy a good sci-fy show, and I really really love and appreciate well-written books and classical music. I'm a geek. I'm still going to post about the things I enjoy, such as Tolkien, and movies, and Doctor Who.
But at the core of all that, I am a follower of Christ. I never want any TV show, book, or piece of music get in the way of my relationship with Jesus. And I want you all to know that. This girl belongs to God first and foremost above everything else!
Will I fail? Yes. I'm going to fail tomorrow, because I am a sin-filled being. I'm probably going to fail tonight, even though I go to bed soon.
But I'm going to try my hardest not to fail. I want to be conscious of every time I fail, so that the next time, I can resist temptation to "just watch one more episode" or to "let's just skip Bible this morning 'cause we're too busy."
So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
He said to them, "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
In the Old Testament, before Jesus, only specific people could go into the temple at specific times to be in the presence of God and offer the sacrifices to him. It was a privilege to be in the presence of God and only happened once a year. The majority of normal people didn't have the requirements to be a priest and be in the presence of God in the Holy of Holies in the temple. But that changed when Jesus came and died to save us from our sins. That wall was broken down. We can speak to God freely whenever we want to! And "we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us." The people in Old Testament didn't have that option... They didn't even have the option to accept that power. But we do. And everyday, more people throw that power out the window. Kinda dumb don't you think? We have the power of God on our side and we choose to throw it out the window.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Be content believers! Be content with God! Don't try to fill your life with meaningless fluff! Take hold of his free gift of salvation, and take hold of the power he offers to help you through life!
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If our God is for us, who can be against us?
Because you can't take the stuff with you. It doesn't matter in the end.
Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.
This too is a grievous evil: As a man comes, so he departs, and what does he gain, since he toils for the wind?
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.