Beautiful patches of golden yellow, luminescent blue and daring patches of white clouds patterned the morning sky. In the distance the sunrise was slowly welcomed by the moon and stars. My eyes were gazing upon another of the world’s quilted patchworks of perfection.
My mind raced with thoughts of children, church, choir practice and the too many choices of clothes that I needed to make.
I muttered a silent prayer to God, “Good Morning God. Thanks for helping me pass my Biology test on Friday.”
God and I were usually on a first name basis except when I was angry with Him or perhaps when he’s been angry with me. I can’t understand being that often since I read my Bible, I occasionally pray, attend church every Sunday, and I even teach a junior high Sunday school class. I’m a good person I don’t lie, cheat or steal.
“I’m leaving, Mom,” I bellow, a half chewed bagel in my mouth. “Don’t worry about dinner I’m studying with Jenna tonight.”
My thoughts skirted to today’s Sunday school lesson about the cost of following Jesus, what it means to be a Christian and the idea of “taking up our cross.” My students had been asking for in-depth study about what it means to be a Christian.
When I arrived I was besieged by a group of anxious ridden junior high students.
“Can we get on to today’s lesson, please,” several of the students whined.
I nodded, “Alright. So what do you guys know about being a Christian?”
Several hands raised I heard scattered replies of “Accepting Jesus as your Savior” “Obeying God” “Praying and reading your Bible.”
A small voice rattled from the back row, “It’s about making Christ the Lord and Savior of your life.”
“How do you propose that an individual commits his/her life to Christ,” I questioned. “What do you know about “taking up your cross to follow Christ?”
“My name’s Hailey by the way,” the student shyly smiled.
“It’s nice to meet you Hailey,” I politely responded.
“Luke 29:3 states that: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me,” she referenced the Bible.
“What does that mean to you as an individual Hailey,” I questioned.
“We must be willing to sacrifice our lives, our hearts, our hopes and our dreams to follow Christ,” she suggested. “To come to Christ will cost you nothing, to obey Christ will cost you something and to follow Christ will cost you everything.”
I could find no words or thoughts to counter the words of a thirteen year old girl. My emotions stood frozen as guilt seeped through my conscience and into my soul. “Alright class,” I muttered still unnerved. “Next week we’re going to take a look at some of Jesus’ earliest miracles. Have a great week.”
“Excuse me, Miss Amber,” a polite voice interrupted my hazy thoughts. “May I ask you a question?”
“Sure,” I replied. “What is that you want, Hailey?”
She pondered thoughtfully for a moment, “Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior yet?”
“What do you mean,” I responded. “Do you mean do I know who he is?”
“No,” she said. “Do you know HIM as the Lord and Savior of your life?”
Another nail was slowly being driven into the endless coffin of my Christ-less heart and soul. Guilt played across my face as I stood condemned by the questions of this thirteen year old girl.
“That is none of your business,” I spat. “My salvation is none of your concern.”
Tears emerged from her gallant blue eyes. “It may not be mine but it is certainly His. He loved you so much he died for you. Please don’t wait until it’s too late. He died so that you might live.”
I pondered her words for a moment. Life is a gift, not a guarantee. We have no guarantee of tomorrow or even today. We live every moment of our lives encompassed by the redemption of the cross and the realization that our lives truly belong to Him.
I muttered, “I promise I’ll commit my life to Christ tomorrow, God.”
Casually I sauntered out to my car, turned the key into the ignition and sped out of the church parking lot never gazing backwards towards the lone image in my rearview mirror.
Tomorrow never came.
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”-Proverbs 27:1
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