Point of No Return

Last night as I was laying down in bed, I was bombarded with memories from my teenage years, having one thought after another about the people I knew and the places I went. I remembered all of the things that defined my life in high school: friends, drama, soccer, music, hormones, feelings of ecstasy, feelings of depression, life dreams, etc. I was reminded of the person I’d been and the people I knew. I loved that person, and I loved those people. It was great. Part of me even wants it all back. I mean, I had it all made; all planned out. I could picture my great family driving from our nice big house in our fancy new car to a weekend getaway after finishing the week at my well-paying job. I wanted it all, and you know what? I could’ve had it. I was working on the right kind of degree, had the right kind of skills, and nothing could stop me from pursuing my dream.

As I was soaking in this sweet nostalgia, dwelling on the life I once had and the life I could have had, I heard a voice say, “If you really want this all back, you can have it.” It was the same voice that was telling the Israelites about the Promised Land: “You can have the prosperity, the milk and honey, the riches and the comfort.” But we find that there’s a catch. The voice continues, “but if you choose that way, I can’t go with you.” And that is the voice that I heard. You see, God is not fair. He gives us a choice that we don’t deserve to make. He says, “Fine. If you want the fame, the fortune, the great food and drink, the life you’ve always dreamed of, I’ll give it to you, because I love you, and I want to fulfill the desires of your heart. But I promise you, there’s something better if you choose instead to follow me. By no means is it easier, more comfortable, or rewarding in any sense of the world’s definition. In fact, it will be a life of hardship and suffering, trials and tribulations, but from My point of view, that is where you can find real life in Me. And for everything you give up in this life, I’ll bless you out the wazoo in the next one, the eternal one. ” Wow. It’s pretty ridiculous that I still have a hard time making the choice. But I’ve really started to embrace this whole “living for eternity” thing. 70 years compared to eternity…why is it still such a hard decision to make? I look back at the last week of my life though, the last year for that matter, and I know that I’ve reached the point of no return. I’ve been so genuinely transformed by Christ that, in essence, I don’t even have a choice. The life that I’ve found merely on my knees and in the Word, here in the middle of a dying city that’s probably 10,000 miles away from the nearest Arby’s, far surpasses the treasures of this world. I must be willing to trust the God that makes these promises. When you’re in Gethsemane with the blood seeping out of your pores from the weight of the world, it just doesn’t seem worth it. But if you wait, O, if you wait, there is a great victory to be won. And that victory is life in the Spirit, and that is truly life to the fullest. This is the kind of life that Jesus describes when He says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” The Greek word for life in the original manuscripts of the Bible is zoe. Let me tell you what this word means: “the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate; of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God; life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put there trust in Christ.” And the root of this word is zao meaning, “to enjoy real life; to have true life worthy of the name; active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God; living water; to be in full vigor, to be fresh, strong, efficient, active, and powerful.” Well shoot, I suppose that makes it a little easier to decide. But really, can we bring ourselves to make this decision that looks not for earthly rewards but moves forward with heavenly ambition?

Now, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit afraid. In fact, I’m scared to death. Often I doubt my willingness to obey, having fears of living a life of faith that is completely unpredictable, and most of all, the idea of sharing with Christ in His sufferings. Paul tells us that we should see this as a privilege! To suffer for the Name is easier said than done, but I’m gonna give it a shot. All of this being said, I’ll be staying in Calcutta for at least a year and a half and thus will not be coming home this fall….just kidding. Sorry if that freaked you out, mom. I can’t wait to bring all of my experiences back home to everyone. I know the life that awaits me there may look different, but it can still be zoe.

Enough mumbo jumbo. Let me tell you guys what we’re up to. Three and half more days in Calcutta until we take the 27 hour train ride to New Delhi. There we will be meeting our friends Caleb and Wilson, who are AIM alumni working with an organization called “61,” working in their orphanage and leper colony. We’ve almost been acquainted with a great man named Amos here at our little abode. He and his wife are missionaries in New Delhi from Pennsylvania. He’s invited us to stay with him a little while, and we can’t wait. (He said his wife loves to spoil missionaries with great American food!) And there’s the possibility of pancakes in the morning…There’s also a missionary family from First Pres in Boulder (the Klakalaks..sp?) that we’ll probably share a bit of time with. So after a quick trip to the Taj Mahal somewhere in our 10 day stay in New Delhi, we’ll be taking our last train down to Mumbai and spending about a day in a hotel there just to make sure we don’t miss our flight. So that’s the plan for now. I am loving this place more and more, but truly waiting in expectation to return home to all of you. Keep it real. May the Lord bring us all to the point of no return.

-Ben

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~ by Ben on July 23, 2008.

3 Responses to “Point of No Return”

  1. Wow … Mr. Anderson, it is a bit spooky to have watched off and on from a distance while you grew up. Go get ’em, man!!!

  2. I loves you guys!!!!

  3. There is so much I could say in response to this blog post…but all I really want to say is: Thank you.
    Your words have ministered to me in many different ways tonight.
    love you all. so much.
    hugs from washington.

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