Is Anyone Else Screaming Inside “We Don’t Have Time for This?”

Admit it. You wonder, too, don’t you?

I think we all wonder a bit, these days. At least, those of us raised in our faith with the biblical understanding that Jesus is coming again.

All of us who sat with our teen youth group in darkened theaters watching “A Thief in the Night” or “A Distant Thunder” or who gathered in dorm rooms listening to Larry Norman croon, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” have been primed since those days to search the skies.

As adults, we made the Left Behind series a New York Times best-seller, so we’ve clearly demonstrated our interest in the topic of Jesus’ return.

And so, we wonder, are we nearing the end of this chapter of humanity? Are we approaching the day when faith will be sight? Will it be in our times?

Some of us are less prone to speculation than others but 2020 must be raising eyebrows even among these stoic brothers and sisters.

And yet, I also can’t help but wonder if the prevalence of zombie movies, television, and books in our generation is a message from our loving Father that while many of us look awake, we’re actually sleepwalking through our times.

As we natter on over social media and in private conversations about the disintegration of our culture, the politics, the pandemic, the remedy for racism, and the threat of Russia or China or Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates – is anyone else screaming inside “We don’t have time for this!”

Yes, I believe we should be working for to care for the least of us and advocating for justice. Yes, racism is anathema to people with faith in Christ. Yes, we should lovingly work to keep others healthy. Yes, we should be informed and exercise our voices and get out the vote. Yes, I believe there are real threats looming on the horizon or already embedded in our cell phones. And yes, engaging with these issues is part of our work.

Yet, too many of us are leveraging our ability to click rather than our ability to make a difference by engaging – heart-to-heart, shoulder-to-shoulder, face-to-face – with other humans.

I don’t believe the bulk of our labor in Christ, the height of our calling, the breadth of the work to which we’ve been called consists of sharing memes, liking posts, or supporting the right news network.

When God wanted to reach us, He didn’t align the stars to read, “I’m up here and I love you.”

He sent His Son to face us, to touch us, to share our tables and wash our feet. His Son who prayed for us, laughed with us, warned us, and taught us wasn’t monitoring His Google stats from on high but mingling with us, the great unwashed, healing, delivering, touching, teaching, dying, and rising again.

And so must we.

It’s so easy to share a meme. It’s so hard to tell our coworker that the faith dear to us could have meaning also for them. It’s so hard to open a spiritual conversation – again – with that unsaved relative who is so scathing about our beliefs. It’s so impossible to turn off the news and notifications so we can intercede in the night for those who will, quite possibly, be left behind – not just for the length of a feature film but forever.

There are real dangers in our days. Dangers about which we’ve been warned through God’s Word since we first opened it and opened our hearts to it.

The danger of falling asleep waiting for Jesus to return.

The danger of losing heart – because of the relentless assault of information and anger and division in our day.

The danger of letting our love grow cold.

The danger of being deceived or devoured by wolves in our midst.

And it is imperative that we press into Christ, that we know and live His Word, that we speak truth, deliver love, preach the gospel, love justice, and walk humbly with our God as salt, as light, as ambassadors of Christ on this outpost of glory.

The truth is, we may not be the generation that sees Him come in the clouds. Times may get much worse than this. But that’s truly, spiritually irrelevant.

Jesus instructed us to live as if He could return at any moment and we must awaken from our slumber and refuse to put off the work we’ve imagined could wait until the signs were clear.

God doesn’t require eloquent preachers, confident evangelists, or skilled communicators. He wants us. You and me. The ones whose names no one knows or known only to a few, who have been holding back waiting for more signs. Here’s our sign:

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. ‘Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.’” Matthew 24:42-46 ESV

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    The Conversation

  1. Patty Petersen says:

    Amen and amen! The call to action! The reminder that we enlisted and must live like soldiers, not civilians. We are all in the Salvation Army of Jesus. Thank you, Lori.

  2. Rossetta Hanna says:

    Oh my! You have hit the nail on the head! I needed to hear this. Lorie, I have been reading your posts for years. You are doing a great job. Thank you for speaking the truth in love. Kee the Faith and let us all remember that Jesus is everything.

  3. Deb Kreyssig says:

    Amen Lori! Keeping about the work of the kingdom and not letting the world distract us from what’s most important. Are we ready for Christ’s return, or for that matter, for eternity now? Are others around us ready? We have our marching orders. Let’s get out there!

  4. Diane McElwain says:

    This is spot on, Lori. Last night I had nightmares considering these times. Thanks for speaking what really matters.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lori, I so agree with you. I have been watching the sky. God impressed Revelation 22:20 on my heart for 2020 back in January. Jesus says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” I am hanging onto this all year…

  6. Maureen Miller says:

    Thank you for these wise words. Sometimes I just have to remind myself that I am not alone. Somehow… sometimes… that helps. Oh, and that we know the end of the story—which is really just a beautiful beginning. “Jesus”—there’s power in his sweet name, and so I say it, sing it, and claim it… often !