I was on the capped-ice floor of the, then named, BiLo Center in Greenville South Carolina and I could feel the emotion rise up within me. It was that emotion flood that builds pressure and only an extreme cry could release. I had just received a call from the person watching Andrew, they were backstage eating lunch in catering while I was out getting my booth set-up on the concourse of the arena. This was a typical day for me - but it was also a treat because my son was joining me for the event. The voice on the other end of the phone was frantic - "He's gone... I turned around and he was just gone. I can't find him anywhere."
I dropped what I was doing and ran down the stairs to the floor of the arena - trying to cut past all the production set up in hopes of getting to his last known location as quickly as possible. It felt like a decade passed by. As I spun around to scan the room to see if possibly he was lost in the main room - I heard: "There he is!" A co-worker had found a little blonde haired boy roaming around completely lost. When Andrew was asked where his parents were he said "My dad is counting shirts and he probably needs my help." That was enough information to help identify both who Andrew was and who his dad was. I was overwhelmed with joy to know where my son was and his first words to me were: "Where are all the shirts?"
To be direct, our loved ones don't know they are lost, but we do! When we grasp the heaviness of eternity and the reality that there are only two options given in scripture, we should be instinctively moved to run to find our loved ones and make sure they are safe. Andrew didn't know he was lost and he didn't realize that there was danger involved in a 4 year old boy running freely in an arena. Chances are good that we all have friends and family who don't know the dangers of eternity without Jesus.
With Andrew, I didn't need to find him and explain all the dangers he faced roaming free. At four years old, driving fear of what could happen isn't likely the best option. With your loved ones - driving fear in them isn't likely the best option - but ignoring eternity isn't either.
Think about: Here are 3 ways to talk about eternity this week:
- Remember a lost loved one, and share that memory with a friend. Many times when someone can talk about eternity in the light of a different person facing it - this helps them to form better and less emotional conclusions.
- Realign a light-hearted comment about Hell. Like Steve shared on Sunday, helping people understand that Hell isn't a joking matter helps to realign the view of eternity and cause people to think about it more seriously.
- Talk about the good, talk about the good, talk about the good. For the Christ-follower, there is infinitely more "better" to talk about. Don't be shy to major on how heaven is better than what we have now. Often times these conversations can lead to talking more about the "why" behind the decision to follow Christ.
Pray: God, thank you for taking care of my future. As I interact with friends and family this week - help me to talk about how you have taken care of my future and how you are interested in taking care of their's as well. Give me courage. Give me desire to share my faith. Amen.