There's Still Jesus...
It is always amazing to me how the Lord leads you to study the things that will prepare you for the next thing that will happen in life. Recently, I’ve been reading in Ecclesiastes. It doesn’t take much time in this book to put life into perspective...and to make you really depressed! If you read it without making it to the end then you won’t see the full picture. This isn’t “encouragement for a Monday” kind of stuff!
In the first few chapters, Solomon is listing out all of things that he has tried in an attempt to find true happiness in life. Chapter two reads like a modern day mini-biography of this king who amassed a fortune and achieved things that most people will never even begin to experience. Let’s just say that Solomon would be firmly placed in Forbes’ number one spot for wealthiest person in the world AND he would make Barbara Walters’ 20 most interesting people every year!
He was the model for success in the ancient world. There are estimates that say if Solomon’s wealth were translated into modern day dollars he would have been worth 2.1 trillion dollars, easily making him the richest man that ever lived! Now, to top all of that, scripture also said that he was the wisest man that ever lived. Money and brains? What’s not to love?
Fast forward to today. I have no way to relate to Solomon. I’m not a man, I’m not all that smart and I’m certainly not wealthy by anyone’s standards. But, I can relate to Solomon as a Mom. We know that Bathsheba was Solomon’s mother. She was the one who set up the standard of the Proverbs 31 woman that he wrote about - thanks Bathsheba! However, I am a Mom of a son. No, he isn’t king Solomon but I love him just as much as Bathsheba loved her son. So, I have to imagine that Bathsheba was proud of Solomon in his accomplishments.
You see, “we” are entering into our junior year of high school. I say “we” because this is always a family venture. If you aren’t parents yet or you have small kids, you will understand when the time comes. And with the junior year comes lots of pressure. Pressure to make the team, pressure to make a college choice, pressure to make a career choice, pressure to do well on SAT’s, and pressure to just finish well! Society has infiltrated our front doors and presses in on us and then we press in on our kids.
I will admit, I have fallen prey to this pressure and my pride as a parent has gotten in the way. As the grades come in, as the prep courses come up, as the competition gets stiff and the opportunities more expensive, the pressure to “pack it all in” gets more intense. What if he doesn’t make the team? What if he doesn’t go to Europe? What if he doesn’t make the grade? What if he doesn’t know what he wants to do? What if, what if, what if…
Then, this week, it all came crashing down and stark realities are staring us in the face and everything was brought into perspective and then this: “when high school is over, there’s still Jesus.” When all of the sports have been played, the grades have been documented, the college and career choices have been decided, there’s still Jesus. And all of the success on the field, in the classroom and in his career don’t take care of his soul. If we press in and he is successful by the world’s standards, as scripture says, “if he gains the whole world but loses his soul”, then we have failed. If he leaves our house and isn’t serving the Lord, we have FAILED.
It doesn’t matter one second after he breathes his last what his grades WERE, what his SAT scores WERE, what college he ATTENDED or how much money he MADE. At that point, it is all past tense, and then there’s the judgement. God help us! “It is appointed unto man ONCE to die and then the judgement.” Let that one sink in….
This week has been hard and so very good! Hard because of reality and sin, good because of Jesus and grace! So, the question for all of us is this: what are we raising our kids to become? What is the end result? What will be the result for eternity? Because in the end, there is still Jesus...