Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Golden Ticket

I have a confession to make.  Like most everyone, I have guilty pleasures in my life that I seldom talk about but really enjoy.  Last night, one of my favorites returned.  American Idol is back.  My family and I will watch pretty much every minute of the show this season, just as we have for the past 5 years.  But it is the beginning of each season- the auditions that determine who will get the opportunity to become famous as the the actual contest begins - that I really love.  I love hearing the folks sing who truly believe they are good, but aren't.  I love hearing the enthusiasm and love of family and friends as their loved ones take their shot at greatness.   I love hearing amazing performances from people who deserve the opportunity to share their God given gifts with the world.  I love the stories of redemption and courage.  I am a sucker for the narrative of American Idol.  I love to see those Golden Tickets handed out as hope lives on for those who head to Hollywood.  

The world was given a Golden Ticket some 2000 years ago.  God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to save the world, and to save us.  And just like with Idol, the real blessing of a life lived following Jesus is found in the narrative.  The day in, day out stories of people living life in a manner that brings glory to God.  We are often off-key (I myself am quite often "a little!") and seldom as important as we think we are.  But our stories help lift people from the depths of depression and show them how much Jesus loves them.  If all following Christ means to you is winning (making it to heaven someday) them you are missing out on the really good stuff right now.  There are adventures to be lived and stories to be told.  We all know John 3:16 and its promise of eternal salvation, but don't forget John 10:10- that Jesus came to give us an abundant life RIGHT NOW!  Our Golden Ticket doesn't insure us of fame, fortune and the easy life any more than those Idol tickets insure those contestants a chance of winning.  But following Jesus offers the opportunity for a truly abundant life, right here on old planet earth.  And opportunities should not be wasted.

So live the adventure.  Tell your story.  Share Jesus with the world.  And watch American Idol just to hear the stories of faith, perserverence and redemption.  The contest doesn't matter.  Especially this year.  If you watched last night,  then you already know...Phillip Phillips is going to win the whole thing!  :)  You read it here first...

Because of Jesus,

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