Wednesday, March 09, 2016
A Boy and His Walkman
Mike got some money for his birthday, so he decided to buy himself a Walkman. The next morning, Mike put on the headphones and plugged them into the Walkman, which he clipped on his belt just like the other boy did. He stood at the bus stop with his Walkman, but he didn't feel anything. He was still bored, the only difference being that he now had the discomfort of the headphones squeezing his ears. Then Mike realized what was wrong, so he closed his eyes, tapped his foot, swayed his head, and slowly moved his hands. Mike tried to force a smile, but it didn't last long because he didn't feel better. In fact, he felt silly. He opened his eyes and looked around to see if anyone saw what he was doing. "This thing doesn't work for me," he thought, so that afternoon he took the Walkman back to the store and got his money back.
Although it is unlikely that anyone would buy a music player and not put music in it, many people try out Christianity, but are disappointed when they don't get anything out of it. People might try going to church for a while, attending some classes, or reading the Bible and some other books. When that doesn't seem to do anything for them, they might try to imitate what they see other Christians doing, including using a certain vocabulary, dressing a certain way, following certain rules, saying certain prayers, or participating in church social activities. They might work very hard to conform to an image of a Christian that they see, but the only results are a lot of frustration. They come to the conclusion that the whole Christianity thing doesn't work for them, but maybe they are neglecting a key part of the Christian experience; maybe they are missing something that is as essential as a music cassette is for a Walkman.
The whole point of Christianity is reconciliation with God, leading to an intimate relationship with him. He is our heavenly Father, and we are his children. All of the other aspects of the Christian life should lead towards or flow from this relationship with God. However, entering into this relationship with God is not as easy as popping in a cassette or downloading an mp3 because there is an obstacle that must be overcome before such a relationship can happen. We are members of a race that has declared independence from God and is in rebellion against him. The salvation that God offers through Jesus Christ is to transform us from rebels into friends and to give us the joy and peace that comes from living in harmony with the creator rather than fighting against him. Such a transformation requires that we admit we are rebels, lay down our arms, and let God change our lives.