The Apostle Paul wrote that when we stand before God, with our unshakable, irremovable foundation being Grace, everything we built on that foundation that was not used to advance the kingdom of God will be burned down.
Wasted time, neglected talents, selfish use of resources will go down in flames like kindling that helps start a camp fire.
Paul’s instruction is a warning but it is also a gift, reminding us that God has made us to live a high adrenaline, purpose filled, legacy leaving life.
When my son was 7 years old, we went to Six Flags, and there was a roller coaster that went upside down.
Your feet would hang free, you would free fall, and it was quite a rush, scary but fun.
At a young age, he was intimidated by the whole thing, so when I tried to get him to ride it, he told me he was happy not to.
He was happy just walking around eating churros, drinking slurpies and hanging around the “throw a ring around a bottle” game that nobody ever wins and if you do win, you have to lug a 30 pound Scooby Doo all around the park for the rest of the day.
Churros and slurpies and stuffed animals are nice, but it’s not why you go to Six flags.
There is no adventure in them.
Eventually, you get full, bloated and you run out of money.
The reason you go to Six Flags is for the thrill of the rides that put your stomach in your throat, speeds that knock your toupee off, and loops that sends blood rushing to your head.
You scream, you laugh, you might even wet your pants, but at the end of the ride you know that you are fully alive!!
I talked my son onto the ride even though he was still content hanging out with the churros, slurpies and stuffed animals.
When he got on the ride, you could see fear in his face, and during the ride, he screamed a little, he laughed a lot, and I think he even wet his pants a little.
But when the ride came to an end, the thought of the mundane life of churros, slurpies and stuffed animals had left his head, and all he could say was, “Daddy, let’s do it again!”
Jesus said in Luke 19:26, “Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.”
God has an amazing adventure for all of us when we enter into his kingdom.
He has adventures that will send our stomachs to our throats, our toupees flying off, and blood rushing to our heads.
Adventures that will make us scream in terror, laugh with joy and maybe even wet our pants a little.
But they are the adventures and life God created us for.
It is easy, when we get into the park (Grace), to settle for safe, instant satisfying things…I mean, who doesn’t like a hot churro and a cherry coke slurpy.
But you have to eventually get on the scary rides, or you will miss out on the purpose of the kingdom.
Nobody gets home from Six Flags and brags about how many churros and slurpies they ate and how much money they lost trying to win Scooby Doo.
No, when you get home, you tell people all the scary rides you rode and how many times you rode them and how you can’t wait to go back again and ride them some more!
As followers of Jesus, his Grace gives us free access to the park, but once we are in, he asks us to get on the scary rides.
He asks us to not sit idly watching others ride, while you finish your fourth churro.
He asks us to get on the ride and use our time, talents and treasures to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, relieve the oppressed, rescue the orphan, create spaces of sanctuary and safety, protect the widow, heal the sick, educate the next generation and do it all in the name of Jesus who came to heal the broken hearted and set the captives free.
And it is true that on this ride, you will scream a little, you will laugh a lot and you might even wet your pants, but I will guarantee you that when you get done with the ride your first words out will be, “Daddy, let’s do it again!”