Tuesday, August 24, 2004
I've watched three kids run on this track called high school senior. Oh, and we know about the disease. It's a creepy disease called "Senioritis." I've seen it for years in other teenagers and then finally, we watched it in our own home. It begins with the sense of "Okay, I'm a Senior now, high school is my past. I do not care about high school anymore, even though I have another year." At best, a senior just slacks off until graduation, or at worst, he or she becomes irresponsible and maybe even destructive. Senioritis does not bring out the best in anybody, at any age.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Senioritis Vaccine."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Jeremiah chapter 29. The Jews are no longer in their homeland of Judah. They've been carried away into captivity. They're in Babylon. Here's a situation where it would be very easy for them to have spiritual "Senioritis." They know they are one day return to their native country. They know God has them in Babylon for their disobedience, so they live kind of in between - you know, Babylon here, returning to Israel soon. They could be saying, "Hey, who cares about Babylon. Put it on cruise control. We're not here for long. We're going home in a little while What we do here doesn't matter. Right?"
Here's God's advice for them in Jeremiah 29:5 - probably surprising advice for them. "Build houses, and settle down..." I can hear them going "Here? We're living in between." He says, "Build houses and settle down, plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons. Give your daughters in marriage so they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you will prosper." Here's what God is saying. "Make something of this time. Don't have 'senioritis' and act like it doesn't matter." It's like old Caleb in the Old Testament - 85 years old and not ready to quit. He says, "Lord, give me this mountain to conquer." There's no "senioritis" there.
Maybe you're at an age, or you're in a situation where you're tempted to put your life sort of on cruise. Maybe you're waiting for the next stage, or you're just waiting for heaven. Don't just sit there and say, "Well, I don't care much about where I am right now." God is saying, "I want you to care. I want you to bloom where you're planted. I want you to make this count."
A while back, I met a dear 80-year-old woman, and she said to me, "Ron, I was married to the same man for 60 years, and he took great care of me." And then she went on to tell me how he had died last year. And she said, "It is so easy for me to be bitter. I could be desperately lonely." But then she said, "You know, this week as I have listened to you at this conference, I've decided I'm going to reach out on my own. I'm in this condominium filed with lonely people and I'm going to go back there, and I'm going to start writing notes to those people. I'm going to bake for them. I'm going to visit them. I'm going to share God's love with them." Then she said, "I'm going to start giving my life away."
And I said, "Well, you know, that's the way the Bible says you'll find your life." She said, "Well, I figure that my mother died at the age of 88, and I'm 80, so I've got at least eight years to make a difference." I love that! She's going to find her life by giving it away. That's the vaccine for "senioritis," for not caring. Get a mission for yourself. Look for some people who need you. That's the best way to find your life. Wherever you are, look for a mission. Don't slow down. Don't hold back. Capture the corner that you're in for Christ. When you're living for Jesus, you can't afford to waste a day.