I don't know why, but I always feel slightly bewildered by the realization that things aren't the same as when I saw them last. I guess one facet of this feeling is the security mechanism that we put up to filter out small changes that happen around us; a built-in continuity generator that keeps us safe, until a significant aberration intrudes into our consciousness, forcing us to recalibrate our concept of "normal." Another component is the fact that I'm looking at things through a different lens than I was last time. Perhaps the view hasn't changed as much as the viewer. . .
Anyway, I came away with two impressions that I wanted to jot down. First, godly friends are truly priceless! I'm amazingly blessed to merely know so many remarkable people, let alone to be able to consider them friends! In high school there were a few people who were really special and God used them to impact my life in a huge way. But then going to college, specifically Southern, has opened up a whole new treasure chest. I can't wait until Heaven!
Second, I was struck by the ubiquitous blending of the common and sacred. I guess this is more a commentary on modern culture than anything else. Everywhere I looked, I saw people trying to grasp the World in one hand and Heaven in the other. The clothes worn, the music played, some of the speeches; a common sentiment seemed to be "How can I have a secular lifestyle and still enjoy the benefits of spirituality?"
Perhaps the reason this stood out to me was because of what I've been reading in my devotions, and I've been noticing a recurring concept of "set-apartness." Many times God will say something like "I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations." In fact, I started researching this theme and it's all through the whole Bible. In case you're interested in checking this out, here are a few references: Ex. 19:6, 23:2, Lev. 20:23-24, 26, Num. 23:9, Deut. 4:6-7, 7:6, 14:2, 21, 18:9, 26:19, 28:9-10, Ezra 6:21, 9:1, 10:11, Neh. 10:28, Ps. 4:3, Jer. 1:5, Eze. 11:12, John 17:14-16, Titus 2:14, 1 Peter 2:9,... You get the idea. Over and over again in the Bible resounds the cry, "Be different!" "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind!"
“The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."
Enough wavering! Enough 'lukewarmness' It's time we as Seventh-day Adventist Christian youth start really following the Lamb wherever He goes, start being the light of the world, start being the salt of the earth! That's what being a follower of Jesus is all about; being in, yet not of. . .
Anyway, those are some of the things that have been rattling around in my head. What do you think?