glassesLast week NPR ran a story about journalists who cover war.  These people position themselves in the midst of the fighting, documenting the struggles of life and death through words and pictures.  And then they come back to the States. 

It is here that they struggle.  It is here that they find most conversations almost impossible to bear.  They are surrounded by talk concerned with the struggle to decide whether to eat a hamburger or spaghetti for supper.  Or the frustration of rush-hour traffic.  Or the life-ending decision to dr0p a cable subscription.

It is all about perspective.  For the journalists, real battles are life or death struggles. 

For Christians, our battles are life or death struggles as well…a truth I often forget and instead live according to my own conveniences.

In the first section of Luke 10, Jesus sends out 72 messengers on a life or death mission.  The stakes don’t get any higher.  To be a part of the Kingdom’s community meant to live.  Really live, eternally and also now on this earth.  To reject the community, message, and Message-Giver was to choose death.  Plain and simple.

Life or death.

Believers are assured of their eternal life.  Yet everyday we face life or death decisions too.  Life in the sense of deeper, genuine, God giving life.  Death in the sense of mere existence.

Every time I choose to sacrifice more of myself, to take a step further down the road of discipleship and nearer to God, to pursue all of those things we’ve talked about over and over again on this blog and in this community, I move a bit deeper into real life.  It is certainly hard.  But that’s our battle…and we have an incredible enabling ally in the Holy Spirit.

Every time I choose myself or substitute anything in place of God, I move further into mere existence.  Of triviality.  Hamburger or spaghetti.

Here’s our perspective: our community (the world-wide Church) and our work (to further love God and others) matter.  They matter supremely.  They are issues of life or death.

Life or death.

We are about supremely important matters.  Things that are worthy.  Valuable.  Lasting.  More than anything else.

Often I need to remind myself of this perspective.  Of the truth.  Of the gravity of the choices I make daily.

Let this help to motivate you as you make further decisions to intentional dive deeper into fully pursuing God.  As the battles rage, as the hurt of self-sacrifice increases, as your ego struggles for control.

Remember why we are doing this.  Even when it is hard.  Especially when it is hard.

It is life or death.