Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Worth The Chase

Soon after we first became parents, Natalie and I went to see a low-budget movie on the recommendation of a friend. The opening scene had us holding our breath. 

The main character, Nathan, pulls up to a gas station driving a top-of-the-line, extended cab, pickup truck. He fills up his tank and cranks the engine to leave. Right before jumping back in the truck, at the last minute, he decides to clean the bugs off his windshield. There’s no water in the bucket. He grabs the squeegee and walks over to the next pump to get it wet. When he turns around, he sees a car thief hijacking his truck and screeching away.

Like a madman, Nathan leaps onto his truck, hanging on to the steering wheel through the open driver’s side window. The thief pulls on Nathan’s arm, trying to pry it off the steering wheel, all while swerving and speeding down a busy road. In a moment of climax, Nathan is tossed to the ground just as the hijacker smashes the truck into a tree. For a moment, everything is still. 

The thief quickly wakes up after the crash and escapes on foot while Nathan gradually begins to move. Traffic is stopped. Cars pull over. Bystanders call 911. Nathan attempts to crawl toward the vehicle and a concerned woman begs, “Sir, just lay still, don’t worry about the car.” Nathan pulls himself up and firmly responds, “I’m not worried about the car.” 

He grabs the handle of the back door of the extended cab. As it swings open, we see his newborn son, screaming in fear, unharmed in his car seat. Only two minutes into the movie, at the sound of the baby’s tears, waterworks started flowing in the theater. Now everything made sense. 

Seconds earlier I was thinking, “It’s just a truck, it’s not worth dying over. Let it go, bro!” But seeing that little baby boy, so innocent, so scared - there was absolutely no question that he was worth the chase. 

We live in a world that is hijacking the innocence of teenagers.Their hearts are constantly being deceived and distracted. While the culture continues to make it more and more difficult to share the Gospel with teenagers, that’s no excuse to just stand there at the pump and watch the truck pull away. There’s precious cargo in the back and it’s worth the chase.

As we head out to the schools this fall, we go remembering that we too are the ones our Father is chasing. He is the Hound of Heaven and we love, only because He first loved us.

Below is a piece written years ago by my neighbor, Bill Goans, when he was on the Young Life staff. I can't think of anything much better to tape to your dashboard at the beginning of this new school year.

My Commitment 

As long as high school kids mill around at ball games looking for love in all the wrong places... 

As long as they desperately seek an identity based on the opinions of friends and reputation...

As long as kids limp through the stands broken by family strife, enslaved by drugs, alcohol, and sex...

I want to be found- not in the adult section where it is respectable and controlled...

but right in the middle...where passions, vulgar and profane, blurt out obscenity...

Where raucous and reckless facades hide wounded hearts filled with torment and fear...

Where the price tags have been changed and darkness confuses...

Right in the middle where God has positioned me to shine forth His grace, His Hope, His love and His truth.

As long as there is an enemy who can convince his victims that tomorrow doesn't matter, that harm will not find them, that chains are like jewelry and cool is free...

As long as his lies leave character, soul, and life in ruins- when thrill goes ill and fun turns fatal...

As long as terminal is only a passage word to an eternity of one's own choosing...

As long as God has rendered him a defeated foe using the weakest of us to shine a light that pierces the darkest places, that brings rescue to the lost...

As long as the darkness is blasted away by the light of the world- that Light that lives within all who know, follow, and love Him...

As long as there is such darkness...

I'll man my post right in the middle of all that chaos, holding my position until he calls another play, and I steal home.

As long as we stand in such an important place, we must not forget what it means to be salt and light in this tasteless and dark generation.


Download a printable PDF here. 

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