It’s a strange request out of context, but my friend was handing me a roll of VHS tape that we needed to destroy and a pair of scissors. Either way, it got me thinking about offers.
“Want to come and listen to music in Gary’s room?”
“Tea party at Carrie’s at 9?”
“Want to go see a movie?”
“Want to dance?”
The answer to the last is almost always an, “UM, YES!” Similarly, the answers to the other questions would be positive ones supposing I had time and energy. But sometimes you get negative offers.
“Want to watch a scary movie?” Absolutely not.
“Want to go to a Halloween party?” No.
(Maybe next year around this time I’ll write about why I dislike Halloween so much. But enough mention of it now- basically the answer to scary things is “NO.”)
Anyway, after I realized how weird some of the offers that I’ve gotten have sounded, I thought about the most important offer I’ve received. The offer of a scholarship and admissions to the school I’m currently attending was pretty life-changing. I think it’s safe to say that the experience that I’ve gotten at a large research university is different from the one I would have had at a small, rural, Christian school. If nothing else, the people that I met would be different, and my friends have played such a huge role in my life. But that’s not it. Nor was it the offer of the role of Grace in my middle school play, or of a position at an exciting journalism internship, or of a research assistantship in the lab where I’m doing my thesis.
Do I want eternal life and forgiveness of my sins?
Do I want to stop living for myself and start living for God?
Will I pick up my cross and follow Him?
They’re weird offers- ones that are so easily overlooked in the blur of our day-to-day lives. In our blindness, the appeal isn’t always clear. The first question reminds me of a passage in C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity: “Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned; the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin.”
What exactly do I need to be forgiven for? we might think. Well, I know that I’ve messed up. I know that I contribute to the brokenness of the world, because I’m broken. So, yes, I want to be forgiven. I do want perfect, eternal life. I do want to spend the time that I have here on earth for good, and therefore, for God.
It’s a life-changing offer. And because it’s an offer that I’ve accepted, its effect on my daily life should be just as evident, if not more so, than the effect of the smaller things- of my agreeing to listen to “In Love with the ‘80s,” a song by what became my favorite band; of going to college; of going to my best friend’s house for that first playdate more than a decade ago.
I pray that the evidence of my response is unmistakably clear, and that its light grows brighter as I learn more. And despite the trials that come my way, I’m so grateful and joyful that I had the opportunity to say, “Yes.”