Last weekend I was at the High School Winter Retreat. It was fantastic! I am SO not a high schooler anymore, but I got so much out of it, I might have a hard time articulating all of it. Shocker...
I want to start off with Chris' talk from Saturday night. Chris Simning was our speaker, and his website is here. You can read his bio if you want, but the short story (from my perspective) is that he woke up one morning when he was in 8th grade, and he couldn't hold his head up. He had a really rare musculo-skeletal disease that not many doctors knew much about. He spent 5 years getting worse, and was in a wheelchair by the time he was a Senior in High School. Eventually, God has given him some freedom,and now he can drive, walk, and do most things by himself.
But if you were to look at him, he looks like he has something like CP. he doesn't, but from a first glance, you wouldn't know that. And there's the rub. He has lived with this situation since he was in 8th grade, and as such his perspective on life is much different than most of ours.
Chris' talk on Saturday night was about what or who you put on your throne, instead of giving Jesus the rightful place there. He started off with a movie clip from Elf, where Will Farrell accuses a department store Santa of being fake - he KNOWS the real Santa, and this guy is not it. Will says he stinks. Will says he smells like beef and cheese. Will says he sits on a throne of lies.
Now this scene is funny, and still makes me laugh today. But Chris talked about how we put fake things on the throne of our life, and that should be Jesus' rightful place. This could be lots of things - activities, athletics, people, even Youth Group. but if Jesus is not on the throne, all these things are taking the rightful place that He should occupy.
God really used this to convict me that I do a good job of being "in Christ" during church, and during devotions, and on retreat, and even at Youth Group. But the rest of the time, I don't really live "in Christ".
I don't know why, but I felt convicted about the radio. About what I listen to in the radio in my car. Most all the time, I listen to the news or to talk radio. But I felt like God was calling me to be connected more closely to Him, and the radio is one way to do this.
So, for the past week, I have listened to Christian radio in the car. This is a pretty big deal, mostly because I don't like Christian radio. But I'm open.
And I will freely admit, it has made me more focused on God. It has helped me to pray more. It has helped me to talk to God more.
Not that news and politics are bad things, but this whole week I have felt the difference - I've felt more closely connected to God. So I am grateful that there is not one thing on the throne of my life that smells like beef and cheese, but that I have gotten closer to having only Jesus on that throne.
Here's to not smelling like beef and cheese.