Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Historically Relevant

I am a pretty big NBA fan. I mean, I can list off stats, such as the fact that only three teams hold 15 of the last 21 NBA championship titles (Chicago Bulls 6, Los Angeles Lakers 5, San Antonio Spurs 4), but while that is an interesting bit of trivia, what does that really mean to me? In other words, how does that impact what I do day-in and day-out? In short, so what? Maybe it would mean more to me if I were directly involved in the NBA, such as working in a franchise front office or somehow working for a team, because then I might see how I might emulate the success of these three teams. However, as the casual fan, other than as pieces of interesting (or random depending on your perspective) trivia, it doesn't really affect what I do or how I live.

What about when it comes to something bigger? I recently finished the book The Case for Christ by journalist Lee Strobel, and realized that behind all of the apologetics, the facts, the history, this question needs to be addressed: so what? Having the privilege of serving as a youth leader this past year I realized both the import and the challenge in addressing this question, particularly with young people of today (it makes me sound kind of old, but I suppose I mean this term in a general sense, and perhaps to some degree include myself in it). So behind all of this historical evidence for Jesus what impact does it have for me in my life? Should it have one? I believe the answer is yes.

I don't necessarily believe that this question is one that is difficult to answer, but rather, the answer in and of itself is a little difficult to to apply. When I was a high schooler, it was hard to see what the things I learned in history class had anything to do with anything other than getting a good grade on the tests and knowing what to write about on my papers. Now that I've had an opportunity to think and reflect on this a little bit I have come to realize that there is a lot of history that I take for granted and does in some way shape how I live. Initially, I may wonder at the relevance of someone like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson to my life, but when you stop to think about it, living in the United States, a lot of the freedoms that I celebrate and exercise are due to what Washington and Jefferson have done.

I am sure there are a plethora of examples of historical figures that we can look at that affect how I live my daily life. I make decisions on the freedoms that were established for me by the Founding Fathers, but it is not something that I necessarily consciously do on a regular basis (though perhaps it should be, or at least on a more regular basis). I can continue to give countless examples of how there are things that were accomplished in the past that affect how I live today, and certainly I can present the boundless amounts of evidence that Jesus was in fact a historical figure that affected the modern world, I mean, just look at our calendar, the simple letters BC and AD are a fairly clear indication of that.

However, what plays even more into my everyday conscious decision-making are the people alive and well around. I decide that I should do something one way or another because my still well and living mother would approve or because my friend would think it is cool or because some random people I don't know will gawk at me and think I'm all that in public. Now if I believe that Christ is alive today then how should that affect what I do and how I live? Does it matter to me? We hear a lot the saying "live like the tomb is empty" or something along those lines, as cliched as it may sound, the fact that the tomb is empty it should affect me in what I do and how I live today.

I guess my goal would be to get to a point where I don't have to consciously make the right decision. To become so acclimated with the way of God that I do not need to consciously think of Him.

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