Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Red Part.

I just finished listening to a sermon by Francis Chan that has undone me. I'd like to say it's not easily done but, with the way I've been running around this week like a chicken...well you know, I'd be telling a big, fat, lie. Big. Fat.

The sermon is on living eternally and I can't recommend it enough. He's an amazing preacher and walks the talk in the Simi Valley area of California where he lives.

I'm a visual learner so when he used this analogy, it really stood out to me and I thought I'd share it with you.

Mr. Chan held up a long, long piece of rope stretched all across the stage where he was speaking. He asked the church to imagine if the rope wound round and round the room, filling it up and then went out the door. It then went round and round the city, state and even the world.

It would be a pretty long rope.

At one end was about an eight inch section in the rope that was painted red.

Our eternal lives are represented by the rope. The red part, that took up just a fraction of the whole thing, represented our lives on earth. That small part, in relation to the whole, is what we, even as Christians, spend the majority of time thinking about. Living for. Wanting to make as perfect as possible - as painless as possible.

We are consumed with things that effect only the red part, our little vapor, and they will be gone in a breath. Even more, the way we live in the red part has an effect on what our life will be like for the rest of eternity.

My eyes are often fixed on things that have zero percent eternal value - what I wear, what my house looks like, what I eat, or drink, or how much is in our savings account. Actually, I don't spend much time on that one because it sometimes makes my stomach hurt, but the others can consume me before I even realize it. And the truth is, I can talk a really good game. But what am I thinking about, worrying about, or doing with my time? How am I walking, not just talking?

As we get ready to start our summer, my hope is that I can learn to get my eyes off the red part and back onto what matters - and I will know, we all will know, the unspeakable joy found only in Christ.


Traci said...

We love Francis Chan- both of us read Crazy Love and Daniel watches his sermons religiously- I'm going to start now that it's summer and i have a little bit of a life- have a good day!

Candy said...

Amen, sister! Would you give the link to the sermon, Melissa, so all your readers can listen? I've listened to a bunch, but haven't heard that one?
Blessings to you today! Tomorrow is the LAST DAY of school. Hurray!

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing Melissa. I find that I am so earth-bound it's not funny even though I KNOW I should be eternity-focused. A great reminder to get my "ducks in a row" ;-)

Jill said...

Oh yes, my friend, I am reading Crazy Love, have watched the videos on and it is rocking my world. I love the rope analogy. I was reminded of our efforts today as I listened to Rita Springer's song, Worth it is a good one if you listen.

Holli said...

NEEDED THIS REMINDER! LIVING breatheing, thinking and consumed with the red part of the rope.... starting right now going back to thinking about all the rest of it.


hannahgarippa said...

Thank you for this reminder, dear friend. I love you and your precious heart.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Excellent post. I recently heard Francis Chan speak, and he was amazing. We are having a group of teenagers in our home this summer to do the "Crazy Love" study. I'm really excited about that. And as for the point of your post, I am reminded of how much mental energy and physical energy I spend on staying "healthy" and slim. Too much time.

Abby said...

Love that analogy- seriously love it. And man- what a reminder. I'd love to hear it too!

Becca said...

LOVE this -- we just had our small group listen to one of his old sermons last night (we took them all out of the suburbs to play with our kiddos in the projects - it was so fun!)

which sermon exactly are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

Would love the name of that particular sermon so I can listen to it! Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing that! I needed that post today.

Zan said...

His book is in my "summer reading" pile.

and 2 became 5 said...

wow. i downloaded this message &then the one following it for a road trip my husband & i were going on. Incredibly convicting.