Bowling for Jesus: Not Where We Belong

My family and I went to a party this weekend where we felt completely out of place. Do you know the feeling? We were invited guests. Yet we didn’t know most of those in attendance. And, understandably, the hosts were busy entertaining and chatting with everyone at the event. So we sat in the corner and tried to make casual conversation with passersby, counting the minutes until we could say our goodbyes and move on.

Post election 2012, I feel the same way about my home here in America. Prior to this election, I was never extremely political. With kids to raise and a job to do, I didn’t have the time to monitor newscasts and read commentaries. But, this year, I found myself mesmerized by broadcasts featuring political commentary and voraciously read about trends and predictions. It turns out that all of the pundits I followed were wrong. Every single candidate I voted for lost.

At first, the outcomes depressed me. How could a country which was founded on Judeo Christian principles have strayed so far? But I finally determined, after searching for answers in God’s word, that I shouldn’t be surprised by the voice of the people. What’s more, the prevailing political attitudes are far from novel. Job referenced them thousands of years ago, pointing out the fact that God remains in control:

“He deprives the world’s leaders of reason and makes them wander in a trackless wasteland.” ~Job 12:24

I need to remember that my residence here is temporary. In the words of the Christian band, Building429: “All I know is I’m not home yet. This is not where I belong. Take this world and give me Jesus. This is not where I belong.”

Since I’ve been a believer since 1974, I marvel that this remains such a difficult concept for me to grasp. After all, when I placed my faith in Jesus, my citizenship changed…not just as an American but as a human being. Anywhere on this planet, I am an alien who is just passing through.

“So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household.” ~Eph. 2:19

I shouldn’t be surprised that I no longer feel at home in the world. In fact, the more at ease I feel, the more ardently I should pursue the Lord, who promised to take care of me while I’m here while warning me not to get too comfortable. He also assured me He would have my back while I am here.

“I have given them your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” ~John 17:14-15

I have to confess, at times, I am ready to leave the party. And I’m not talking politics. In many ways, it would be easier to think, act and believe like the masses. It takes a lot of mental and emotional energy to constantly be on my guard. As Christians, we are living in hostile territory, where selfishness, pride and greed are the norm.

“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of this world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you.” ~John 15:19

When I’m feeling strong, it’s relatively easy to hold on to these promises. But in times of trial, my resolve weakens and my focus shifts to circumstances instead of to my position in Christ. But, thankfully, miraculously, mercifully, because of Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins on the cross, my citizenship remains in heaven no matter my earthly situation. If you are a follower of Christ, you too can rest assured this party will end and where we are going, we will never feel out of place.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” ~John 16:33

~ Bowling for Jesus