I was standing in line at the check-out of a Dollar Tree, preparing to purchase a selection of treats for movie night, when I overheard the young couple behind me talking. You won’t blame me for listening in, because in the first place, they were rather loud, and in the second place, when you’re standing in line, there really isn’t much else you can do.
They were boyfriend and girlfriend (or at least, so I gathered from their conversation); both in their late teens, maybe early twenties. Just met up recently. And as they talked, this is what I heard, amid a colorful smattering of four-letter words…
Initially, the two of them were trying to come up with a convincing lie to tell the boy’s mother. If they pulled it off, he would be able to mess around at his girlfriend’s house without his mom’s knowledge. “I’ll tell her I’m just gonna be pickin’ up some s@%# at your house, then we can hang out for awhile.”
Not good. Not good at all.
Then the young lady’s conversation turned apocalyptic. “You know, in the next twenty years, they say there won’t be enough food to feed everybody, and the government will start killing people off.” Then she added in grim resignation, “But I ain’t worried. What happens happens, I guess.” The boy answered emphatically that as soon as he found out they were going to die, he’d start smoking weed. He must have been given a dirty look by his girlfriend, because he followed it up with, “What? You don’t think it’s legit?”
In conclusion to this facet of the conversation, the girl said, “There’s a lotta conspiracy theories out there. But how d’you know which one to believe?” The reply from her boyfriend was turse: “Yeah. What can you believe?” And he walked out of the store to smoke and make a phone-call.
It was sad. Very sad.
Without the light of the gospel, man stumbles around blindly, searching for something to grab hold of. And his fingers keep slipping. Because there is no firm handhold apart from Christ. Money, drugs, pleasure, self – all will ultimately crumble when weight is put upon them. None of them deserve one’s trust, one’s faith, one’s confidence. They will all prove treacherous in the end.
But that’s not the end of the story.
When God, in His abundant mercy and grace, brings wretched, undeserving man to his knees in utter brokenness over his sin, and then reveals the importance of Christ’s atoning death on the cross… then, and only then, does man have something to grab hold of. Or rather, he has Someone to grab hold of him. And that Someone will never let go.
“…so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:21
Now that’s something worth believing.