I recognize that by addressing zombies in a youth ministry blog, it’s like pouring honey on my head and using a short stick to poke a bear. However, on Oct. 14th, the Walking Dead had its season 3 premier with 11 million viewers. Never before has a basic cable channel seen these types of numbers. In addition, the Fall Harvest Season is upon us. In our area there are billboards for haunted houses, zombie mazes, and all sort of stuff to scare you. This might be a good opportunity to talk with our students. They are watching it and many of them love to be scared.
The premise of the show is not that unlike other zombie apocalyptic stories. Some disease/illness has broken out and caused a flu-like virus to travel quickly through people. It takes their life, and when they come back from the dead, they look like a dead version of human being, however walking around. I know, Walking Dead…who would have thought. They then have the ability to infect others with the same disease that took their life. They are not only dead, but reproducing death.
As absurd as that may sound, are any of us any different sometimes? Every day we get out of bed, get ready for our day, interact with our family and people in our lives (maybe), do our daily jobs (occupation or school), come home, shove another meal into our face, watch a little TV, complete our obligations, maybe pray (if we are super spiritual), and then go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. The next day comes and we do it all over again. That isn’t living. We too, are walking dead.
If left unchecked, I can go through an entire day, or sadly an entire week, and not have much to show for it. I haven’t taken myself out of my comfort zone or done anything new. My relationship with my God, my family, and my friends are all totally stagnant. These were all by my choice. I am recognizing that if something is not done about it, I am going to slowly slip from life to death. I will never even get a proper funeral for people to mourn the loss of my life, because it looks like I am still alive and kicking.
Eph. 4:1 says, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,”(ESV)
I am not suggesting we start a “Walking Worthy” campaign. (However, if anyone does, and they make Christian t-shrits and sell a lot of stuff I have © on “Walking Worthy”. I think I get a nickel every time someone uses it.)
Let us never forget the calling that God has placed on our lives. As I speak to other youth pastors, it is good to remind each other that we have a high calling. One that not many should aspire to, as it says in James 3:1, because it is such a high calling. A calling where God, in His mercy, sees fit to use me to help change the spiritual trajectory of a child of God. That is a high calling. I forget that when I have to return too many emails. I forget that when I am told I am not doing my job well. I forget that, though I am fortunately paid for what I do, my church and elder board is ultimately not my boss. I answer to a Holy God who I will have to stand before some day. I desperately pray, He will tell me “well done good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:23)
So then, if we are actually living worthy, we need to instill that into our students as well. To help them see past SAT testing, school sports, family troubles, church troubles, friend troubles, work, social calendar, and then find time for a church event or two. It’s almost enough to kill us, or at least take away a desire to walk worthy of our calling.
Ephesians goes on to say that we do this by living in humility, gentleness, patience, supporting one another in love, and in unity with the Spirit. So again, it all comes back to our own spiritual health and the relationship that we have with the Creator of the Universe dwelling richly in us.
I pray for us, that we don’t become infected with this disease called day-to-day living. There is more for us, but if we become infected with the “daily grind”, our spiritual deadness and apathy will only reproduce spiritual deadness and apathy. Don’t allow your life to take away your desire to live as God has called us.