Don’t settle for worn out

If you haven’t figured this out about me, I’ll tell you.  I watch a lot of tv.  I love it.  I have one of those brains that don’t stop.  Sometimes tv is the only way I can make it rest.

But sometimes tv engages my brain, and makes me think about life.  The  show American Crime did this for me, and it hopefully did this for a lot of other people, too.  The show purposefully took on the issue of race relations in America.  I think it did a good job showing some tough issues.

As you can probably guess, the finale did not end in a group hug or hippies singing on a mountainside (like the other big tv finale this week.)

One of the ending scenes stuck with me, because I think it’s full of truth.  The character Hector, who is an illegal from Mexico, is deported.  Through a miracle, he is found not-guilty to a crime he had been charged with in Mexico.  He is released.  He, his girlfriend, and five-year-old daughter are given a chance to make a life together in Mexico.  Hector gets a job interview at a call center.  The businessman interviewing him asks if he is involved in gangs or cartels.  He tells him that he isn’t involved anymore, and then he says this.

My girlfriend right? See she asked me if I was tired of my life, getting cut up, getting shot. I’ll tell you for real:
I’m not tired of my life, I’m worn out.
See I know people come in here all the time asking you to take a chance on them, tell you how they changed. See I don’t know from other people what makes them do how they do. But I’m 26 years old, and all I got to show for my life is a limp and a scare and a 5-year-old girl who needs her daddy to live straight. I’m not part of nothing anymore, I’m just trying to get a job.
— Hector

How brave and insightful!  I love how he admitted he hasn’t changed, he’s just worn out.  He’s gotten too old to pull off the lifestyle.

I think “worn out” is true for so many people in this world.  That is why the police department doesn’t have a senior citizen crime task force.

The heartbreaking thing is that Jesus wants more for you than this. 

“Worn out” is a story told by Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes.  The last chapter tells of a time of life when “the strong men stoop” and “song grows faint” and “the grasshopper loses his spring.”

What is Solomon’s advice in the end?

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’
— Ecclesiastes 12:1 ESV

The world will tell you to live your youth wild and free, break the rules (and the laws), try everything, find yourself, and have your fun.  But the world doesn’t disclose the scars and the limps that you will acquire with a life outside of the rules.

I am so thankful that I gave my youth to Jesus.  Now that I am almost 40, I can say that I’m not a young person anymore.  My youth wasn’t spent in perfect service to the Lord, because James 3:2 says, “For we all stumble in many ways.”  But I did try to live my youth for Him.

I do have scars because this world is ugly.  I do have limps because I have stumbled.  Christ alone is Holy.

I just didn’t spend my teens and twenties signing up for trouble and heartache.

The Bible is also full of stories of men and women who came to believe in God later in life.  Paul is one of my favorites.  His life before Christ was bloody and full of hate.  His conversion on the road to Damascus is miraculous.  Afterward, Paul was used by God more than anyone else we can point to.

If your youth isn’t something you have to offer anymore, you still have plenty to offer.

If your youth is still fresh, I will tell you this.  

Live your youth free in Christ under His grace, follow His laws (because we show Him love through obedience), try everything He sets in front of you to do, find your identify in His love and being His disciple, and have fun serving Him.

Do this and you can someday you will be almost 40, looking back at your youth, not full of regrets, scars, and limps, but you will be thankful.