Summary: We need to start living life as the precious gift from God it truly is. Deeper living from a deeper understanding!
This past Wednesday, Scott Evans Dekraai, got out of his car in Seal Beach (CA) shot a man who was sitting in his SUV talking on his cell phone then entered a beauty salon where his ex-wife worked and opened fire, shooting at point blank his ex-wife and eight other people. Six died immediately, two died at Memorial Hospital and one is still in critical condition. One newspaper headline stated clearly, ‘Senseless Waste’ is overwhelming.
I agree completely. This shooting was completely senseless and it was a waste of human life and I just want to know why.
In preparation for this message I re-read the chapter on the sanctity of life from Charles Colson’s book Faith in which he states, “Christians believe that men and women wre created intentionally and purposefully in God’s image. God proves how dear men and women are to Him throughout the whole drama of human history. He acts consistently to bring the human person on whom he lavished such gifts back into right relationship with Him—even sending His Son to give His life for every human being…Christians propose to society a biblical humanism ‘deeply grounded in the dignity of the human person at every stage of development, disadvantage, or decline.’”
Of course I’ve also been reading and studying Psalm 139, a psalm that I believe speaks to that kind of biblical humanism with such words as (verses 13-16):
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
You can see why the shooting in Seal Beach has me so distraught, even angry.
I just don’t understand how anyone can have such a huge disregard for life that they could take the lives of 8 innocent people.
And I understand that this senseless act is extremely disturbing and evil, but I have to be careful not to set myself too far apart from that kind of disregard for the gift of life.
I find it disconcerting to realize that the times I am most thoughtful about life and thankful for life are the times when I am faced with death.
That’s a very sad and disturbing confession, and I thank God not everyone thinks like I do.
This weekend I asked my internet friends on the social network Facebook,
What makes you stop or when do you stop and realize that life is a gift?
Hear are some of the answers I received, without naming names.
Again: What makes you stop or when do you stop and realize that life is a gift?
• Realizing the depth of my sin and the punishment I deserve because of it, makes me realize that every brea a golf course at sunrise, and meals with family and friends.
• Every morning he wakes me up.
• Watching sunsets when camping, births, deaths, weddings.
• When someone dies or when a baby is born
• When one of your best friends loses their battle to cancer but comes out victorious because they are with Jesus. Their life was a gift and her reward is now Jesus.
• When your pins are knocked out from under you.
• When you realize that God gave you life and we should Praise him in everything,
• Going into the Operating room I told the Lord how glad I was that he was my friend and how much just placing my life into his hands meant to me at that moment.
• When a situation arises and you suddenly wake up to the fact that you have no ability to control things. It is all in God's hands!
Ask Congregation: How would some of you answer that question?
Life, as precious and wonderful and glorious as it is, is too often just something we live without much thought and, regrettably, without much thanks. We don’t see our lives as much of anything special…it just is what it is.
The problem is that’s not in line at all with how God views life – ours and everyone else’s. As Colson’s book reminded me, “Created by God, and with His purpose for us clear, human life is sacred.”
Human life is sacred! No matter what we are made to think (by ourselves or by others), life is sacred! And if life is sacred then we are certainly more than what we give ourselves credit for.
But what too often happens is we look in the mirror and just…sigh. Or we look at our list of achievements and think, “That’s it?” We stand alongside others that we consider smarter, better looking, richer, more spiritual and wonder why God had to use us to show the world He has a sense of humor.