Summary: Sermon 2 based on Kerry & Chris Shook's book One Month To Live.
Live Passionately, Joshua 1:6-9
In the second section of Kerry & Chris Shook’s book “One Month to Live,” Pastor Shook draws a comparison between the brevity and fast paced reality of our lives to a ride on a particular roller coaster. Interestingly it is a roller coaster that I too have ridden, only a sister coaster at Santa Cruz, California, rather than Oklahoma City as the author of the book. While Chris Shook is a fan of roller coasters, I am surely not. As a child I always wanted to be the kind of person who liked roller coasters. I wanted desperately to want to ride a roller coaster, but the always seemed and seem much more like a couple of minutes of torture than a couple of minutes of thrilling adventure. My step-father, who has been in my life since a young child, on the other hand, loves roller coasters. I remember going to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk once as a child, perhaps the 5th or 6th grade. Tim and I got in line for the Big Dipper roller coaster. It is one of those old wooden roller coasters. You know the kind, like the Grizzly at 6 flags Great America on the West Coast, and others. As you walk up the stair case to the roller coaster you see rusty bolts holding large and small rough hewn lumber together. As the roller coaster crashes and turns for those up ahead of you the sight of the wood bending and contorting fills your heart with fear, for me at least, sure that after so many tens of thousands of rides, it will be my ride when the whole thing finally comes crashing to the ground causing my roller coaster car, with me still buckled safely inside, is flung through the air like a rock proceeding from a sling-shot! The ride is no more comforting than the anticipation of the ride. First there is the clink, clink, clink of the chain dragging the heavy car up the first major incline. Then the steep plummet which only begins the madness of jerking and tossing, twisting and turning, until you finally come screeching to a stop; hair frazzled, stomach highly unsettled, glad that it is over. I was as a child and remain to this day not a fan of roller coasters, though my step-father and now my children have from time to time dragged me onto them even in adulthood.
Pastor Shook, the author of the book that is helping to shape our journey through the answering of this question, what is I knew that I only had 30 days to live, is right in his assessment that roller coaster rides have much in common with this passing, brief, wild-ride, of a journey that we call life.
Roller coaster rides don’t last long. This life is often filled with fear and tussling.
We don’t always know what to expect around the next corner. In fact, we seldom know what is waiting for us at the top of the next incline as we are clink, clink, clinking up to the summit for the next drop.
Like roller coasters ride this life moves with a dizzying fast pace. I have traveled the latter years of this life with many brothers and sisters in Christ and I am convinced that most often, the brevity of this life makes itself known before we were ready.
Perhaps for many of you it seems only yesterday that you were having children, now they have children, and so do their children. For those of middle years it may seem that only yesterday we were running for the monkey bars on the playground, now work and other commitments has us seldom with time to play.
The roller coaster ride of life is happening now. If we would make the most of this life we must learn to live it passionately, making each moment count!
Too often though, “we play it safe and settle for far less than we were made for.” (30 Days) For a lot of people, their favorite day of the week is someday. I’ll do that, we say, when I get “a round to-it.” Well, for those of you who don’t have one; just take a look inside of your bulletin.
We have provided you with “a round to-it” so that you will no longer have a reason to procrastinate the good things and passionate life that God is calling each of us to live!” (a circle of paper with the words “to-it” printed on it)
If we would be people of passionate living for Christ then we must become people of passion in our present circumstances. At the very center of God's will for your life is not a place of perfect circumstance, but a place of perfect provision and grace. "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." (1 Timothy 6:6-7 NIV)