I try to stay in touch with news in the US, but it gets hard when the headlines for a full week are focused on stories such as that of Manti Ti’o. I understand that it is a bizarre story, but I think the guy is getting too much attention and grief.
Weekly, I have people contact me via email, FB, or my blog because they are interested in hearing more about Young Life or volunteering with us. I have never seen these people nor do I have a previous context for them. Every single time, I assume they are real people. Does that make me naive and gullible?
Last night, Sandra gave an awesome club talk. She had a bottle of Coca Cola and a bottle of water. She talked about how we all know that Coke is bad for us, but we all want to drink it anyway. Those of us who can’t justify the calories lean toward Diet Coke which has its own list of health hazards. We ignore messages both about the detriments of drinking too much pop and the benefits of drinking water.
We’re all a bit delusional when we want to be. We like to believe that life is one way, even if all evidence points the other. We just want to drink our Coca Cola.
Sandra went on to read the story of Jesus interacting with the woman at the well – he offered her living water and she accepted. She knew, that when confronted with the truth, there was no better choice than to accept. She set down her can of coke and embraced living water.
Maybe we should cut Manti a little slack and take a look at our own lives – in what ways are we clinging to lies just because we desperately want (or need) them to be true? Or, could it be that we’re in so far over our heads that we can’t see the truth even when it’s right in front of us?
I know this is true for many of the kids we work with. They believe that gangs are the best option, that school is a waste of time and money, that getting pregnant at 15 doesn’t really change the course of their lives. The lie is so intricately weaved around them that the truth struggles to break through.
This year, I’ve adopted John 8:32 as my prayer for me, my friends, my family, VJ staff, the kids we work with: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
*Disclaimer: I have no problem with Coca Cola. Their commercials in the movie theatre make me cry. I just thought it was a great image.