9/9/12 Leo, Jeff 16, 15
Two teens coming down the sidewalk toward me agreed to answer an interesting question with great curiosity about what this stranger might ask. My question about what comes next after we die really got their imaginations going. Although they know what their catholic high school religion class teaches about heaven and hell, they both said that a belief in reincarnation seems far more fun. They had that lighthearted belief in any possibility that many teens have, and as they described their ideas about reincarnation they became more animated, like they were describing their favorite mutant superhero. How should I begin to speak some biblical truth into their lives? Leo,17 and Jeff, 15, both agreed that whatever the truth is about what comes next, it wouldn't be dependant on what they believe. They understood they can't create truth simply by wishing it into existence. "So whatever eternity has in store, it is worth thinking about now, and definitely something you want to get right" I told them. I talked about how the Israelites had made a golden calf while Moses was away receiving the Ten Commandments, something they were familiar with from their religion classes, and how one of the commandments forbids idol worship. "The Israelites made their idea of God into an idol they could worship, and that's exactly what we do when we make up ideas about God that we are more comfortable with". I told them how I had started reading the Bible daily when I was their age, and how over time I developed an understanding of God based on the Bible rather than the opinions of others or my own imagination. If anything, I hope I left them with an example and a challenge to do likewise.