9/29/15 Jesse and Derrick early 20’s
Dressed in hipster gear and heavily pierced and tatted, Jesse answered my sidewalk question through his nose and lip rings regarding his beliefs about eternity: “I like to think that we come back as another life form, depending on what we’ve done in this life” he said. Jesse values a self-image of independence and self-expression, and this carries over from his looks to his beliefs, as if he can form his own ultimate truth from the buffet table of religious and philosophical ideas out there. I asked him about this: “So do you think that we can change the truth of what happens to us after we die by what we choose to believe about it, or is it fixed regardless of what we think?” I was glad Jesse was humble enough to admit ignorance: “Who am I to change truth? I don’t know sh___!” he said. Now we were getting somewhere! “Sometimes admitting you just don’t know can be the smartest thing you can do…” I told him…“And when it comes down to it, we can’t define God by our own abilities, unless He decides to reveal Himself to us”. Jesse could agree with that, so I went on… “And who are we to think that He would reveal Himself only to us individually, out of the billions of people on this planet? This leaves us with the great world religions that have been around for centuries…” By this time Jesse was joined by his friend Derrick, whom he had been waiting for, and who was less open to conversation. I talked some about how Christianity is unique among world religions in that it is the only religion that doesn’t rely on our good works for a better life to come, but on the good work of God in Jesus on our behalf. Derrick began to drag Jesse away at this point, who followed his lead by refusing to take anything I had for them to read. I wanted to share so much more of the Gospel with Jesse, but it was his decision to allow his friend to cut him short. Do the friends we choose to hang out with affect us for eternity? Both fortunately and unfortunately, yes, I believe they do, no matter how independent we might think we are.