It sure is fun to be a Chicago Cubs fan these days. They are actually really good. You may think it’s the players and the new manager that makes them good and, certainly in part, it is. But the real reason they are so good is the foundation they’ve laid. They have created a winning attitude, made structural and organizational changes that have laid a foundation for success for the players and coaches. If you’re a St. Louis Cardinals fan, you’ve known about a foundation of winning for decades. Juxtapose the new Cubs and Cardinals with the 1997 Marlins. They won the World Series and had one great year! However, they then traded away all of their good players and went from being the best team in the league to one of the worst. Why? They didn’t have a foundation established for long-term success.
Where am I going with this? Very simply – what is your life built on? In what are you putting your faith, hope and future? You are putting your faith, hope and future in something. What is it? I just had a friend get a divorce. His faith, hope and future were in his family and fortune. In the blink of an eye – just a few months – it’s all gone. Tragic. I had a conversation with a friend that put tons of time, money and effort into his retirement, his kid’s college choice and his work. Nothing bad about those endeavors, but when I talked to him about spiritual matters he said he didn’t believe in God. When I asked why, he said it was a gut thing. When I challenged him that he didn’t trust his temporary future – retirement, college, job, etc to his gut but that he was trusting his eternal future to his gut, he didn’t have a reply. What about you? Again, I ask, what are you putting your hope in? In our college days, we all wrestled with who we wanted to be when we grew up. Well, most of us are now grown. Who did we become?
If you are at a place where you are not a follower of Jesus, I simply ask you why? What are you putting your future and hope in? Are you trusting in that bank account and your family for joy and hope? Have you put all of your effort and resources into temporary life issues without taking the time to truly seek God and what is in store for your life eternally?
If you are a follower of Christ, let me ask if your future hope really looks any different than those that don’t have their hope in Christ. The Christian life isn’t easy, but it is full of joy, purpose and direction. It’s a life of selflessness and service. It’s a life that leads to endless fruits of the Spirit in our lives.
Quite a while ago now, I had a friend tell me something that rocked my world. He quit a huge great-paying job as a senior executive with BP Amoco for a job paying a fraction of what he was making. When I asked this nearly 50 year old man why, he said, “Eric, I’ve been climbing the ladder of success only to realize that my ladder has been up against the wrong wall.”
Friends – don’t get to 10, 20 years from now and realize that your ladder is up against the wrong wall. If you’re climbing the ladder of “God doesn’t exist or this Jesus stuff is weird” – I’m telling you it’s the wrong wall. But don’t take my word on it – study it yourself. Don’t just go with your gut.
If you’re climbing the ladder of what the world tells you you should do and not do and what you should be and not be, then climb down and start over. God is the God of second chances. God is real and wants you to truly know Him through His son Jesus.
I Corinthians 3:11 sums it up this way, “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Eric Rojas, Class of 1990, Executive Pastor at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL