I’m wondering this morning how much I’ve been affected by what Author Byron Forrest Yawn calls “Suburbianity.” In his book by the same title, he says our life in the American suburbs greatly affects how we perceive and relate to the gospel. He says we are so wrapped up in our own story — our own trivial pursuits — that the real story –what Christ did for us centuries ago “is gagged and bound by our self absorption.”
In a very convicting paragraph, Byron stirred my soul, when he said “We shove our need for personal value down the Bible’s throat. Nearly every passage we touch somehow magically turns to us. This is such a shame. The real story is so amazing.”
I got to thinking of the real story….
The real story is not what I need, spiritually, the level of my surrender or how I am growing in a daily walk with Christ, but why Jesus came to this earth, what He surrendered for you and me and how the cosmos exist to glorify Him.
Byron writes of the incredible privilege we have today to be alive at a time when we can view life from this side of the cross:
“We have no idea of the privilege of where we stand as New Testament believers. Our vantage point is the envy of ancient prophets and countless Old Testament saints now staring down from heaven. They waited so long to witness the events we now take for granted. They lived and died in anticipation. They would have given anything to stand in the hemisphere of the resurrection, breathe in its air, and see what we see.”
(In fact, you can read for yourself what Byron just described in First Peter 1:10-12.)
Byron claims these Old Testament saints must be frustrated as they watch modern Christians obsess about lesser things. Furthermore, he says we spend all our time gazing inward (at our life’s purpose, the meanings of our sufferings, the attainment of our comfort or happiness) and not outward at the amazing things God has done for sinners.
“We’re missing the edge-of-your seat thrill ride of redemptive history found on the pages of Scripture,” Byron writes. “Angels are bent over in awe of the story unfolding down here, and we’re too preoccupied with our own story to notice.” He says as we look for the moral of the story — you know, our constant questioning of WHY things happen — the real story passes us by.
Oh, I don’t want to miss the real story.
As I sit here in the hospital waiting room (while my husband undergoes a medical procedure and my daughter prepares to board a flight on the other side of the world to make it home for her Dad’s birthday), I almost failed to realize the bigger story that is happening all around me. My drama — waiting for news on my husband’s health, and waiting to hug my daughter after three long weeks of not being able to communicate with her — is so tiny in the scope of eternity. The real story results in this wonderful proclamation: I have been redeemed from a sinful state and am now joint heirs with Christ in the heavenly realm! I know the Truth of the ages…the Savior of mankind…the Key to living forever.
What more do I need in this moment…or in this lifetime? I suppose just a way to be able to share this mind-boggling realization with you.