Sometimes it almost seems as if all we do in our lives is get ready for the next big thing. In Kindergarten we get ready for First Grade -- that’s the next big thing. First grade then prepares you for the next big thing; Second grade. The next big thing after school is getting a job. Upon entering a career, one pays close attention to preparing for retirement. The next big thing.
My son Ryan has spent his past 4 years at Forest Lake Academy getting ready for college; last years next big thing is now happening. The future big thing has become the present big thing. And the current plan is to make Southern the place to get ready for Medical School. Perhaps Loma Linda, from which I graduated, as did my dad before me. Always moving, looking ahead, and preparing.
This is all well and good and is as it should be I suppose, only noting that one must not let the future detract or rob from the present. Our parting advice to Ryan was not “study hard” but “make sure you take time to relax”!
Driving back to Orlando (after transporting Ryan up for his freshman year) from SAU with my eldest daughter, Heather, we stopped for gas in north Florida. Across the road she noticed, written on the edge of a large roof of a restaurant carport, this bulletin; “Jesus Is Coming!” (see picture below)
Betrayed not only by the faded paint but also by the “Video Arcade Now Open” banner partially obscuring it, the lost urgency of this message was silent evidence that what had once been anticipated as the very best “next big thing” ever, was now but a dull relic of a passion whose flame had long ago extinguished.
Ryan, and our family, chose Southern Adventist University in part because Southern has not forgotten that the most important next big thing that we are preparing for is that Jesus really IS Coming. And all those other “next big things” are only important when seen as preparation for the grandest next thing ever; the Return of Jesus.