I have been consumed lately with a desire to “make something of myself”. You probably feel it too; being able to have a moment of accomplishment in your life to point out to others, and when it grows old, you will seek another.
Perhaps my feelings stem from society’s pressure to form our identity around what degree we majored in and where we obtained said degree, when I don’t have an answer for either at the age of 26. It could also be these weird limbo months before getting married as my nomad heart wanders between feelings of my home of 13 years not being home anymore, and not yet being able to move in with my fiancé. Or, is it the oldest trick in the book being played by the Enemy? Even Satan tried to tempt Jesus with promises of riches and kingdoms (a sense of accomplishment in this world?) if only He would bow down to him.
It’s the fruit that looks good enough to eat, yet how do you not eat it? How do you choose between God and mammon? Can’t you have both?
Today is April 20th, and it marks 18 years since the Columbine shooting. I was nine years old when I watched the students on the news pour out of Columbine High School as they escaped Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. 13 people would not go home that day and one girl’s story would become particularly moving to me in the years that followed the shooting.
Rachel Joy Scott, called the “spark plug of her family” by her father, was the first one killed at Columbine as she ate lunch outside on the school grounds. There has been some controversy over what was said at her death. Her friend Richard Castaldo, who she was eating lunch with that day, originally reported that Rachel was pulled up by her hair and asked, “Do you believe in God”, to which she responded, “You know I do”, and then was shot point blank. But, police records do not confirm this interaction.
Whether you believe she was asked the question or not there is no doubt she was targeted for her profound love for Jesus Christ as was made evident by the home videos created by Eric and Dylan. A love that her own parents didn’t fully realize until after her death when they discovered essays and journals in her bedroom.
It wasn’t just a faith she professed, but one she truly lived, as story after story came forward after her death which confirmed Rachel’s genuine love for people — friends and strangers alike. One of my favorites happened on the side of the road in Colorado. A gentleman was changing his flat tire in the pouring rain, when suddenly a girl, Rachel Scott, appeared over him holding an umbrella. A couple months later he saw the same girl’s smiling face again, only this time she was pictured alongside those killed at Columbine. Later that week he was at the steps of the alter at Rachel’s funeral accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Today, I remember Rachel’s story and I think how silly my desires are. I don’t want them anymore — I want the Kingdom.
I want the Kingdom Rachel sought and shared with everyone who was placed in her path.
I want to seek that same Kingdom where I welcome the outcasts and handicapped to eat with me just like Rachel did.
I want the Kingdom to be now, present in my life each day — not just in heaven. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.
To the eyes of the world Rachel didn’t accomplish much (heck, she didn’t even graduate high school) but she sought first the kingdom and because of her the kingdom was brought to earth and lives were changed in the process.