The guy who fell out a window
There was a guy in the Bible named Eutychus, we know of him from Acts 20, he is the first recorded person to fall asleep during a sermon. Paul was preaching in a third story room and Eutychus dozes off and falls 3 stories to his death. Paul, whom I imagined was mildly inconvenienced, walks downstairs and through the power of Christ raises this guy from the dead, walks back upstairs and has dinner. I love this story because it comes out of nowhere when you’re reading through acts. In chapter 19 Paul runs down to Ephesus on his missionary journey, preaches and makes everyone mad causing a riot. He heads up to Macedonia, Greece, and ends up in a town called Troas, which is in Asia Minor. He stays there for a few days and the night before he leaves, he preaches this huge long sermon because he knows that he probably won’t see these people again and then we meet Eutychus, the guy who fell out of a window.
When was the last time that you got so truly passionate about something that you forgot what was going on around you? Look at this story from Paul’s perspective, he’s trying to make the most of his final moments with the church in Troas and a guy in the audience falls asleep and falls to his death. Eutychus was literally bored to death. Do you think that would have interrupted Paul’s train of thought a little bit? Would it mess with your self esteem if you were in his shoes? So how does Paul react? He goes downstairs, raises the guy from the dead, eats dinner, and preaches until daylight. Paul was on a mission and he wasn’t going to let anything stop him, even death.
Do stuff that matters
Do stuff that matters, is a phrase that’s been popping in my head lately and we do a lot of things that don’t matter. When I think about my guitar collection, electronics, and tools it’s all stuff that I can’t take with me when my time on earth is done. In fact, like Eutychus, I could easily fall out of a building or get hit by a bus at any moment. My point is, is that we too often focus on temporary things when God has called us to an eternal purpose. I love 2 Corinthians 5:20:
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. “
and Ephesians 2:10
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Because it tells us who we are in God’s eyes. One of the things that is so difficult for us to deal with in the United States is for us to separate our identity from our profession. For a long time my identity was tied up in being a youth minister and that lead me to some really emotionally unhealthy places. I had built the foundation of who I was on a profession with one of the highest turnover rates in the United States. Not smart on my part. When you think about who you are, are you an engineer or are you a representative for Christ Jesus in your field? Are you a teacher or a piece of God’s craftsmanship that is built to do good works? When our identities are rooted not in what we do but in what the Bible says we are, we start focusing on stuff that matters.
I buy, sell, and trade a lot of music gear over the course of the year, but I usually hold on to one or 2 guitars. My main electric guitar is Fender Duo Sonic reissue from 1993. It’s not rare or expensive, but it’s a blast to play. I have nicer guitars but this one keeps sticking around. Why? Because it’s lightweight and the neck is shorter so I can play it easier. I keep it around because I can play it for 2 worship sets in a row at church without hurting my back. It’s a tool I use to serve others.
We live in a world today that objectifies men and women both dehumanizing people into products for our eyes to consume in movies, advertising, and the internet. Ever read the EULA on a free web service? If you read the fine print sites like Facebook are using your personal information to target ads your way. An article in Forbes put it well by saying “if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product”.
The gospel of Jesus challenges everything about that. You’re not a product, you’re God’s craftsmanship. You’re not an object, you’re an ambassador. Your profession doesn’t define you, your creator defines you. Jesus said that the greatest commands were to love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength and mind and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. People matter, God matters, and you matter in the kingdom of God. Pay attention to the people in your life that matter. Money, insurance, house payments won’t matter if you fall out of a window like Eutychus.
The great theologian Kid President once tweeted “If it doesn’t make the world better, don’t do it.” Do stuff that matters this week, pay attention to the people that God has put in your life.