Friday, May 22, 2009

Can God speak to me through Terminator movies?

Terminator 4 has hit the theaters. So what, right? Well, I find it of mild interest because of the impact that one line of dialogue in Terminator 3 has had on me ever since I heard it.

Near the beginning of T3, when John Connor first meets Kate Brewster and is trying to give her some context for the crazy things that are happening, he says, "It's just... The life you know... all the stuff that you take for granted... It's not gonna last."

That line penetrated my heart like a laser. "It's not gonna last." All that is so familiar, we don't even think about it -- all that we see around us, and think is so important -- all the stuff we take for granted -- it isn't going to last.

I remember when I heard Connor say that, I was struck with how absolutely imperative and how completely life-changing having that perspective ought to be. And there I was being reminded of it by a script-writer for a fictional character in a sci-fi movie. But it's a fact: The life we know with all its familiar routines and comforts is not going to last. And the changes may come sooner and more unexpectedly and dramatically than we can imagine. So we'd better be sure we're not living for the things that are gonna disappear -- but rather, for the things that are going to last!

I'm sure that the reason that line resonated in my soul was because of how seriously Jesus spoke of the same thing. Speaking of the time before He returns, Jesus said, "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be" (Matthew 24:21). Sounds like some scenes I've seen in the trailers for T4! Those will be days when many valued things that we take for granted will be no more. And that's when Jesus will return, looking for those who have made Him their treasure rather than the temporal things of this world. All of that is why Jesus warns us repeatedly about those days, saying, "keep on the alert" (Mark 13:33), "stay on the alert" (Mark 13:34), and "be on the alert" (Mark 13:35 and 37)!

Are we alert? Or are we oblivious? Are we prepared? Or are we living like everything will carry on as usual forever? Are we focused on the things that are going to disappear? Or are we seeking Jesus? Many years ago, Terminator 3 actually reminded me of the futility of living for what isn't going to last. And my Bible has continually reminded me that I can live instead for a loving Saviour who wants me to live with Him for eternity! That's why I want to live my life focused on Jesus instead of on all the stuff around me in this world.

© 2009 by Ken Peters

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