Thursday, June 12, 2014

Guest Post: "At Seventeen"

“Remember, those who win the game, lose the love they sought to gain. Indebentures of quality, and dubious integrity. Their small town eyes will gape at you in dull surprise when payment due exceeds accounts received… at seventeen.”

Come on. You know you love the song. Okay, if you’re over 35, maybe you’ve at least heard of it. (If not, or if you need a refresher, click on the video above. “At Seventeen” by Janis Ian was released in 1975 and reached number one that same year and is still played often, to the delight of those of us who knew all too well the “Friday night charades of youth”.

While walking one day, I was listening to my iPod (yes, I do in fact have something other than Fleetwood Mac on there, and yes, this song is one of them) and my brain somehow, like a broken record, got stuck on the end of the second verse above. It may only be because I now have a friend who is in finance and she happens to work in accounts payable, which I gather is the opposite of accounts receivable, both of which she talks about a lot (the only business class I had in college was called, “Where to Find the Business Office to Pay Your Tuition” so normally anything remotely business related goes in one ear and out the other). This lyric stayed inside my head though, suggesting that marriage comes as something expected to only certain types of girls and they can soon discover, popularity isn’t all they think it to be. It refers to the “dull surprise” these girls get when, after signing on for what we called in college, the M.R.S. Degree, they get the tables turned on them when what little they put into it isn’t enough to compensate for all that was expected of them.

I could write a book on what I don’t know about marriage but I do suspect that much like the relationship between a husband and wife, our relationship with God must be similar in that BOTH parties contribute. Note that I am NOT speaking of whether or not we are acceptable to God once we are Christian. While we are to be Christ-like and strive for perfection, He well understands the enormity of the gap between HIS perfection and our sorry-selves. Nor am I suggesting that once we are Christian He requires us to feed the coffers in payback for what he’s done for us. Our sins have been paid for by Christ Jesus. We owe him nothing for them. 

However, the Christian who is living the life He desires us to, will display with at the very least, sincerity of thought, word and action… a true understanding of all He has done for us. If we do not contribute back from our own desire and love for Him, the daily relationship He wants to have with us suffers. He paid and continues to pay into us with an amazing plan for our lives. Would it not make sense then, for us to pay into Him? Do we really think it right to accept a gift without sincere thanks? Would it be right to accept Christ and then ignore the responsibility we have to glorify God by putting effort back into our relationship with Him?
Many times I think I put into it far less into this relationship with Him than I should. It’s very easy to look like I’m putting in 110% and yet I’m in “dull surprise” when He takes me down a path that enlightens me to the fact that after becoming a Christian, there are still expectations between me and the God who saved me. Relationships are indeed two way streets and when only one party contributes to the account… it suffers. Do you, like me, need to dust off a bible or prayer book, or find at least five extra minutes in the day to work on the relationship? He’s constantly in devotion to us. I think we do in fact owe Him that much back.

Heather Eddy is the Assistant Director of Christian Education. She is a guest post crowd favorite, and we look forward to hearing more from her this sumer. Heather is currently spending her summer preparing to take Sardis children through the wilderness of Vacation Bible School, and her college students through the wilderness of Pre-Nursing Anatomy and Physiology. Somewhere in there, she'll find time to visit the Statue of Liberty over the 4th of July.

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