The fire alarm sounded. Students lazily packed their books preparing to stand outside until the drill was done. Suddenly the voice on the intercom changed everything, “This is NOT a drill. I repeat: this is NOT a drill!” A bomb had gone off in a student’s locker. The drill had suddenly become a matter of survival.
Our pastor was one of the kids in the high school that day. He likened his experience to the attitude many of us have toward the spiritual war that’s being waged all around us. The alarm is going off. The danger is real, but most of us are acting like it’s just another drill.
My heart broke recently when I learned that publishers are reluctant to produce family devotion books. I was told parents don’t buy books that require them to be engaged, and a family devotion implies parental participation. Last weekend I participated in a conference and a mom asked me how often we do family devotions. “It’s so hard to make time,” she said sadly. “Everyone is so busy and we just don’t do it.”
My friends, there is an enemy that seeks to devour our children’s souls. He’s subtle, he’s cunning, he’s patient and he’s real. He bombards them every day and we must not only prepare them for the drill, we MUST teach them to take the alarm seriously. This is the reality: 70-75% of children raised in the church reject their faith when they leave home. (Barna research) My first-born will go to college next year. We’ve worked hard to help him build a firm foundation for his faith; shown him how to navigate the dangers and find his way to safety. When the alarms go off in his life he may not make the choice we hope for, but at least he knows he has a choice. Most kids don’t even know they have a choice or how to choose.
Dear parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, aunts, uncles… THIS IS NOT A DRILL! We don’t have the luxury of hoping someone else will teach our children about who God is and why it matters in their lives. You can’t put it off until tomorrow. I say it again, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.