Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Exit Festival 2009

Novi Sad hosts the Exit Festival every year. This was my first time to go there. A group of us, volunteers from neighboring countries went there to talk to young people and perform music.
Serbians are wonderful people, warm and cordial, and make you feel at home.
We passed out a pamphlet called "The color of love" and we had signs that said "Free Hugs" and talked to a lot of young people who are disillusioned with the way the world is going and want to make things better, and encouraged them to keep trying. Love always pays off.

Free Hugs for everyone

my sister Sue and her friend Juliet after a group hug

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fair-weather Christianity

I had an interesting conversation the other day with a 15 year old boy. He told me that he cannot believe God loves him and wants the best for him, because he asked God to do certain things for him and He didn't, so he feels he might as well stop believing in God. Of course, being older and having seen a lot more of the world, I was temped to laugh and tell him he is being overly dramatic. But he was serious and I didn't laugh at him, I told him "Being a Christian is not a business transaction, where you do something for God and he does something for you."
So what exactly is being a Christian? I suppose following the teachings of the Master, not for what we can get out of it--that would never work, it would be hypocritical and hard to keep up.
My young friend declared God didn't love him, because He didn't give him what he asked for. I told him "God could very well say the say thing about you. But He doesn't, because God is not a fair-weather friend." Quite on the contrary, it seems we only come to Him when we are in trouble, when we need things, when we want a miracle. How would we react to a friend that only came to us when he needed something from us? Yet God is there for us, in the good times and in the bad times and doesn't judge us, because of his great love for us.
If being a Christian means that I believe in God only when things go well, then I am afraid that type of faith won't last long, it won't change the world and we might as well give it up. Real Christianity is believing in the unseen, and holding on to something bigger than ourselves, especially during difficult times.
Real faith never quits! Let's not be fair-weathered Christians. If other great men and women of God managed to keep believing, even under the most difficult and trying circumstances, why can't we? After all, God IS love!