Look Beyond Your World

Author: Lexi Mitchell | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2023-24

Mr. Lawdi Ferreira began his forum by explaining a story from his own life that may be all too familiar to many of us. 

He explained that there was a period of time in his early life where he was terrified about the return of Christ, which he learned about according to the teachings of mainstream Christianity.

According to these teachings, some would be raptured to heaven, but everyone else would burn in hellfire. This scared him, because he had friends and family who he loved, dreams of success, hopes for his life, and goals for the future. 

At his youthful age, he didn’t want the return to happen in order to protect the things he held dear to him. He told this story because we may feel a similar way about the true reality of the impending return of Christ, and we may feel extremely guilty about it.

“I want Christ to return, but not quite yet.”

“The world is bad,” we might say. “But I’m having a good time! I’m still able to do what I want.” 

In order to begin the process of putting this mindset behind us, we must learn to see the bigger picture.

Start looking past our own lives, and look at what’s actually going on. We are bombarded with things in our current life on which to focus, and although it is not an issue to pay attention to life in the present day, Satan’s very mission is to distract us from the future that’s coming and prevent us from prioritizing. 

It is also imperative to consider that this life is very temporary. Even when things are going right for us according to the desires of our lives, tragedy can strike in an instant. So even if we get what we want, things can collapse rapidly. We must recognize that there is more to life than our own miniscule lives. 

“There is a way that seems right to a man,

But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12

Look at the realities around us.

We must all learn to look at the reality of what’s happening. Look beyond our personal world, and see the flip side. And if it helps for perspective’s sake, consider what happens to other young people. Young lives can end. Young people can be victims of violent crime. And young people do not deserve these tragedies, the same way we would not deserve them happening to us. 

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

The world is sick, and it desperately needs God’s return. God desires for us to be inspirations to people for His way of life. When we look beyond our personal world, we realize how much people long for the Kingdom, whether or not they can put a name to it. They need their tears wiped away, and the Kingdom will provide that. 

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:18-19 

Embracing our youth

Just because the world desperately needs Christ’s return doesn’t mean we are to avoid making plans for our future. We can plan for marriage. We can prepare to have children. We can hope for professional success. Goals like these aren’t foolish to have; rather, aspirations like these are encouraged for us in multiple places in the Bible!

“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,

Before the difficult days come,

And the years draw near when you say,

‘I have no pleasure in them’” Ecclesiastes 12:1

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

God did desire for us to enjoy life. But the key is to remember our creator and our personal relationship with Him and not to let it distract us from the darkness of the world. We must have God at our forefront. Enjoy our blessing of life and of youth while we have it, but strive to have fun God’s way. God’s way of fun does not require repentance afterwards. 

“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,

And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;

Walk in the ways of your heart,

And in the sight of your eyes;

But know that for all these

God will bring you into judgment.” Ecclesiastes 11:9

The Kingdom as a Motivator

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13

We must keep the vision real and alive in our eyes. As seen through numerous accounts in the Bible of people who had to persevere through extreme hardship, having a vision of the Kingdom is the single most powerful motivator in the world. By keeping it in our hearts, it will guide us to become the best possible versions of ourselves and become overcomers. 

Go out, enjoy ourselves, but always remember…

“…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt 6:33.

Lexi Mitchell is a first-year student in the Living Education-Charlotte Program. She is from Long Island, New York. At home, she worked as a lifeguard and a swim instructor. Currently, she assists in the Living Education department as a social media manager and as a producer of written content. She enjoys reading, cooking, exercising, and spending time with family.