Ever get those phone calls from people who want you to buy something they’re selling? Of course you have. If you are in ministry you know exactly what I mean…after all, as a youth pastor we have influence, and a group of students that will go with us to places we decide we want them to go. Everyone has their camp, program, curriculum, concert and event that every student ministry cannot live without.I get those phone calls, a lot. I got that phone call last week from the Columbus Destroyers trying to convince me that I should take my group to one of their arena football games…heck, we can even get them on the field before or after the game for some extra fun at no additional cost. As I listened to the canned speech I probably did several other things, checked e-mail, espn.com, and agreed to think about it. I even agreed that it was ok to send me some additional information. I know, I like to play with fire.
On Monday I got the obligatory follow-up call. So I thought. But this call was different because attached to the sales pitch was an offer to attend the Columbus Blue Jackets NHL hockey game on Tuesday night…for free! That is when I actually began to listen. But that’s not all, not only was the game free, I now had 4 tickets for the hockey game, these tickets were in the AAA Sky Terrace (awesome view), and all the free hot dogs, brats, popcorn, pretzels and Mountain Dew I could want.
I had the opportunity to take my wife, and our good friends Dustin and Kelly along with us. It was a fun night out, a good game (that the CBJ lost in OT to the Capitals 4-3). After such an experience I now feel indebted to take the youth group to a Destroyers game this season. I know I don’t have to, and I know that this night was technically free. But I feel as though I want to pay back the efforts and lengths that Rob (the sales rep) went to show that I was valued.
This sparked a discussion with Dustin on the way home. Isn’t this what God has done for us? He has offered us a free gift, something that, on our own, we never could have obtained, the free gift of eternal life through Jesus. In return it is God’s hope that we will accept the gift and love him back. He wants our committment to Him and he desires for us to serve him not out of duty, or because we have to, but because we want to.
As I was saying goodbye and thanks to Rob for providing the evening to us, he handed me 6 vouchers, each for 2 free CBJ tickets. Now that I’ve been provided a gift I now have the responsibility of 12 CBJ tickets in which to use to further the cause of the Blue Jackets. So, who wants to go? I now have the power to buy you…because I have already been bought. In more ways that one.