Teenagers these days–how many times have we said that out loud or thought it? I too can relate to that feeling of confusion and alarm as a parent. For the moment though, I am proud to say that I am enjoying our teens and how they are shaking things up at home right now. They make my life so unpredictable and have been spurring me to laugh a lot in recent days.

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This last weekend, I confess, they had me pretty stirred up though. You know what it was like when you were a kid–there’s something really exciting and humorous about getting your mom or dad all worried. I had a lot of questions about a video game that was brought home by our son. Picture this, I’m sitting in the recliner, asking multiple questions, and my kids begin to howl in laughter together. Truth be told, they did have me snickering at different points–I am terrible at keeping a straight face. They were having so much fun with my questions that they even began to tease and invite me to play a zombie game with them–now that was funny. Good thing that I was on my game though. They got a good dose of, “When I was a kid,” and I think it now tops our   minds at being the funniest teachable moment that I’ve had with them.

With all kidding aside, this morning I feel grateful to have awoken from a most disturbing dream that drew its inspiration from our conversation the night before. I was a survivor of a mysterious zombie apocalypse along with the babies I held close and protected in my arms. We were victorious in bringing hope to our pursuers and witnessing their lives be restored, funny isn’t it? I haven’t told my teens yet, but I have a feeling they are going to hit the floor rolling.

We aren’t too off from my dream as a people though, are we? Maybe you have seen those that are walking around lifeless and almost dead inside. It’s almost as if those with life and joy stand out as prime targets to our numb adversaries. In my dream, they didn’t like or understand us at all but we understood what it was like to feel their anger and vengeful pride. We felt mercy for them because we had walked in their tattered shoes once until someone saved us from our ultimate destiny.

In the here and now, the rippling effect of God’s love and grace still has the power to fill empty and meaningless lives with hope and purpose. I know we can agree that life isn’t a zombie game and that we do live in reality. However, just like a game, we are choosing everyday which side to live on–the side of life or the side of death. I guess the question is–which side are we on and what role are we playing out? We cannot choose both because then we would be sleepwalking and rather unresponsive. Does it matter to us at all that the dying around us are craving true life but they don’t even know it? May God touch our believing eyes so we may take in and understand all that He desires us to. It is my prayer today that we will awaken and respond to the dying. In light of God’s love, mercy, and grace–may they too receive the rescuing that we once needed ourselves.