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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Wanna Feel Good?

by Erica Richards

Give up feel-good moments for a feel-good life thatíll last forever.

 Recently as I scanned radio stations, I heard Kenny Chesney singing:

“Don’t you wanna hear Him call your name
  When you’re standin’ at the pearly gates?
  I told the preacher, ‘Yes, I do’
  But I hope they don’t call today
  I ain’t ready
  Everybody wants to go to heaven
  Have a mansion high above the clouds
  Everybody want to go to heaven
  But nobody want to go now.”
Kenny Chesney was singing about the fun he’s having here on earth that’s keeping him from wanting to go to heaven anytime soon. At first I was taken aback by his song lyrics. But as I thought more about them, Kenny wasn’t really expressing anything different from what I’ve seen and heard from some of my Christian friends.
Ever heard statements like these?
“Just because it’s rated R doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad movie. I mean, it has some language in it and maybe some nude scenes, but so what?”
“So I have a few drinks now and then. I’m not addicted to alcohol. It relaxes me.”
“OK, we only did it once. It’s not like we weren’t careful, and I’m not going to get pregnant.”
I’ve heard all of these statements at one time or another, and probably you have too. I’ve replied by asking, “If it’s not a big deal, why do you do it?” I’ve found that generally, most answers to this question include the words and phrases “Relaxing,” “Exciting,” “Everyone’s doing it,” and, of course, “It’s fun.”
At our age, we usually just want one thing: to feel good. That’s it, plain and simple. We watch movies that we know are inappropriate, have a couple of alcoholic drinks, hook up with our boyfriend or girlfriend because it feels good. But for how long? Most of the pleasure these activities offer last only for minutes, and later on it usually comes with regret.
Why? We know we’re to treat our bodies as temples, so that the Holy Spirit can make a home in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). We know that whatever we put in our minds should be pure and lovely (Philippians 4:8). We know that we should wait to have sex until we are in the safety net of marriage (Hebrews 13:4). We know all this, and yet we live as if we don’t have to, because we’re living for the feel-good moments.
Now I ask you, Where are you headed? Is what you’re doing helping you get there?
Hike to Sunset Rock
Last fall my roommate decided it would be a good idea to go for a hike while the weather was still nice. After searching for trails in our area, we decided we’d try hiking the Sunset Rock trail, since the trail description called it “a  leisurely walk.”
We set out on what we thought would be a relaxing stroll. Quickly we realized that in hiking terms, “leisurely walk” refers to a nearly 90-degree climb over rocks and fallen trees. Needless to say, that kind of climb wasn’t what I’d signed up for, and I was ready to turn around 10 minutes into the climb. But before I did, my roommate reminded me of the great scenery waiting for us if we made it to Sunset Rock. She talked me into pushing forward.
After an hour and a half of climbing, we reached Sunset Rock and took in an incredible view of the valley and surrounding mountains in full fall color. Had I not pushed through the exhaustion and constant nagging that made me want to make a U-turn and end the hike, I would’ve never witnessed the beauty of standing on what felt like the top of the world.
First Corinthians 2:9 says: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (NKJV).* If we choose to continue to “just have fun,” we’ll never reach the peak of the mountain and the beauty that awaits us if we have faith in Christ’s promises.
I have to disagree with Kenny Chesney’s “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven” lyrics. I refuse to believe that anything we’re doing on earth can even begin to compare with the peace, joy, and fun we’ll find in heaven. I believe that heaven is a place worth sacrificing any pleasure that earth offers.
I just hope that something I’ve written here will encourage you to give up the feel-good moments and to start living the feel-good life—a life eternal.
*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Erica Richards enjoys writing. She likes it so much that she works as a tutor at her school’s writing center. Her home is in Maryland.

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