Are You A Zombie?

Our society is fascinated with zombies. On Sunday, October 16, Season Two of Walking Dead, a television drama showing the life of a small town policeman after the zombie apocalypse premiered and broke a ten year-old ratings record for the most watched drama in basic cable history. Zombies are the thing.

In case you have been holed up in a time capsule, a zombie is a creature who is still here on this earth, wandering around, feasting on flesh, yet for all intents and purposes, they are dead. Hence the name, walking dead.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why would a pastor be writing an article about zombies?” Even if you aren’t wondering, I will tell you. I think we have the walking dead among us. Now they don’t go around and literally eat flesh, but they don’t really live.

Last week we talked about vampires and how we can be like them and be life suckers rather than life givers. Zombies take us in a different direction. Zombies can be wandering around but not really living. They are the walking dead.

Jesus came so that we could have life and live it to the fullest extent (John 10:10). All too often we focus on His work of salvation, that he died on the cross so that our sins could be washed away and we can have a right relationship with God. Now that is important, but he also claims that he came for us to have a better life before we die. It’s not just about some great, future reward.

Now, you might be thinking, “The Christian life sucks. Who would want to live that way?” In regards to many “Christian” lives you may be right. But all Christians fail to live the life that Jesus wants them to live. This isn’t some great conspiracy of hypocrisy. It is just that we are human. We fail to do the things we know we should do and continue to do the things we shouldn’t do. The difference between a Christian and others is that a Christian should never be prideful about their life because they should recognize that they fail to live up to the ideal they are striving to attain.

Struggling to arrive at the ideal life of Jesus is what makes one a follower of Jesus. Oftentimes we get confused into thinking that a theological position, a intellectual belief, reciting some prayer, or being baptized makes us a follower of Jesus, but those things, although important, just don’t get us there. It is the day in and day out struggle to live the life of Jesus in the here and now, with the understanding that God’s grace covers the ground between where we are at and the place we are supposed to be.

That doesn’t sound too fulfilling though, does it? A day in and day out struggle. Who wants that? But we have no problem struggling for things we really want and know will pay off in the end. Many of us have struggled through years of school in order to get to where we want to be, and then we continue to struggle in our careers to be successful. Others of us struggle to raise good children. Some struggle to master a sport. We have no problem struggling for the things, even if we are deluded, that we really believe will make us and those around us better.

It is in this struggling that life is really lived. And that is what makes the difference between zombies and the living.

Some of us have faced tragedy, tough circumstances, or even success, by pulling back into ourselves, focusing solely on our own selfish world. We have become zombies of sorts. When our world becomes about meeting our desires and ignoring the needs of those around us, we become the walking dead. Others go through similar terrible circumstances and continue to strive after who they were made to be; they are the truly living.

It’s your choice. Will you be a zombie, devouring those around you? Or will you be the living, striving for the best in a world that is falling apart. We are called to be the living, not the walking dead.