Jesus: "Here is my deal for you. I will forgive you of your sins and relieve you of the guilt and fear that they have burdened you with. I will give you the assurance of eternity spent with me. I will be there throughout your life to teach, console, strengthen and bless. Just ask me and I will provide."
Me: "Wow." (I wasn't much of a wordsmith at sixteen)
Jesus: "By the way, I know that your relationship with me will lead you to a beautiful and Godly woman who will be the love of your life and who will help you become the person you want to become. You will have three wonderful sons who will all grow up to be Godly men. You will have troubles and some tragedy but I will help you through and I will use those trials for good in your life and the lives of others. So Dave, will you accept the deal?"
Me: "Is this a joke? Sure I will."
It just seems too good to be true. But it has been true in my life. If you read When Bad Christians Happen to Good People you know that Joni and I have not lived a life free of heartache. You can read the first chapter online to get an idea. But despite some difficult times it is a deal I would agree even more quickly (if possible) now.
But let's add a layer of complexity to my imagined time with Christ. When He asks if I will accept His deal I have a question.
Me: "That sounds a little too good to be true. I have done nothing and you are offering all of this for me. Are there any requirements?"
Jesus smiles and says, "Well, there a couple of things."
"Ah hah!" I reply smugly. "I knew it was too good. What's the catch?"
I picture Jesus looking at me with that gentle hint of a smile and saying, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself."
"That's it?" I ask incredulously.
"You will give me all of those things and that is all you expect?"
He nods again and speaks. "It won't be easy. You will be hurt. There will be some people that will be tough to love. I will ask you to forgive and love them. In fact, you must forgive and love them because of what I have done for you."
I consider His words. "For all that you have done for me that would seem to be the least I can do."
I picture Him looking at me with a pensive and almost sad expression. "You would think my son. You would think."