Harry Styles and Larry Ellison. I mean, I don’t want to brag or anything, but I know them. They are kind of my friends. And if you’re not impressed with that, it can only mean one thing. You have no idea who they are. So here are some fast facts.
Larry Ellison is the CEO of a California-based software company called Oracle. He also happens to be the 5th wealthiest man on the planet, worth an estimated $48 billion.
Every March, I go to Indian Wells, CA to work as an emcee for the BNP Paribas Open: a professional tennis event owned by…yep, you guessed it…Larry Ellison. For over a week, every year, I work for the multibillionaire mogul. Together, he and I get to enjoy some of the world’s best tennis. Again, not trying to boast, I’m just saying, “we’re friends.”
Speaking of names that end in “arry”, Harry Styles is a member of the British pop band One Direction (ask your kids who they are). He’s my man. Not only were we born in the same month; we were born in the same country; in hospitals just 2 hours removed (granted, 2 decades apart). Other than that, we both love music and wear afros fairly well. Again, not trying to name drop, just saying, “we’re friends!”
Now, a small detail worth mentioning is the fact that in all my years of working at the aforementioned tennis event, I’ve never actually met Mr. Ellison (let alone had any kind of conversation with him). If you asked him if he knows Kondo, I bet he’d assume you meant a minimum. Sure, he may sign the paycheck of the guy who signs mine, but he could not pick me out of a crowd of 1. Other than that, I’m his friend. Okay, distant employee. Whatever!
And Harry? O Harry. I’ve heard of his mono directional quintet, but I’ve never actually listened to a single one of his songs. Born in the same country, but never been in the same room. Everything I know about him I learned on Wikipedia…yesterday. Other than that, I’m his friend. Okay, stalker. Whatever!
Listen to what Jesus once said to His disciples. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
We are so excited to be starting a new series called “LINGER: An Invitation to Discover & Delight.” The point? When it is all said and done, the Creator and CEO of the galaxies invites us to be His (for real) friends. Crazy!
Because I can’t help but wonder if too many of us haven’t settled to stalk Jesus or work for Him from a distance when the offer of actual friendship is ours. We’ve researched and gathered a whole lot of information about Him (on Biblepedia). We even know and sing His songs. Some of us have worked for Him for years, running His religious errands. Not to mention, every week we attend this event He owns called Church. And yet we can’t really call Him Friend.
So, together, in this series, we want to see that Jesus is inviting us far beyond working for Him or knowing about Him. He wants an up-close and personal relationship with us. Our Maker and Savior wants to know us. He wants us to truly know Him. More than stalkers and employees, He wants real friends who discover and delight in Him, because THAT is what Eternal Life is really about.