The average nuclear missile contains approximately 15 megatons of nuclear material. If one “average” nuclear bomb hit downtown Indianapolis (which is not completely unlikely, see ), the majority of everything inside of the I-465 ring and slightly past that would be heavily damaged if not utterly leveled. If you go to school at IUPUI and your family is around a 10-15 minute drive from campus, you and most likely your family will die from the blast itself or the effects of radiation poisoning. In an instant, everything your life ever was and everything it was going to be doesn’t matter anymore. I apologize for the morbid tone, but it is a fact that you live with whether you recognize it or not. Maybe your mortality isn’t real enough for you yet, let me throw another scenario at you. On the average college commuter’s day, he/she travels (via car or walking) from home to school in about 10-30 minutes liberally, eats some sort of unhealthy lunch or dinner, and probably doesn’t wash their hands every 3 hours. By living this sort of lifestyle you expose yourself to a lot of risk. The risk statistically is this: the chance of dying in a car wreck is 1/100; chance of dying by getting hit by a car is 1/36; the chance of dying by eating chick-fil-a everyday is 1/5 for heart disease and for a stroke is 1/23.  Now understand that these are national averages, and vary base on location and a lot of other environmental and individual factors, but I know of a young teenager that was just diagnosed with cancer for the second time, the likelihood of him getting cancer was 1/285 the first time. 
Obviously, normal people don’t live in fear of death everyday. We push through and pretend that death will happen when we are old and grey, which isn’t unlikely for a lot of people, but it makes us comfortable, it makes us quit questioning what’s beyond death. We leave the deep, eternally relevant questions for scholars and teachers to tell us about while we live for the weekend and the moment. I was one of them. I lived for the weekend, I took what I was told by people above me as truth and never questioned. With a lukewarm mentality of accepting whatever I was told, I walked into church, greeted people, and prayed for God to give me the strength to push through the problems of the immediate. I wasn’t a hypocrite, I tried my best to read and pray everyday, but it turned into once a week by habit, and at times once a month. How did it get to this? Lets take a quick overview of my history.
I grew up in a middle class Christian family from Anderson, Indiana. My parents took me to church every Sunday and I even went to a Christian private school from third grade to ninth grade, my dad was even a pastor at my church. As a high school sophomore, I attended my first public school and got myself into trouble. It carried over into my junior year and part of senior year. However, God got ahold of me my high school senior winter. I changed my life style, and my attitude and gave God my whole mind and heart. Fast forward to college, freshmen year, and my first college biology class. Evolution and secular thinking run unchecked and unchallenged, and for once I take it into consideration. I spoke to my father about it, but never seriously confessed my struggles with secular thought and Christian truths. Sophomore year, second semester, a new set of classes and a new set of challenges. Particularly, a new class was an outlier of the normal set of science classes: comparative religions.
In comparative religions I expected scenes from the movie “Gods Not Dead” to be relived. I prepared for blatant atheism and one-sided arguments. Instead, the instructor came off reasonable and rational. Likeable and levelheaded are the first adjectives that came to mind when meeting the instructor. His lessons came off as unbiased and evenly argued from a social and historical perspective. The class, in summary, compares all the major religions of the world to one another while informing students of each religion’s general information. My lack of base from freshmen year left me without the truth I needed to be ready for the lectures I was experiencing. Weeks pass, and I found myself questioning the religion I had always believed in, and grown up believing. The truth, in my mind, had disappeared and I was beginning to fall sway to secular reasoning. My sinful nature kicked in and laziness took hold of what I believed. For a small amount of time, I was a stereotypical millennial, only living for the weekend, and pushing aside the questions that were relative to eternity, because why question something that you aren’t for sure is even real?
I brought my questions to my Bible study group and a lot of people came and supported me. They wrote multiple short papers and blogs on why the Bible and Christianity are different. God brought me the evidence, but my laziness and sinful nature looked past it and took it for granted. I presumed I knew everything there was to know about what Christianity is and what God is. Remember, I grew up in a Christian home. This class was telling me that Christianity was just like every other religion. Nothing was different about my God. Everything about my religion only relates to the devices of man, and whatever men want from it is only for their social, political, or economic gain.
God was sick and tired of my fence riding, and one day it hit me like a disease, the feeling of being alone. My father came down to console me, and answer my immediate questions, however it became increasingly clearer for me to make an eternal choice rather than examining evidence, no more fence riding. You either make a step of faith for God, or you choose to go the way of self and sin. I was presented with evidence for faith in Christ, but a combination of doubt and laziness shaded my eyes from recognizing the choice at hand. My heart had to make a decision; because reason and logic would not find the answers it was looking for in this life.
I made the decision for Christ based on the soul reason of him giving me hope to live and for giving me something to live for. However, everyday college kids just like me don’t care about these questions, often because the answers make them accountable for an eternal decision. Little do many of them recognize is that being on the fence is a decision. Doubt is a choice, because doubt ignoring the truths and evidence that is in the world for us to examine, also its ignoring God’s role in our lives today. God wants everyone to make an eternal decision. God is real to the people that reach out and ask for the truth to become prevalent in their life. The individuals that truly search and hunt after the real truth of the world find their answers. While others that scoff and throw doubt are the ones that choose themselves as well as the broad road.
You don’t have to live in fear as a Christian, not because you choose to be ignorant of the fact you could possibly die before you are “ripe and old”, but because God has you in his hand and his plan exceeds yours. God is real in the world when you look for him, and he gives you hope that your life has more meaning than self pleasure followed by death. I hope this blog was not interpreted as a call to salvation (fire and brimstone kind of preaching), but rather a call to get off the fence.
Joseph Rodriguez, Student in Impact at IUPUI, IUPUI ROTC