Moments Like This

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It’s moments like this that reveal the truth that often, instead of giving ourselves to people, we give things to people.

This was the reaction of author Will Davis, Jr when being interviewed on the news the afternoon of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting a week ago.

I’ve been waiting to post this blog.

I didn’t want my reaction to be knee-jerk, or unsympathetic, or drowned out by the over-saturated media on this tragedy.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote.

It’s moments like this…

Here it is, the weekend before Christmas. The first thing on most people’s minds is me, me, me… parties, presents, pageants, punch… Hoping we get what we wanted, hoping they will be impressed by what we got them, and hoping we don’t gain too much weight from all the gorging that will take place… and hoping the credit card bill isn’t more than we can handle.

There are families that have abruptly had their focus changed (and that is not reserved only for those in Newtown, CT).

It’s moments like this…

There are gifts under the tree that won’t be opened early on December 25th by excited little children.

What saddens me is the reality that we think about the unopened gifts, and there are now mom’s and dad’s that could care less about those gifts.

All they want is one more hug, one more smile, one more, “I love you.”

It’s moments like this…

The stuff doesn’t matter.
The time spent working overtime, not to pay the bills, but just to get more stuff.

The relationships do matter.
The time spent sitting in the Lazyboy while our children are starved for attention. (I’m just as guilty as anyone.)

How much of ourselves to we give to others, versus how much stuff we give to others?
Do the gifts attempt to make up for the lack of relationship?

As I ran around outside with my 3-year-old daughter today, I had this overwhelming sense of investment. One thousand Christmas gifts could not touch the investment into her little heart today. Stuff can be replaced, repurchased, and re-gifted… but a life? Never.

It’s moments like this…

The ultimate gift? Jesus Christ.
Sent from a heavenly Father that loves us, and wants to invest in us.

Does He give us things? Yes.
But His ultimate, and overwhelmingly significant gift for us? Relationship.
Eternity with Him because of what His Gift, Jesus, did while on earth.

It’s moments like this that reveal the truth that often, instead of giving ourselves to people, we give things to people.

This holiday season let’s change that.

Steve

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Perspective

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A thought about community and generational gaps after some good reading last night from one of my new mentors (via books).

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Perception is reality…

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… sort of.

My three-year-old daughter is absolutely convinced that the fox from Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham is not, in fact a fox, but a pig. She is so convinced, that when she watches the cartoon version on DVD, she yells at the television, “No, it’s a pig!

Post-modernism says that perception is reality, what’s good for you is good for you and what’s good for me is good for me, and we can hold very different beliefs yet both be right. My truth may be different from your truth, but we can both have truth, even if those truths are contradictory.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NLT)

Truth is truth. Despite one’s perception of truth, it doesn’t change. You can think the fox is a pig all you want, but the fact of the matter is, it’s a fox.

You are either right or wrong in your perception of the information. Once presented with the truth, you can either accept it and change, or reject it and continue in a false reality.

Choose change (and I’m not talking about Obama’s perception of “change”).

The next day…

I know it’s the day after Easter, but the reality of the empty tomb should resonate every day!

And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:7

The following video depicts the resurrection of Christ through the eyes of Mary Magdalene.
Be blessed.

What’s in a name?

Abraham Lincoln — 16th President of the United States of America

Autographs.

Why are they worth money?

What is it about some pen on paper, or silver paint marker on a photograph or Sharpie on a part of your body that suddenly says, “This is valuable.”

Is it the accomplishments of that individual?
Is it what the individual stands for, or once said, or is attempting to do?

Tiger Woods — Professional Golfer

I was thinking about this today while listening to ESPN radio on my way to the office.
The discussion was about the perception that Tiger Woods is a “jerk” because he won’t sign autographs.
(That is a different discussion for a different time.)

Why do we want autographs from people?
Aren’t they just people?

What is it about our culture that causes us to stand outside of a stadium, or tour bus, or in line at a bookstore so that we can get get the signature of someone on an object that will be framed, cherished, and/or never washed again?
(Ever hear someone say, “I’ll never wash this part of my body again!”? Please, sir… I’m begging you… wash it.)

I’ve done it.
When I was a teenager, I got Third Day‘s signatures on my t-shirt at the water park in the middle of the summer. I think Rebecca St. James, too. I never washed the t-shirt, and then threw it away when the once-white shirt was a golden yellow color.
I’ve bragged about my autographed copy of @ScottWilliamsChurch Diversity book. I tell people about it as if Scott and I are friends.
My most proud autographs are of two US Men’s National Soccer Team players; and more specifically, US Soccer Hall of Famer Marcello Balboa (who I played soccer with in the mall in North Attleboro, MA).

It’s as if it brings some sort of false validation.
It allows us to feel important for a moment… brag on our brushes with celebrity.
But, does that instantly add monetary value to ink?

    What about you?

  • Have you ever waited for an autograph?
  • How did it make you feel when you got it?
  • Have you ever been snubbed by a celebrity?
  • Have you since washed that part of your body?(You don’t have to share that part if you didn’t.)

Thinking about things of REAL value today…

Steve

Bono — Lead Singer of U2