Yesterday, I heard the big brown truck before I saw it.Continue reading
About this time each year I feel compelled to offer the same brief advice, specifically to my fellow Christians.Continue reading
Sometimes I have to go to work really early or get home from work really late.
Both mean making as little noise as possible (I’m talking to you, front door). And changing in the dark (OK, Google, turn off the light).
And visits to a darkened bedroom to kiss a child.
Her bed used to be smaller. Much smaller. Rails and bumpers. That pink blanket.
And there’d she lay.
While the words of a tired prayer reached up, I’m pretty sure He heard. Not entirely sure she did. Maybe. Still still.
But then this morning. 5:02.
Two steps in. A sleepy eye, opened.
“Have a good day, Daddy.”
All is well.
I unequivocally, completely, categorically refuse to take the bait.
I’m not gonna ridicule.
I’m not gonna scorn.
I’m not gonna assume.
And I’m not gonna mock.
Call it naive. Doesn’t matter.
It’s gonna be both.
Conviction and conversation.
Principle and humility.
Mouth and ears.
Life’s too short to be small.
Too eternal to be petty.
Too important to earn irrelevance.
People. All of ’em.
I refuse not to see it.
Think. Not react.
I’m not gonna hate the other side.
Either of ’em.
However correct I may feel about something, increased volume tends to compromise credibility.
Persuasion in the context of love rarely needs a microphone.
Wise is the one who recognizes the relationship between tone and reception. Between content and delivery. Between message and method.
Forgetting any of this makes it possible to be right and wrong at the same time.
Remembering any of this makes it possible to communicate more effectively, disagree more fairly, respect more fully, and love more genuinely.
Sure don’t have everything figured out. About politics or a lot of things. But a few thoughts for your consideration:
What we believe and how we represent it are inseparable. Passionate and compelling or passionate and ignored. It’s our choice.
Being a good Christian might mean being a bad Republican or bad Democrat.
God loves the people of America. And Zimbabwe. Equally.
Whoever wins, God put them there (see Bible).
All power is temporary.
What God’s doing in the world doesn’t hinge on November. He’s not that small.
There’s a big difference between vertical and horizontal. Pull up. Peace and perspective are neighbors.
Sarcasm at its root is pride. Labeling is easy and lazy. And choir preaching isn’t leading.
Secure people rarely shout.
The ends don’t justify the means. That’s called amorality. Excused character corrupts good policy, and leads to future irrelevance.
Learn to cheer with humility and concede with grace. You’ll have the chance to do both.
If you hate a Christian who votes differently than you, you really don’t love God (see Bible).
The amount of emotional energy we put into our respective exultation or disappointment with the election results gives a hint as to whether idolatry is in play.
God’s a lot of things. Surprised isn’t one of them.
This isn’t all there is.
No, really. This isn’t all there is.
Why is today so significant?
Nearly 3,000 reasons come to mind.And a couple others.
For those of us who look back to a Tuesday nearly two decades ago, we instantly possess, if for only a day, two invaluable things. Humility and perspective.
If you’re too young to remember it, take my word. That morning nineteen years ago, the world felt really small.
In a matter of moments, almost everything changed. Our confidence convulsed. A gaping hole tore through our exceptionalism. And we watched with horror the what and the how, marked in real-time the when, and searched our understanding in vain for the who and the why. Our national knees hit the ground hard.
We were humbled. All of us.
And simultaneously we realized what was actually most important in life.
Not politics. Not winning arguments. Not sports. Not opinions that a later social media would inflame.
The possession of it. And the things in it.
Family. Children. Friends. Neighbors. Faith. Things carved into the granite of our existence. Stable, sometimes-forgotten, unmovable things. Things broken hearts and minds reach for.
Here’s a hard truth. September 12th is coming. Today’s pause and reflection is going to be replaced. By uglier things. We’re going to shift away as quickly as we were plunged in.
Because humility’s not comfortable. Control is king. Or so we think.
And perspective is hard. Horizontal theatrics are so much easier than vertical thinking. Forging ahead beats pulling up. Or so we think.
So, before the day’s over and that unfortunate and inevitable shift occurs, a couple of reminders.
Let’s love people. Let’s cast aside hidden hoops, qualified kindness, and the tendency to huddle with people just like us. If we leave a residue, let it attract and not repel.
As we passionately debate, let’s not do it poorly. Resist the blood-thirsty choir. Stop the inane shares. Discover what dialogue means. Two ears, one mouth. Let’s use them proportionately. As we seek to make points, may we do so without making enemies.
And may the memory of what happened nineteen years ago soften our rough edges, remind us of what we have in common with one another, and cause us to believe that humbled, misty-eyed people learn well, walk worthy, and never forget.
As the day gets started, please remember God’s proximity to your life.
He’s not just observing. He is with you. Alongside. Adjacent.
Through all that happens today… the good, the challenging, the ups and the low points… there.
If you’re feeling anxious, tell him. If you need reassurance, ask him. He has a way of bringing others into your orbit to provide confidence to you that he’s listening.
Every moment of a day called Today, he’s there.
At no point are you alone. Walk on. Aware and believing that your life’s audience includes the One who created it.
While running this morning I met a guy named Roger.
He was directing traffic for a gas/utility company that was doing work on a nearby line. Continue reading