Friday, May 04, 2012

What Blessings Have I Missed?

After reading a story like the one that follows, I have to wonder what blessings, what ministry opportunities I've missed because of impatience. What would I have done if I was behind the wheel of that cab? Would I have driven on? Would I have hurried to the destination? Would I have missed the simple blessing of giving a moment of joy to another human being?

And am I missing blessings today because I am in too much of a hurry? Am I too focused on John that I'm missing the simple needs of the people that are silently waiting for a kind word or a kind touch?

If you are touched (or shamed) by this story, please share it.

John <><

Full, but Unsatisfied

Do you ever get that feeling when you've been grazing or snacking because you want to eat something but don't really know what you want? Before you know it, you're full but you haven't satisfied yourself with anything that is good or good for you. You've eaten a bunch of garbage, you feel full but you wish that you had eaten something else. Then if something good does come to mind, it's too late. You're already full.

Yeah, I've done that -- too often.

It's easy to recognize when we do it in regards to food and feeding our bodies. I think that it's more difficult to recognize those same characteristics when it comes to feeding our intellect or our spirit but I believe that the same principles apply. If we load up on junk news, junk philosophy, junk theology, junk attitudes -- we just end up full of junk. Full, but unsatisfied.

We look to places like the news media --Fox News, CNN, MSNBC (pick your poison)--for our truth throughout the week, and then wonder why we're in conflict with what we hear in church on the weekend. We are willing to spend hours watching anything from sporting events to Ellen to a wide range of reality shows that take us from obese people losing weight to a race around the world, but we are unwilling to spend a few minutes each day reading our Bibles or even receiving a little intellectual stimulation from reading something from history or classic literature.

We allow the news events and the news reporters (along with politicians and preachers...Did I really just put those two in the same category?) to color our view of the world and that just gives us conflicting images of how our world is perceived by different people. I don't think that people are really interested in truth any more. I think that we just want to hear a truth that works for us. We've become spiritually obese and intellectually obese to go along with the physical obesity that plagues our country. We are fat and full (of something) but under nourished and under exercised. We've been filling our hearts and our minds with soft, fluffy junk (think Twinkies) and missing out on the good stuff.

I hear organizations like Focus on the Family and preachers like Richard Land get on the radio talking about a Christian world view and it makes me sick. I wish they would just call it what it is -- their own opinion, their own world view. In the fall of 2009 I wrote this piece expressing my thoughts on a "Christian world view." The comments on this blog weren't bad but I did receive some pretty harsh condemnation for my heresy in calling a Christian world view and oxymoron.

Perhaps the reason that these things come to mind is because I've slipped back into some old eating habits after a couple of months of doing pretty well. I can tell that my body reacts very negatively to junk food and pretty positively to good food. Sticking to good foods and appropriate portions takes some effort. The same is true for the spirit, the mind and the attitude. 

I'm going to take small positive steps in each area. Running a mile today would probably kill me. So I'm not going to. Reading the entire Old Testament today would probably put me to sleep. So I'm not going to do that either. 

But today...
I will eat no junk food.
I will get some exercise.
I will read some of my Bible.
I will have a good, positive attitude.
I will help a friend.

Yeah, this will be a good day. At the end of it, I hope to say that it was full and I am satisfied.

John <><