January 2, 2015
- Just out of curiosity… why do I get more calendars than I can find wall space for one year and the next year I get none? I don’t know either… but DO NOT flood my office or post office box with calendars!
- Every year for Christmas my kids get me the latest copy of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” No book this year. I mean there was a new one published but it was not under the tree with my name on it. I’m not complaining but… well…how should I interpret that? Don’t tell me I’m too old. If you say that then you can NEVER read the comics page in the paper ever again.
- I am so proud of my wife. Guess what she did in 2014? She consumed 110 books! I say consumed because a few of them (not many) were audio books that she listened to in the car going to and from work. Someone will say, “How does she find the time?” Hey, we all make decisions as to how we will live our lives. Some in front of a television, some at a hobby, too many at bars… reading books sounds pretty good to me.
Well, on a much more serious note… and sadder I might add. Ellen and I got away for a couple of days recently. We went and stayed at a chain hotel with a small swimming pool and hot tub. Our first night we wandered down to the pool and found ourselves in the water with an 8 year old boy, whose name escapes me right now, and his teenage sister. Their mother was on the other side of a glass wall in the exercise room. The boy was outgoing, innocent, playful, and not afraid of adults. As I began to swim back and forth in the pool he asked me if I wanted to race. Now keep in mind that the pool wasn’t much larger than a living room. We “raced” back and forth. Each time he requested a larger lead to make it fair. (I was encouraged to discover that I can at least beat an 8 year old boy in a swimming contest.) Anyway, it wasn’t long before I began to feel the pressure of our culture invading the scene. There I was, a strange, gray haired, “creepy old man,” playing in the pool with an 8 year old boy whom I did not know. Granted, my wife was there, and his mother was visible, but…
At one point he jumped on my back as I swam by. I very quickly and, I hope, discretely got him off of me. Years ago I would have been throwing that kid all over the pool and we would have had a great time, but not anymore. Not because I am no longer able, but because of our culture’s perceptions and tragically… realities. Some might say I am over reacting. REALLY?! Where do you live? That being said, under the heading of “protecting children,” we might be doing them more harm than good.
I remember when I was young and in the Boy Scouts. Our Scout Master was an amazing guy. I didn’t know this term back then but he was the first “boys’ man” I ever met. Essentially that means he was a man who knew how to relate to boys and young men. He was tough, demanding, a disciplinarian whom we respected greatly, but he also cared about us. We and he did things together that would sadly, now be looked upon with suspicion.
I don’t really know how to end this other than to point out the obvious. We live in a broken, fallen world. Satan will attempt to destroy anything that is good and wholesome. As we continue to watch the moral decline in our culture, I am baffled by those who see our direction as a good thing. The decline of “religion” is looked at as a positive reality by many. Really? If it were not for “religion” we would have no culture. We would live in the midst of man-made oppression and moral chaos. Why you ask? Because without religion there is no moral baseline. Without it, it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. Who’s to say what is good or bad, right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable?
Well, Happy New Year! Okay, the truth is this. There is “Happy”, or “Good” News. Nothing new here. Our hope as Christians will never be found in this world. Our hope is not found in our work, our hobbies, our bank accounts or even our families. If it were not for the hope found in Jesus Christ, I would be inclined to be demoralized by what I have written above. (I should add that the word “demoralize” here is an interesting one. It means to remove ones “morale”. “Morale” comes from the word “morals,” i.e., we lose our morale as we lose our morals or as we lose our sense of that for which we stand.) But I do have hope in Jesus. Oh don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days. But for the most part I know that this life is only “practice” for eternity. We can either “practice” with a firm sense of what we believe. Or we can float along, thrown to and fro by the ever changing morals of our culture. It’s up to you.