Entry for May 11, 2009

May 11, 2009

Resisting the Future

I had the privilege of giving the baccalaureate address to the graduates of East Beauregard High School recently and I envisioned the message being upbeat and bright but when I saw all the faces looking back at me it sobered me sufficiently to change my tone. I kept thinking about all of the directions that they were getting ready to go and all of the obstacles stacked against them. I wanted to be able to talk to them individually and warn them of the pitfalls that were quickly approaching. Then I remembered how little I was willing to listen after graduating from high school. Unfortunately my only opportunity to influence the graduating class of 2009 was during that 15 minutes the other night. As much as I want to help them and my own children avoid the pain and difficulty that comes from bad choices, the best thing that can be done is to model Christ before them and be ready when the trials of life make them ready to listen and learn.

Christianity is better caught than taught.

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Family

April 19, 2009

It seems to me that without family connections there is little stability or purpose. I am not talking just about the biological family groups that are normally thought of. Family can take on many different forms. I think of family in terms of support network. As I watch how a majority of families work however I see that there is an incredible expectation of benefit but not such a high expectation of responsibility. I know that family is supposed to be a place that loves you no matter what but at the same time, family should hold us accountable at the same time that it holds us up. I have always been struck by how much easier it is to avoid disciplining one of my own children as opposed to holding them accountable for the standard of conduct that is expected within our household. I think the same thing is true within the church family as well. It is just easier not to get involved in the messy details and risk of holding someone accountable for a biblical standard of conduct. The result of a lack of responsibility within a biological or a spiritual family are the same. The family begins to lose stability and purpose and in the end, becomes dysfunctional.

Making sense of tragedy

April 16, 2009

I have been very concerned lately about my younger brother who was severely injured in Afghanistan three weeks ago. He is currently in Walter Reed army hospital in Washington D.C. His injuries may not allow him to walk again but just the fact that he is alive and alert is a great praise at this point. What greatly upsets me about his injury is that it was completely avoidable. It was a friendly fire incident that occurred through neglect and carelessness. In trying to make sense of a tragedy like this. It brings into question the goodness of God and his ability to take care of his children. It is a struggle for me because of what I know will never be possible again. Things like playing one-on-one with my little brother again. Just seeing him standing on his own two legs seems like a stretch right now. The damage that has been done cannot be reversed, humanly speaking. I wonder how often we relate the irreversible damage that we can to with our words to the physical damage of a bullet. James refers to the damage that the tongue can do and even when we may not intend for people to get hurt, we still have wounded people in our wake. These wounds are also completely avoidable. As to how a good God can allow a seemingly senseless act to take place. We have to come to the same conclusion as Job did, that we came into the world naked and will leave it without anything as well but all along the way, the name of the Lord is to be blessed.