Saturday, July 27, 2019

A Worthy Investment

Meraki [may-rah-kee] - is a word that the Greeks used to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself (your soul, creativity, or love) in your work. When you love doing something with that kind of intensity, whatever it is, you pour all of who you are into it. This can be your passion for Christ, your love for your children, your career, or your love of music or sports. Whatever you pour yourself into, whatever you go to sleep thinking about, whatever drives your deepest ambitions, that is your meraki.

Side bar: I think its interesting that there is no English equivalent to this word in our language. (Though the word reminds me of a Japanese word in the peaceful way it rolls off of the tongue.)

So let's get to it, what would you say are the meraki in your life? And remember, it may not be a thing, it may be a person. So why don't you grab a piece of paper, turn off your phone, (or at least the notifications) and focus your thoughts. Think deeply about what really holds your heart captive. Is it your job, entertainment, pleasure, social media, numbness, friends, enemies, justice, politics, what is coming to the forefront of your mind right now?

If you are still seeking clarity, examine your fiances and your calendar. We always find time (and money with rare exceptions . . . ) for the things we love and value. But I would encourage you to take this experiment one step further; select someone close to you and ask them to describe your passions. This could be anyone, your spouse, child, best friend, co-worker, anyone who has spent quality time with you and knows what you are like when you take off your mask.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Footprints . . .

As I write this entry the world is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing tomorrow, July 20th, 2019. I remember my parents allowing my brother and I to stay up way past our bedtime to watch the grainy footage on our black and white TV and listen to the immortal words of Neil Armstrong as he became the first human to walk on the moon. I remember watching his boots sink into the moon surface as he descended from the Lunar Explorer and thinking, "I wonder how long those footprints will last?" And my second thought was more reflective, "I wonder if I will do anything in my life that will outlast my years on this planet?" Weird thoughts for a nine-year old I know but trust me, if you asked anyone who knew me as a child, this is pretty typical for how my childhood brain worked.

One of the many stories celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing had to do with preserving the artifacts that are already on the moon. This includes the Lunar Modules, Lunar Buggies, American Flags and the footprints of the astronauts themselves. Without interference by man, those footprints will probably last as long as the moon itself. The reason they will endure is because unlike on Earth, there is no erosion by wind or water on the moon. It has no atmosphere and all the water on the surface is frozen as ice. We actually have more to fear from aliens or astronauts from other countries on earth erasing the footprints than the natural processes of the moon itself.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Joy In Suffering

"Joy" and "Suffering" are not words that most of us would group together. In fact, with the state of the world around us, joy would seem to be in short supply. But just like most things in this life, the Bible teaches us a different truth.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1: 2-4)

James is telling us that apart from trials, our faith and character will never achieve their full potential. In fact, he is promising us that our suffering will result in our characters being perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. God is promising us perfection through His glorification which can only be brought about through the testing of our faith. But this is not the only verse discussing the binding of suffering and the deepening of our faith . . .

Friday, July 05, 2019

Missed It By That Much . . .

One of my favorite television shows growing up was "Get Smart". The hero in this show, Max, stumbled into victory despite his best efforts, and uttered these words several times due to his propensity for clumsiness, "Missed it by that much!".

I wanted to start with this humorous anecdote because the rest of this blog addresses a more serious topic. It is of little surprise to anyone who is paying attention to world affairs that this world is more divided than ever before. I'm not talking about politically, socially or even economically. I'm talking about the great divide, between those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and those who do not. There appears to be three cultural camps holding sway in the world, two of which are opposed to the truth of Jesus Christ. This puts most of the world in direct conflict with everything I believe.