Olympic “Lawn Care”

Posted on August 4, 2012. Filed under: Culture, In the News, Relationships, Spiritual Growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

What’s your favorite summer Olympic sport to watch? I’m pretty cliche enjoying gymnastics, swimming, and track. I know everyone says it, but what these people can do with their bodies is incredible. Obviously they’ve been given certain talents, but the dedication that they have to developing their skill is mind blowing. I just want to be able to consistently catch a frisbee.

This got me thinking about my lawn. Stick with me, this is going somewhere. The first thing I notice about a house is the lawn, which can tell you something about the tenant. For example, lawn gnomes usually indicate someone has an unhealthy fascination with Tolkien books. But if it’s freshly cut, edges are trim and clippings have been blown away, someone takes a lot of pride in their work. Like olympic athletes, a person who takes care of their lawn dedicates their time and energy for a higher purpose.

Ok, so not exactly the same thing. But both do require time and dedication to achieve the maximum desired outcome. In fact, almost everything in life is like this. Going to the best college requires dedication throughout high school.  Getting promoted means dedication in the workforce. Having a great marriage means dedication in your relationship.  In effect, you reap what you sow, whether its your garden or throwing a javelin.

The Bible says, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Decay and death? Isn’t that a bit too extreme? Not really when you think about it. Why do marriages end in divorce?  Why are so many of us carrying a few too many pounds? Why do we go through highs and lows in our walk with God? Because we allow it to happen.

Whether it’s relationships, our health or our careers, things falter and eventually ‘die’ because without willful thought, we’re always going to turn inward, seeking to gratify ourselves. We naturally neglect what we shouldn’t, letting life simply happen to us and to our relationships. Instead, we need to invest time and resources to that which matters most. Take time to pray. Have an uninterrupted conversation with your friend. Read a book on improving your marriage even if it’s going great. Practice hand-eye coordination with your toddler…

Craig Groeschel wrote, “When the grass is greener on the other side, it’s time to start watering your lawn.”  The next time you’re admiring an athlete’s skills, another couple’s intimacy or maybe just their lawn, ask yourself, “Am I sowing what I expect to reap? Is it time I water my lawn?”

 

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Eye Contact or iphone?

Posted on August 17, 2011. Filed under: Culture, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

iPhone vs. iPhone 3G

Image by Ricky Romero via Flickr

Is staying connected keeping you from connecting with others? According to a survey I recently read, 26% of smart phone users admit to regularly using their phone while at dinner. I don’t think it’s because they are making phone calls. Nope, I’m pretty sure that this is evidence that more and more Americans desire to stay connected with the digital world. The exclamation point and the word “you’re” aren’t the biggest casualties of social networking; our social lives are.

Would Jesus use email, Twitter, and Facebook (cause let’s face it, He wouldn’t be using MySpace)? Sure, why not. But I don’t think He’d be using His smart phone to check for Lazarus’s latest tweet during the Last Supper. Instead, I think He’d be focusing on whom He was with, giving that person His undivided attention.

At the end of Chapter 10 in Luke, Christ and the disciples went to the home of Martha and Mary. While Martha was busy with preparations for the meal, Mary sat by the Lord, soaking up the time she had with Him. Naturally, Martha protested that Mary should be helping her instead of relaxing while Martha did all the busy work. Jesus gently corrected Martha (don’t want to upset the chef before meal time) by proclaiming that Mary was in the right and that Martha had lost sight of the most important part of hosting: the guests.

Okay, so Martha wasn’t exactly texting while JC was telling the latest parable. But if something as understandable as preparing for the Son of God to enter your home is considered obsolete, how much more would emailing work be? Let’s face it; no matter how important we think we are, we aren’t that important (Gal 6:3). When we start to believe our lives are more important than spending quality time with our “loved” ones, there will be consquences.

The Parable of the Great Banquet in Luke’s chapter 14, tells the story of a man who prepared a great banquet (as opposed to a lame one) and invited all his favorite people. One by one his guests gave the man a seemingly legitimate excuse for why they couldn’t come. The man became angry and decided to invite the not so great people who would appreciate him to the banquet instead. While this is a parable about the Kingdom, I believe it still speaks truth to our subject at hand. If we would rather stay attached to smart phones and work emails rather than connecting with those in front of us, we shouldn’t be surprised when they “de-friend” us.

The friends’ latest work out of the day can wait. The text message will be there in an hour. The political junkie will put up another rant in 17 minutes (I promise, I will). So let’s free ourselves and our company from the iphones, droids, and blackberries. After all, which banquet guest would you rather be remembered as: the guy who missed out on the greatest feast in town because he was busy with his ox (Luke 14:19) or the blind guy sitting at the head of the table with the drum stick?

PS-Please post this blog to your Facebook status

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