As a church planter, husband, father and all around manly man. I feel the need to confess that I have a love-hate relationship with accountability. I find my self 58 years into life, 38 years into a marriage, 36 years as a father, six years into our planting/revitalization journey, and I have been a manly man ever since the first time I got my butt kicked on the vacant lot near my house as a child. I have learned some essential things about accountability in my venture through life that I would like to share with you. I believe my life lessons apply to everyone’s lives, so I wanted to take some time and share some of these hard-learned truths with you.
Participation in life is not optional. At some level, everyone has to engage. We have to realize and accept that some days are going to be rainy and cold. I am writing this blog today because I want to know and understand when we as a society lost the ability to lose? We must realize, both winning and losing, are a way of life. We can not always win! We do not continually get our way. Let’s get generational for a second. As a baby boomer, I learned early in my life that I was not always going to win. My little league team did not win every game, and I survived. I did not win every fight on the vacant lot near my house, but I would go back the next day. When I joined the military and went to boot camp there was no such place as a “safe place,” and yet I still made it through. Competition has always forced me to try harder. When I do lose, I walk away from the event knowing that I had worked my hardest. I sometimes have to accept I have been bested and move on. My upbringing will not allow me to be a sore loser no matter how hard it might be to admit and take. Participation is a virtue, choosing to get into the game is a good thing. Involvement does not warrant a trophy, winning does! So we should be excited winners and gracious losers.
I want to start this post telling you how incredibly frustrated I am. I got up this morning on the right side of the bed to a beautiful sunrise. I was able to get some work done and enjoy some quiet time in my favorite chair at home. I needed to go by to the office for a bit while my wife was going to attend a 9:30 a.m. Bible Study. So, we headed out leaving the house about 8:55 a.m. My wife wanted to stop by Whataburger (which she has this convenient app with cash on it) to get something to drink before going to the Study. We get to the fast food restaurant and there are two cars in line at the drive-through with no one at the window. I automatically think that this is going to be a fast evolution and then I will be on my way in just a couple of minutes. It was nine o’clock a.m. when I pulled up behind two other customers. At 9:06 a.m. I finally made it to the speaker. Here is what takes place:
Good morning, after completing my morning routine of drinking coffee and watching the local and then national news I cannot help but think the world would be a better place if we made it a point to be kind to one another. I read again this morning the great Apostle Paul’s statement to the Church at Ephesus. He said, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Many have written about this before. There is a line in an old Don Henley song that says:
In the past year and a half, I have been noticing a trend that we as a people are going to have to think through. We have become so desensitized and overwhelmed by all that is taking place in the news around us. The 24-hour news outlets which are led by the extreme fanatics on the right and left drone continually with their politically laced communications, bombarding overwhelmed Americans with a non-stop message of self-interest.
I am wondering where honor has gone?
Has anyone seen this virtue lately?
Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping, into the future.
Our country is in a hot mess these days, and because of selfishness and self-centeredness, I cannot see things drastically changing in the coming months. I believe in the Holy Scriptures and am very thankful that God is in control and Sovereign. But I also think that He is not very happy with us as a group of people right now.
My news feed is full this morning!
I have been in ministry for a long time. While there are benefits for longevity, there are also some pitfalls. I want to address one of the traps. I was reminded early this morning about the need for intense prayer. Let’s get real for a minute. Any believer worth their salt know about and understand the importance of prayer. Many times because of busyness we allow this critical function to fall by the wayside. I want to present to my readers this morning that daily prayer is much more than knowing about and recognizing the need for powerful prayer. Many believe that the demise of our great country began when prayer was taken out of our public school systems. My friend Mike reminded me this morning that the problem started when we took prayer out of the church. We pray, but we have made it part of our program. We often run through it quickly to allow us time to accomplish other things. Friends, we need to hear from God. Hearing from God is vital!