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Thoughts on Growing Old

April 12, 2008 Leave a comment

We moved my grandmother into an assisted living facility today. She has multiple sclerosis and has regressed to the point that it’s not safe for her to live alone. It is a sad day. She’s been living alone for a few years, since my grandfather died from cancer. We hope that she will be able to make friends, and be accepted, and enjoy herself. So for that, we are relieved. No more late night phone calls for her kids, needing to pick her up off the floor. With everything going on with Bryce, it’s been a few days of deep thinking. Which is rare for me.

When we are born, for years we are totally dependent on our caretakers. We would die without their help. When we grow old, eventually, we are totally dependent on our caretakers. We would die without their help as well. Why is that? Why aren’t we born and grow to maturity in a day? Why did God create us this way? Is it because we need to learn to rely on others, like we need to rely on God? Is it so that we grow up to realize that the ones that took care of us, and kept us alive, make mistakes? And because of our closeness with them, these mistakes rock our world and make us realize that we are all sinful, when we’re hurt by the ones we love, and then the idea of God becomes more real to us? A caretaker that makes no mistakes, doesn’t yell at us when He’s mad, doesn’t forget to come to our baseball game, doesn’t forget to call on our birthdays (etc.), and cared enough that he died to save us from death? I don’t know why life is the way it is, other than God willed it that way. Someday, I will be unable to care for myself. I know it’s true, death comes to all men. But when that day comes, I’ll know I’m still loved and taken care of by the creator of the world, and that will help heal the sadness that comes with losing my independence.

Categories: Family, Life, Religion Tags: , , , ,

What is the meaning of life?

April 3, 2008 3 comments

I had a really good conversation with a friend of mine tonight…it got me thinking. I’ve been a Christian since I was a little kid. I remember vividly giving my life to Jesus when I was about 6 years old, listening to a radio program on a sunny day in our newish house. Since then, I have rededicated by life a few times in my pre-teen and teen years. I grew up in a Godly home, not that it was always easy, but in general, I have had a great life. I’ve attended good churches; very large ones, and very small ones. Both good and bad. I’ve read a lot, been taught a lot, and even went to a private, Christian college. Even with all of this, I’ve been lacking a big part of the true Christian life…

We were talking tonight about the whole prosperity message that’s being taught constantly on TV and in big mega-churches. The idea that God is going to bless you, especially if you “sow the seed”, etc. That a good Christian doesn’t suffer, and if you are, it’s due to sin, or not enough faith This has always got my blood boiling. I don’t agree with it, and I think it’s detrimental and destructive to the faith. Life as a Christian isn’t all roses and money and good times. It can be, and is, great. However, we will suffer in our lives, and that’s Biblical. We will suffer for our faith! We should rejoice in our persecution. We won’t be automatically rich because we give our lives to God. We won’t be driving Mercedes and wearing Rolex watches like the guys on TV. We shouldn’t strive for those things. I digress, and I apologize for the stream of consciousness post. It’s late, and I wanted to get this down. Anyway, this blessing message has also lulled people into a false sense of what it means to be a Christian. We seem to be so caught up in playing church, that we never leave their walls.

What do I think I’m lacking? Well, I fell into the trap of modern Christianity, which seems to be very self-absorbed. We minister in the church, and to our families. We expect to be blessed. We listen to the music, we read the books, we do a lot of good things! But, and this is where I’ve failed, we neglect to really reach out to others. To the people that need Jesus. Why is this? Fear of rejection maybe, apathy, our comfortable life, maybe just the fact that we haven’t really thought about it. What am I talking about? Reaching out to the people that Jesus would reach out to if He lived today. My coworkers, people that are hurting, our neighbors, abused children, you name them. Just showing them love, and that I care, and acting different, opening the door to being able to share what God has done in my life, and what He can do in theirs. Not standing on a soapbox and shoving the Bible down their throats, condemning and judging them for their sin, but being strategic and looking for opportunities to minister practically to the lost.

I can picture Jesus working as a carpenter, and doing the best work He could, and treating customers with integrity and respect. I can picture Him talking to his friends about their struggles. I can picture Him doing things with people that I may feel uncomfortable around, in places where I may feel uncomfortable, or even places where I think I’d be judged by friends or Christians for even being there. Homosexuals, drug addicts, people that I don’t relate to. These are the people that really need God, and the transformational power that He brings. It’s something I haven’t done well. Sure, I’ve gone on the missions trips, I’ve Marched for Jesus…but I’m talking about a daily walk, exuding love, looking for opportunities to help others. I have been too selfish, too comfortable behind church and home walls. It’s going to definitely be a work in progress, and difficult at first, and I know I won’t change overnight, but I want to be more Christ-like, and I think I’ve allowed myself to believe too much in the Hollywood version of Jesus, rather than the Biblical one. Of a man who was rejected, but continued to minister. A man of lowly means, not great looking, a laborer; but what He accomplished was incredible. We have the power of God too, and the ability to change lives. My prayer is that I can get to know Him better, so that I would be more like Him, and in the process, reach others. I also need to start now, so that my kids can grow up with this being integrated into their being, so they know that it’s a standard part of being a true Christian. In hindsight, I see that my parents did this in practical ways (foster parenting, for example), but I didn’t, for whatever reason, make it a part of who I am. I need God for that! I need to break down the barriers. We need to set goals as a family. It’s all worth it in the end. I don’t want to die leading only one or two people to Christ. Not for selfish reasons, but because of my love for God and others. Hope this all makes some sense.