Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sportsman's Paradise

An entire room filled with fishing poles. An expansive wall glittering with guns. An elaborate building arrayed with accessories. As I strolled through the Bass Pro Outlet that recently came to our area, I was amazed at the extent of equipment that could be purchased for the hobbies of hunting and fishing. All of this to snag a smallmouth bass or kill a quail. All of this to search out prey that often provides little more than a day of fun and a free meal. We are called to be fishers of men, hunting for hearts that have yet to believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead. Our passion and zeal should far outweigh those who seek after something that will not last. The souls of men will live eternally, either in Heaven with God or in Hell, separated from Him forever. The sign at the entrance of the store read "Sportman's Paradise." Oh, Lord, help us to boldly tell sportsmen and all men that the only real paradise is knowing You.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Every Dollar

One of my favorite scenes in the movie "Mother Teresa" depicts the aging nun in a board room surrounded my members of an association that was formed to further the cause of her "Missionaries of Charity." In front of each person sits a bottle of Perrier, and as an attendant walks by, she asks, "How much does a bottle of water like this cost?" "Three dollars," he replies. "For three dollars I could feed a child in my mission for a year," Mother Teresa mutters to herself. As the director of the association calls for a decision on a crucial issue that faces them, the Mother of the "poorest of the poor" stands to her feet and declares that a decision does not need to be made because "This association no longer exists!" Something inside me shouted for joy when she made that move to dissolve what had become a bureaucracy, and I resolved again in my own heart to be mindful of the money the Lord has entrusted to us. For ten dollars I could buy another toy that my child doesn't really need or another book to sit on a shelf with the others that I haven't yet had time to read. But what could ten dollars do for the poorest of the poor? Help me, Lord, to remember the least of these.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sleepless Nights

After about two hours of taking turns rocking and soothing, we finally have Jada down for the night. Well, not really. Two hours later, the first cries crush our hopes for waking up when we're rested. More rocking, more soothing. Back to sleep. Then we may have just one more wake up call at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., but sometimes it's a few more, and sometimes it takes an hour or two before she's back to bed. When morning comes, I find myself figuring out how many hours of actual sleep time I've had, wondering if it will be enough to be coherent that day. Advice has abounded on how we can secure ourselves some more slumber, but perhaps the best advice that we have received has had less to do with catching more z's and more to do with counting up blessings. In my wakeful moments, I start counting, and as the list grows longer and longer each night, I grow more and more thankful each day. Lord, help us to keep counting and to keep fixing our eyes on You.