Rejecting Quiet Time

I put both boys down for some quiet time today.  Daniel seemed to embrace it.  He took one final sip of water, grabbed his blanket, and hid his head in the recesses of slumber.  I watched him long enough to know that he was tired and his eyes were closed.
Five minutes later…

If you work with children, or humans, you know how life-altering five minutes can be.

Five minutes later I hear the door to his room.  It opens.  It closes.  I think I survived!

Nope.  He is rejecting quiet time.  Daniel is sitting outside of his room.  He is talking to himself.  Now he is yelling for me.  Now he is pushing a toy tractor around the room.

Life moves pretty fast around the mindscape of a 20 month old.  

Oh I know why he does it.  There is so much to do – so much to see – so much to distract.

I get distracted as well.  Maybe we all do?  

Here is an election.  Here is a tsunami.  Here is a church service.  Here is a toy tractor in the hands of a son that should be sleeping.

Are you rejecting quiet time too?  It is so easy even a two-year-old can do it.

What are the benefits to putting down the distraction and being silent?  Just for a little bit.  Try five minutes.  Try stopping.  Try listening.  Try meditating.  (And try helping me convince my Daniel.) (Try helping God convince me.)

Thomas Merton said, “If you love truth, be a lover of silence.”

Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool, when he keeps silent is considered wise…”  

Today, Jesus, help me not reject quiet time.  Help me hear You.

  

Peanut Butter on the Ceiling

Every day when I got home I would watch a show called “321 Contact”.
Often, 321 Contact would feature a story about the amazing Spider-Man.
Spidey could shoot webs from his hands and do flips on command and…

Climb up walls and on ceilings.

Guess who wanted to be Spider-Man.

The problem:  Spider-Man was bitten by a radio active spider.  I would have to come up with a different catalyst.  I chose the stickiest substance I knew – peanut butter – and put it all over my fingers.  Then I tried to crawl across the ceiling.  In retrospect, I probably should have tried creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy, but the adventure was TOTALLY WORTH IT!

A smattering of peanut butter on the ceiling is the proof of the power of hope.

Hope fuels faith.

Today, my desire to emulate Spider-Man has diminished, but my HOPE has GROWN.

I hope to look like Jesus.

This hope does not require peanut butter.  It requires a heart.  It requires a mind.  It requires a life.

I used the whole jar of peanut butter to accomplish my goal of being like Spidey.
I will use my whole life to look like Christ.

Let me invite you to hear the story of a Hero.  His name is Jesus and He has changed my life.  I will never look just like Him, and I will always try to look just like Him.

A smattering of my old life is proof of the power of His transformation.  And that transformation is TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Want to try something better than walking across your ceiling?  Come meet this Jesus.

Technically

Technically he is skiing.  He has skis on his feet.  He is on the snow.  He is dressed like a skier.  He is moving downhill at a speed greater than walking.  Technically…

Technically he is skiing, but we are just experiencing the foreshadow of a skier.  Someday, Daniel will strap on his own boots and skis.  He will ride the chair lift on his own and find a patch of white gold far away from the magic carpet training facility.  He will fly down the mountain with speed and a smile.  Mom and dad will be in the background praying for safety – knowing that we cannot supply it anymore.  He will be unencumberred until he reaches the beginning of the mountain and then, he will begin again.

Technically he is skiing.  Someday though, he will be skiing!

I hope.  I hope Daniel does not settle for technically.  I hope he explores the limits and boundaries of being on the mountain.  I hope he refuses to be guarded at every turn.  I hope he wants to do this for himself.  I hope he sees how much I like skiing and falls more in love with it than I.

All of us live, technically.  But not all of us live.  

We look like we have life.  We breathe, we smile, we speak.  We walk around with people we love and hope for the best.  We are living.  Technically… 

We feel, however, in our hearts an absence.  Something is holding us from full life.

To those that are hurting with this emptiness, I have experienced one truth:

Life with Jesus Christ as your Lord is living to the fullest.  John 10:10

You may not believe me.  I didn’t believe it the first time I heard it either.  So watch me.  Watch closely.  Ask questions.  Today might be the day that you strap on your skis and experience life.  I hope you do.

  

Jesus, do not let us settle for technically.  Amen.

Smiling in the Storm

A family came up to me at the reception and the 4 year old asked, “How come you and Ben’s mom and dad were smiling during the funeral?”

Ben passed away a month ago.  He would be married and 33 this year.  All of our questions lead to one heartbreaking question:  why?

Mitch and Lynne did not dwell on that question.  They have a confidence, a boldness.  They KNOW one thing as they think of their son:  There is more in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:1  ”For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

God is not done with you after yesterday.  

Did you make mistakes yesterday?  God is not done.   Did you excel at everything?  God is not done.  Did you hope, lose hope, fear, love, fly or fall? 

God has another present under the tree for you; another egg hidden in the yard.  It is better than all the others.  It is Jesus.

Jesus has no tombstone, no grave, but He does have a house…for you.

And that is why we smile in the storm.

Ben, see you later!