Archive for October, 2008

Going through the motions

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

The other morning I reached for my contact case, opened one side and there was no contact. I looked again and then it dawned on me that I had already put it in my eye. (I had to cover one eye at a time and I could see clearly out of both, whew, I hadn’t lost one…) 

I thought, how could I go through the motions with something so important? But I mindlessly go through some things in my day. I can remember getting a few blocks down the street and wondering, did I close the garage door, turn off the iron or coffee pot? (What else have you done?)

Those are little things that could have a big impact on your life. If you’ve been a Christ follower for very long then you may have had those moments, too. In the middle of the day you may find yourself wondering what scripture you read in your devotional or in a hurried moment of a busy day, you realize you haven’t talked with God in awhile. Don’t let the absence of those things lead to big problems elsewhere.

Add some meaning today to the motions of your disciplines. Really stop and gather your thoughts to focus on the scripture and what God is saying. Be still and listen. Engage your heart and mind. Look for opportunities to practice quick prayers of worship or intercession throughout the day. Plan on places to remember the scripture from your reading, i.e. when you get in your car, stopped at a red light or opening your office door. Make it personal, too. May those kind of “motions” become habits of the heart.

Do you think

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

I have admitted to listening to talk radio before and that it must be one of the truest signs of aging or at least maturity. As I was listening the other day the repetition of a phrase and response caught my attention. Do you think talk show hosts get tired of answering the question, “how are you today?”

It seems like every caller who is granted access starts off with that query regardless of the previous answer to the caller before them and the caller before them and on and on. The hosts basically all say a brief equivalent of “fine” and then allow the caller to have their 30 seconds of fame.

That question has become just a salutatory phrase and used around the church it occurs a casual, obligatory greeting that unfortunately is meaningless. I’m not the first one to point this out nor am I innocent of asking without really caring. But what if we really listened or we were really honest?

The Joseph stories of Genesis remind me of his remarkable perception and caring. Joseph had been through a lot in his brief life and wound up in jail. But instead of focusing on his circumstances the Bible notes that he noticed the countenance of fellow prisoners, the baker and butler one day. Even as a prisoner himself, Joseph took time to notice and care for others. As a result, God’s plans unfolded in what possibly seemed like a dead end dungeon and Joseph’s life impacted thousands.

Don’t miss the the chance to show compassion or be honest with someone you trust today.