Distractions

I have had an incredibly great day.. Nothing spectacular as far as events go – but just focused. Today was spent 100% with my wife and kids and some much-needed time together – A day swimming and enjoying the summer weather and then a great dinner out tonight. While we were at dinner I had one of those moments when everything around you stops and you have the unique opportunity to just take it all in… Knowing that even though there was no special  reason , this day would be memorable above others..

My son had just made us all laugh (no surprise there) when I noticed a woman sitting caddy corner a cross from us with her family. She as well as her family were very well dressed and clearly well taken care of… They were what nearly anyone would consider “Happy” by the worlds standards based on their appearance alone . I noticed her because she was watching what was happening at our table , not that she was rudely staring – but she seemed to be admiring the “moment” that we were having. Judging by the look on her face ,she may have even been admiring all the previous moments because as I have already said – Today was one of those days. Whatever the circumstance , she seemed to be enjoying watching us enjoy ourselves…

After our food came and we were all involved in our meal , I looked back up only to notice her with a much different look on her face. While she was watching us , she was smiling pleasantly as if she could just imagine what we were laughing about – but now she seemed to be lost in her beverage… and it dawned on me why. As I looked at her table , I noticed that her husband and 2 out of her 3 children were all fully engaged in their mobile devices and certainly not engaged with one another. Noticing this prompted me to then look around the restaurant only to realize the sad truth that almost every table had at LEAST one family member sucked in to their phone and COMPLETELY disconnected from the rest of the table….

Distracted and Disinterested = DISCONNECTED

The truth is , no matter how sad and true this is – I have also been guilty of this..  and I was wrong…

How many “moments” have I lost due to distraction? How many moments have I been RIGHT THERE and yet  a million miles away? ..too many to count I’m sure – but how lucky am I to realize it  now and make sure that I DON’T lose any more?

The connection that we have with our families is a direct reflection of our connection with God.

If we are willing to forsake the time with our Spouses and Children who we claim to be the “Loves of our lives” , how much more have we forsaken to our God the REAL love of our life? I mean , if we can completely ignore the most important people in our lives with them sitting RIGHT next to us , how much more have we neglected time spent with our Creator?  I can only look back in wonder at how many opportunities I have missed to spend with my God in prayer , or have many opportunities I have missed to honor him with my example because I was distracted when I should have been attentive – and a host of other missed moments… The bottom line is  that I have not made the best use of the time given and I myself MUST DO BETTER..

Ephesians 5:16 says”Make  the best use of the time, because the days are evil”… It is my prayer tonight that we ALL  do so. We are not promised tomorrow , much less the next minute.. I hope that we all recognize the value in each moment that passes enough to not let them become regrets ,but rather  memories.

I have heard it said that “Each passing moment is another opportunity to turn it all around” …Such a powerful saying that  not only embodies the urgency for seizing the moment ,but for starting fresh when we realize we have let too many slip from us… Don’t let the devil take another on from you.

Psalm 103:15-19

15“As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17  But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18  to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19  The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

The invitation to study the bible is STILL open to all….  😉

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Scars..

It is nothing short of incredible , when you consider how our body works. The intricacies of our physiology extend far beyond what modern science will ever really understand, and yet there will always be a desire to understand more about us as a species, to in turn help us understand ourselves a little better…a little deeper.
When I consider my life and I reflect on past events or memories , I never consider the fact that these “memories” are just chemicals stored in a section of my brain that have been triggered by something to recall them and produce this reaction , or a “trigger”.. What’s really amazing is how vivid these chemical reactions are – I mean, more than just seeing the event – I can smell it..or taste it….maybe even FEEL it.. The reality is such that we often say ” Man that really takes me back”.. Yet, this whole scene from our life is only a chemical reaction occurring in our brain as a consequence of the trigger that propelled us into nostalgia.

Often , these events leave us with a little more than a memory. Often these events leave a mark. These marks are often are physical and are usually the “triggers” that bring both a great memory and an even better story…We affectionately call these marks “Scars”.

My body is covered with scars… and each one has a story to tell – unique to itself and absolutely unique to me. Growing up rough and without a real sense of fear( ok maybe fear was present ,but I had a chip on my shoulder that begged that I had something to prove) – I often found myself a bloody mess . Whether it was a fight ,BMX accident ,prank gone wrong or sometimes pure and utter clumsiness , I left more blood and skin on the pavement than a stock car leaves rubber on the race track. Yet, somehow I can look at these scars and associate a smile with the memory..Maybe because of the story it gives me to tell my kids or maybe because  nostalgia of my youth as a whole…but maybe it really the  lessons that I learned from them? Either way these moment are part the sum that makes me who I am now and ultimately who I will become , because they are part of who I have been or used to be..

My body however ,is not the only part of me with scars…My soul is covered with scars also…Years of poor and selfish choices that brought me only destruction causing injury to my inner-self and damaging the  relationships of those that cared for me …but thankfully inner scars don’t leave you with a dead ,nerveless and numb voids where feelings used to be – they heal slowly , leaving you available for repair. You see ,the flesh is weak . It will break ,bleed and heal quickly leaving you with a mark  that MAY fade over time – it will never fade away completely. The spirit however , the spirit is MUCH harder to break . While it is absolutely vulnerable as we allow it to be(and I pray that we do leave ourselves open to an extent) , it heals much slower..allowing us NOT to become callus,  cold , and indifferent  as it heals – but rather we become  discerning , introspective , patient and WISE…but only if we allow ourselves.

The body and the spirit will always be diametrically opposed –  as one gets weaker and corrupt , the other gets stronger and pure…at least that’s how its supposed to be… The truth is , we are defined in PART by our scars … OR we can be defined COMPLETELY by our scars – that is up to each of us… For me  , living with the knowledge that I was loved enough to have my scars taken from me gives me something none can live without – HOPE. Jesus the Christ bore the scars of ALL so that we can set down the heavy burden of guilt and begin the soul healing process of forgiveness by LETTING GO of pain, and accepting its lesson.

No scars will ever be as precious as the the ones taken in my place… and no love will ever be as great as the one nailed upon the cross.. This love and these scars deserve nothing less than everything from me…NOTHING.

Because in Christ, I am  scarred no more… because I am loved …STILL.  –

Psalms  30:2 “ LORD my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.

The invitation to study the bible is STILL open..  😉

Read Psalm 38:4-6, 9;15-18;21-22