Archive for July, 2013

Loose Gravel

Monday, July 29th, 2013

We were riding our bicycles on a picture perfect morning through the rural countryside of Williamson County, Tennessee.  Our ride would take us past miles and miles of Lexington Four-Rail fencing, past Tim and Faith’s 700 acre farm, which can be had for a mere 20 million, past creeks and dales and majestic buffalo silently grazing in lush green pastures —- scenes that rival most any picture book.

While straining to make it to the top of a steep hill, as is my usual custom, I was fantasying about the thrill of reaching the crest and roaring down the backside at 40 mph with the wind in my face and the hard pedaling in my rear. I’ve found that thinking about the downhill reward always makes climbing a wee bit easier. When we got to the top our plans abruptly changed. Due to road work, loose gravel covered the road for the next mile or so.  There would be no downhill rush this day. Neither would we even ride down the back side.  We would have to walk it.  Riding a bicycle is unbridled fun; walking a bike down a steep, gravel covered road wearing bike shoes is not.

Fortunately, the weeping and gnashing of teeth were short lived and we soon found ourselves back on our bikes laughing and having a good time again. As I learned early on, bicycle riding pretty much mirrors life. Loose gravel—it happens in every life. It only screws up the ride if you let it.

Something to Think About


Scooting Along

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

I’m typing this from my home office as I look out the window at the guys putting a new roof on the two story house across the street. Those fearless fellows showed up this morning and hit that roof like a swarm of ants. In no time they had stripped the old shingles off and are now well on their way to having the new roof installed.  It is quite a sight to see! What is incredible is the way they confidently walk around upright on that roof. Right now one is standing on a 30 foot peak holding one of those orange Igloo coolers up over his head as he squirts water into his mouth. I don’t think I could do that if I were standing on the ground. I do my best to stay away from roofs. Whenever I have to go up on one, instead of walking like those guys, I kind of scoot around on my butt.  None of those guys are scooters. That is why they are making such progress.

Sadly, many people settle for kind of scooting along through life never enjoying the freedom of standing tall or achieving their potential.  We scoot because of fear.  We fear that if folks really knew us then they would not like us. We fear if we ever admitted that we are not perfect or didn’t have it all together then people might think less of us.  We fear sharing our feelings out of a fear of rejection. We fear going for our dreams because of the chance that we might fail. We have many reasons for scooting.  Most of them are not very good.

Something to Think About



Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Recently a man in our city died in a tragic accident. His death was well publicized and many people who knew him came forward to tell of how he had enriched their lives. I did not know him well, but I had been around him enough to come to the conclusion that he was the real deal. He wasn’t a fake or put on, but rather a man with an unabashed love for Jesus Christ. He would tell anyone who would listen about Jesus in a style that was uniquely his. God gave him that gift! Yet, like the rest of us, he was far from perfect. He realized that Paul’s words in Romans 3 about all of mankind being together in the “sin boat” certainly included him. Unlike some, he never claimed otherwise. Sadly, there are twenty-first century Pharisees, blind to the log in their own eyes, who have arrogantly decided to pass judgment on this man’s very soul. In direct contrast to the Savior whom they falsely claim as Lord, they scornfully cast their pride wrapped stones. How shameful!

One day in senior religion class at Father Ryan High School, the subject was who gets into heaven and who doesn’t. After nearly fifty minutes of discussion, Father Alan Cunningham left us with this thought. “When we get to heaven we are going to be surprised at whom else is there and who isn’t”. Jesus referred to the Pharisees of his day as the worse kind of hypocrites. Sadly some things never change.

Something to Think About


Waiting and Waiting

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Right now I’m waiting for a deep scan to conclude on my computer. Since I can still use the PC, albeit much slower, it is not that big of a deal. Nobody likes to wait. We don’t like to wait for anything — stoplights, checkout lines, planes, the waiter, our spouses, the doctor or a plethora of other people, places and things. One of the benefits of getting old is that I have noticed that my patience seems to be increasing with my age. Why is it so hard for us to wait?  I’m not sure about all the psychological whys, but I expect it has much  to do with our need to be in control. Even the most hell bent control freak is at the mercy of the great equalizer —the wait. Implicitly at least, we realize that we’re going to have to wait to be seated at the really good restaurants and even for our order to arrive at the bad ones. Today my most annoying wait is for voice mail to cycle through on every business call I make. As annoying as the aforementioned waiting times can be, we do go into those situations with our eyes open.

Earlier today I met with a man who was called for his second interview for a job. That was over a week ago; he has heard nothing. He said that the wait was killing him. Many years ago I recall going through a similar ordeal. Waiting can often produce a lot of interesting questions with few answers. Years ago I heard a preacher say that God is never early or late and that His timing is precise and never off even a smidgen. I believe that to be true. God is rich in mercy.  He is not an absented-minded kind of God.  He always has a specific reason for telling us to wait.  When we find ourselves waiting on God our sole responsibility is to trust — just to trust God.  That’s it, nothing else–trust.

What I’ve discovered is that God always gives clear direction. However, in my life He’s never been in a hurry. Here’s the take away. The longer God takes to give direction, the more He has to teach us.

Something to Think About