November 21st, 2014 § 2 Comments
You know the saying, “You gotta dance with the one that brought you.” Walking into a dance scanning the floor for better options is not cool. Tempting? Yeah, sure. Maybe tempting … Okay, maybe definitely tempting. There’s bound to be someone there who looks better. So, can you be blamed if you walk in with Mark Ingram and you take a peak at Jonas Gray and his four TDs? Or while you’re slow dancing with Ryan Mathews, you’re hit with a tinge of longing as you see Latavius Murray – all 6’3″ 225 of him blow by with his 4.3 gallop? Hey, it happens. The saying wouldn’t be a saying if it didn’t.
But remember, anyone can look great walking by. In the right light, putting on their five minute best, even a wide receiver in the Rams offense can turn heads. Do not give in. The dance is not the place to look around. You had thirteen weeks leading up to it for all that. You made your choices. Dance with who brought you. Giovani Bernard might not look like much these days, but if you ditch Giovani for Jonas in week 15, you’d better have a real good reason.
All this isn’t to say you cease from all team improvement over the next month. You’re weak at WR? Sure, go ahead and pick up the aforementioned Kenny Britt. Grab Latavius if for some reason he drops to you on the waiver. Just saying the dance isn’t the place for chasing points. It’s a single elimination tournament. Dumb luck has more to do with it than your line up decisions. It’s not the time to experiment.
Fix your eyes on the ones who brought you, and with some luck … who knows? You might not go in with the best looking line-up, but you may just walk out the champ.
November 11th, 2014 § Leave a Comment
Faith, if it’s real, permeates the whole of life. In fact, I’d argue that this all encompassing quality is one way to verify its authenticity. Real faith will appear in every aspect of a person’s life. There will be no “separation of church and state” nor any other separation for that matter. I realize this sounds unsettling, if not unAmerican. This is where it might be helpful to make a distinction: Although real faith cannot be separated, religion can and often does exist separated.
My take is, when drafted, the authors of the 1st Amendment weren’t worried about individual citizens living out their faith. Having fled the hostile environment created when unchallenged religious leaders get in bed with national rulers, they made it first priority to keep these traditional powers at opposite ends of the building. Separate religion from affairs of state? Where do I sign?
So, what was my point? Right. Faith … real faith, affects the whole of life. When I came to believe in a loving God, he slowly began to have a meaningful, tangible affect on my life. The more I trusted him, the more this faith stepped outside of designated places and times. The practice of my religion spilled outside of church and on the days between my Sundays. And it increasingly took the form of love. Love God and love your neighbor – things I could do anywhere and at anytime.
There’s this passage in the Bible that reads, “The religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction …” Have compassion for those in need – small or great. It’s what makes Christ, a person over whom there is great dispute, so universally respected. The religion of Jesus Christ is the religion of unconditional love.
Goes without saying I’m no where near laying hold of it, but I press on. I’m a believer.
This is it. It’s the reason why I’ve gone out of my way to keep this blog free of religious language. If real faith permeates all of life, then words spoken in ordinary life can express my faith. These posts have been about love, hope and faith. They’ve spoken of sacrifice, generosity, compassion. These are the pillars of what I believe to be the true religion.
November 3rd, 2014 § 2 Comments
There’s this little Mexican kid keeping us up at night. Over the last month, barely conscious, I’ve stumbled into his room every night to quell the little man’s demands … well, really, it’s just one demand. His 1 AM call. The drink of choice: Enfamil Gentlease. I summon every bit of my badly diminished capacity to mix a bottle in the dark as the kid extends me zero consideration. It’s full “fire drill” until he’s stuffed shut with a nipple. Finally, a breath. And on some nights, even a thought: “What in the world did I get myself into?”
A few years ago, my wife and I decided to look into foster parenting. Long story. The short of it is that we believe in God. Although I’ve purposely tried to keep this blog free of religious language (Maybe I’ll explain why in a future post), just about every thought has been inspired by our faith. This faith has us trusting that more than anything else, God is love. And this love extends beyond what we feel. It certainly encompasses our feelings, but it’s also an act … something of volition. A workable definition of love can be To do something for another’s good.
What in the world did I get myself into? We got ourselves into love. Not the happy intoxication, but the dazed sacrifice. And truth be told, I didn’t get myself into anything. Myself would have strenuously opposed this. God got me into this because he loves this precious little boy. Move mountains for him. He loves the boy’s parents. And he loves us.
This week, a friend asked me, “Do you love him?” In some ways, not anything like my own. In another way, I don’t know if I’ve loved anyone more.