Something to Think about is a daily (more or less) commentary on life. The Author, Howard Merrell's, goal is to help us think Biblically and Christianly about the issues of life, from the mundane to the sublime.
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I just read about the latest pizza delivery option a short way south of here. Actually it will be a while before Kiwis can have a drone deliver a pizza to their door-step, but if Domino's plans work out,it won't be long.
The video shows the "Domicopter" being tested in England, but since delivery by drone is legal in New Zealand, residents of the down-under nation could be getting pie from the sky, by spring of 2017. Be watching for the comics have a great time with this. Out of all the things that the world needs, just how high on the list does pizza delivery by a remotely controlled aircraft rise? The best and brightest are working on new ways to deliver what the even better and brighter tell us we need less of, anyhow. Meanwhile, I know folk who want to take the live-giving Good-news about Jesus Christ to the nations, and they are stuck for lack of resources. I have some friends who live and minister in New Zealand. If they get their supper from this alien looking device, I hope they take a video, but more importantly, I hope they invite some neighbors in for the Italian air-raid, and share with them the bread of life.
I'm up against a deadline. That's nothing new. I spent most of my life as the pastor of a small church. Sunday is always coming. This one is a bit different, though. While the deadline is real and missing it will have consequences, those consequences are less immediate than the preacher showing up Sunday morning with nothing to say. Actually the real deadline is still ten days off--a lifetime for a guy who worked week-to-week for most of his life. However, if I'm going to meet that deadline in a week and a half I have to meet a self-imposed one today. Several proverbs--or maybe they are cliche's; you decide-- compete for attention in my mind.
"You have to aim for perfection in order to achieve an acceptable result." I learned that from a guy who never strove for perfection at any time in his good-enoughlife. Still, the aphorism has some merit.
"The perfect is the enemy of the good." Some of those perfection-strivers burn so much time getting point A just right, that they never get to B or C, and A by itself just won't cut it.
"Keep the big picture in mind."
"Little things matter."
Back when one of the biggest questions I asked myself, week in and week out, was, "What am I going to preach on Sunday?" I had to learn that my task was not to preach the best sermon I could, but to prepare the best sermon I could with the resources, including time, that I have. Now that I'm in this retirement, or second career, phase of life I'm accutely aware that we all face an unseen deadline. The Bible makes clear that "it is appointed unto men once to die" (Hebrews 9:27), but God doesn't enter the date on Google Calendar for us. I've watched enough people die to know that likely that deadline will be preceded by other smaller cutoff points. I remember when I told my mom she couldn't drive anymore, and when we knew that dad couldn't be trusted to get from point A to B. The Psalm writer prayed, "LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered" (Psalm 39:4, NLT). If you read the rest of David's musings you will see that he prayed at a time of great turmoil. He feared for his life. Unlike David's, my life is pretty good, but, as surely as Sunday is coming, so is the end.
It's one of the most iconic, not to mention ironic, pictures of modern history. Eighty years ago Jesse Owens, American track athlete, competed with distinction in Berlin, Germany. The Nazis, under the leadership of Adolph Hitler had already begun their persecution of Jews, Roma, and other "undesirables." According to Hitler's theories of Aryan racial superiority Jesse Owens shouldn't have won, but he did. That is not to say that the problems of wrong racial views only existed on the other side of the Atlantic. When Owens returned to the USA, though a hero, he still found it impossible to use many "Whites Only" facilities. Though he had taken his place on the top of the medal podium he could not take a seat in the front of the bus. The fact that he had risen to the top of his athletic discipline, did not keep him from being forced to travel up on the freight elevator, rather than out front with the White folk. When you consider the pressure in Berlin, and the lack of support back home, Owens' demeanor on the medal stand is remarkable. It is rightly dubbed "The Salute Heard Around the World." I'll never have the opportunity to stand on an Olympic podium, but every day I am watched. What my life says about my Lord is always important. Is my salute clear? (1 Thessalonians 1:6-10)
No, this isn't a political rant, and let me say, right up front, that I have no hard facts to support my opinion, Here it is, though: It seems downright un-American for kids to be in school with this much summer left. Here is something we ought to do. early or not; pray for the youngsters and their teachers, who have already been back to work for a while now, and for other staff who work year round. Ask the Lord to give ability to the many home-school parents as well. Children are precious. They are a gift from God.
Lord, for these young people who are starting back to school, public, private, and home, and for those who teach them, and in other ways work to give them a good education, we ask Your blessing. Keep them safe. May the students learn well and learn to live well. May those who administer, serve, and teach have the wisdom, skill, and compassion they need. For those who teach youngsters about You, that army of mostly volunteers, we ask for special ability. We have not learned knowledge or wisdom until we learn to fear You, Lord. We especially pray that as youngsters learn to read, use computers, do math, and remember important lessons from the past, that they will have opportunity to learn that which will last for Eternity. Amen.
And when you drive to work in the morning watch out for the kids. They might forget to watch out for you.