Server still down. Many announcements to be made: Men's Brisket "The Big Smoke" Cook a success with many thanks, more later; 3Bs just around the corner (less than two weeks); and much more!
Joe Maddon, the Chicago Cub manager, said something profound the other day (we could be talking about the Cleveland Indians Series' win this morning, so this is written blind of the outcome). When asked about the Cubs 3 - 1 deficit, he said reflectively, "You know, I told them this is just a game. That's all it is. So I told them they needed to treat it like this and enjoy this moment because it may never happen again. Enjoy the fun of this and being in the Series." (I treat it as a quote, but it is a paraphrase.)
"It's just a game." Wow, how sobering to hear that while at the same time refreshing. Not this, "Fellas, we got one chance and it's that moment that will define us for the rest of our days and beyond. Your mommas and daddies are watchin' and you have to make them proud. The city is watchin' and you can't let them down. We've come this far, so you've got to dig deep...." No, he merely says, in truth, it's just a game.
How have things in this world become so serious that we can't just treat it as "life." I thought of my own parenting when I heard Maddon say that (yes, just my own, not yours, while I care about yours, I have my own worries and joys mixed in with my two). Did I ever look at my children (now grown) and say, "You know what? It's not what derives meaning in life for me. School is yours to learn to handle and enjoy. It's only important to me that you seek to do well and do good." (I did in fact say those kinds of things, in between things like, "Why do we have to remind you so much to get things done? Don't you want to show your own initiative? Do you want us parenting you until you're 30?" among other such gems.)
Jesus, when asked about life, never answered the question. Instead, he takes us on a walk. After the Pharisees mumble about Christ eating with sinners (Luke 15), Christ begins talking about loss. Lost sheep, a lost coin, and then gives us this beautiful story of a man whose son squanders his portion of the wealth and gets lost in life, finally living as a beggar eating what he is feeding pigs (The Prodigal Son). The son finally comes to his senses and decides to go back to his father and throw himself at his mercy, expecting he might be fortunate enough to work the fields with the laborers. However, upon returning, he is met with open arms by the father, who rejoices upon seeing his son from a distance. Even after the confession, the father, clothes him, brings him in, and has a feast to celebrate. After a protest by his oldest son, the father says, "We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." (v 32)
What's really important? Faith and salvation are at the top of the list I'm thinking. Everything else flows from there. What do we stress to our children as being important? If you are like me, maybe not what's truly important as often as I should have.
Pray we stress to our children the importance of faith in their lives and that we live that with them daily.
Hope Men's Ministry