Archive for the ‘on Learning’ Category
January 25th, 2012
When you’re a kid, God is God, and that’s enough.
As a teenager, it’s all about feeling God’s presence and love.
In your twenties, it’s about what you can do for God.
In your thirties, it’s about what God can do for you.
In your forties, God disappears so you can rethink everything you thought you knew about him.
In your fifties, it’s about focusing on what’s really important since you don’t have much time left.
In your sixties, it’s about telling everyone what you’ve learned about God, the world and other things.
In your seventies, it’s about becoming comfortable with the idea of meeting God face to face.
In your eighties, it’s about becoming impatient with meeting God face to face.
In your nineties and beyond, God is God and that’s enough.
October 6th, 2011
- When you’re a kid, God is God, and that’s enough.
- As a teenager, it’s all about feeling God’s presence and love.
- In your twenties, it’s about what you can do for God.
- In your thirties, it’s about what God can do for you.
- In your forties, God disappears so you can rethink everything you thought you knew about him.
- In your fifties, it’s about focusing on what’s really important since you don’t have much time left.
- In your sixties, it’s about telling everyone what you’ve learned about God, the world and other things.
- In your seventies, it’s about becoming comfortable with the idea of meeting God face to face.
- In your eighties, it’s about becoming impatient with meeting God face to face.
- In your nineties and beyond, God is God and that’s enough.
August 18th, 2011
I “lose” my temper in a moment and later berate myself for my lack of self-control; but the lack of self-control was watching TV the night before, ignoring a habit of meaningful prayer and gulping five minutes of morning Bible reading and thinking, “I’m covered for today!” This is where I “lost” my temper…in the quiet opportunities to store up good in my heart so the overflow would be good.
And speaking of overflow… people with tempers (like me) should just forget the whole “venting” argument. When I lose my temper I am not venting anything. I am not “letting off steam,” I am training myself to explode more quickly the next time. I am reinforcing my anger while excusing it, and feeling justified about it all at the same time. It’s healthy, we tell ourselves. I know different. I know that indulging in a bad habit only entrenches that habit.
So now I have to “find” my temper before I “lose” it, and that means God and I need more time together. Then if I feel things boiling up for any reason, at least He will have a shot at me before I take a shot at anyone else. Or the dog. Or inanimate objects.
July 5th, 2011
Every true thought that God reveals is like a shiny nail with a sharp point. It has weight and substance and the ability to go deep into the structure of our lives. But what is required is the hammer of our habit to tap and drive it home. It is no use having a box of nails with no hammer; without a hammer, nails are well-crafted but utterly useless objects. We are responsible to pick up the hammer of good habits and make God-given thoughts a permanent part of our lives.
Our thinking is not strong enough on its own to move us toward God consistently. It takes habit to make truth last. We must support every thought God reveals to us by use of positive habits since it would be pointless for God to reveal the thought over and over because we failed to incorporate it.
So when you hear from God, take up the hammer of habit and begin tapping that thought into the place He meant for it to go. If you use the first nail He gives you, He might give you a second one.
May 29th, 2011
I workout at a small gym next door to an even smaller cemetery. The cemetery is behind a small house with a large garden. I go about 3-4 times a week at lunch, and when the weather is nice the bay door in the back of the gym is open. If you stick your head out to get some air you can see the cemetery and the garden separated by a chain link fence.
I always take a break just to look at those two ironic neighbors. Each having a planting of sorts, each peaceful and each very natural. I make it a point to remind myself of two things when engulfed in the mist of testosterone generated in the weight room.
First, growth is the natural state of God’s creation. Just as He planted a garden and asked Adam to tend it, we still live in that basic blessing. The blessing that growth happens.
And the second thing is that growth ends. It ends because we did not appreciate the fullness of it. Rather than tending and enjoying, the first of us wanted something more, but got something terribly different; something preternatural, that has become natural for the rest of us.
So between the cemetery and the garden I pause. It helps keep me balanced as I realize I can’t bench press what I used to.