Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How Big Is Your God?

I hope everyone enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend break. We made a last minute decision on Friday to head down to Gulf Shores to the beach early Saturday morning to enjoy one last "break" before school ends and camp begins.

As I sat and enjoyed the wonder of the ocean from the comfort of my beach chair, I couldn't help but think about the greatness of the God that we serve. Although I've been to the ocean many times, it's majesty and wonderment never seem to diminish. It's as though each crashing wave is a constant reminder of the sheer power of our creator.

To even begin to understand that the same powerful creator who orchestrates every wave, calms every storm, and even knows the number of the grains of sand on the shores, is also my creator and is at work orchestrating every detail of my life is an overwhelming thought to me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm guilty of forgetting just how big my Savior is! I forget that he needs but to speak a word and the storms of this life can be calmed. I forget that sometimes the peace that He gives us to endure a storm is an even greater miracle than if He chose to calm the storm.

Check out this video I found on Tangle.... a good reminder for us all!

Whatever It Takes,

Friday, May 22, 2009

Make Every Minute Count!

It's been more than a month since my last blog, which is another story within itself that I hope to "unpack" and share as I attempt to get back in the groove soon. If you know me at all, you know that these blogs are just thoughts from the "overflow" of my life. So.... the thing that has drawn me back to the keyboard today is a heart that is overflowing with every kind of emotion, and a sleepless night filled with vivid memories of one the most precious gifts that God ever entrusted to me.

It's almost impossible to comprehend that we've had our oldest son Chase in our lives for 9,697,149 minutes as of this moment. As a parent, it's hard not wonder if I've seized enough of those minutes, taken advantage of the teachable moments that they provided, and fulfilled my responsibility to do my part in preparing him for today... graduation day!

By the time the ceremony and celebration is over tonight, I will have been given more than 9.7 million minutes to mold, shape, encourage, challenge, motivate, discipline, love, and "pour into" the most important calling that I have..... being a Godly parent and raising my kids to honor God.

Almost 10 million minutes... and if statistics (and my personal guesses) are even close, here's how I spent many of them:
3.2 million minutes working
2.4 million minutes sleeping
1.2 million minutes on leisure time (including TV)
400,000 minutes eating
400,000 minutes online
200,000 minutes at church or in Bible study
200,000 minutes grooming myself
100,000 minutes volunteering or serving

In essence, I've spent 80% of my life on the "stuff" that makes up my daily routine. It certainly makes me think about how I've chosen to invest my minutes..... most of those minutes haven't been invested in eternal things, but instead on "wood, hay, and stubble", myself and my comfort, and on things that will make no difference in eternity whatsoever.

If there is a good side to this revelation, it's that those minutes that I have spent with my son are the ones I remember the most. Everybody called him "little Chip" because he was always under my feet when he was growing up. You rarely saw one of us without the other. Even today, I'm glad that he still doesn't mind hanging out with the "old man", even though he's clearly not "little Chip" anymore!

I don't remember what kind of hair gel I used in 1990, but I will never forget the minute that my Chase came into this world. I don't remember what youth trip I was planning in the early 1990's, but I will never forget the minute when he said "da da" for the first time. I don't remember what books I was reading or what TV shows I was watching in 2002, but I'll never forget the minute we spent loading up his first race car to head to the track. I can't remember which mission project I was working on in 2005, but I remember the minute (actually lots of minutes) he spent trying to teach me to play the guitar around the campfire when we were camping at Stone Mountain Park. I don't remember what I had for lunch on December 14, 2006, but I remember the minute that I fulfilled the promise I made to spend the whole day with him on his birthday to put a lift lit on his first truck.

Even as I'm writing this, my mind and heart are overflowing with the memories of every sweet minute that we've shared (and I'm "snotting" up my keyboard a little!). It's true that we could have had more minutes together, but I wouldn't trade any one of the minutes we've had for anything in the world. Those are the minutes that have mattered the most to me!

My prayer is that even though he begins a new chapter in his life today, that at the end of his next 10 million minutes, I will still be able to talk about some awesome minutes we shared. I'm thankful that I'm not standing in the shoes of a lot of parents today, who are wondering if their graduates are strong enough in their faith to stay close to God and live a faithful life in a challenging world. At our house.... the student has become the teacher. Chase is not a spiritual thermometer, measuring the spiritual climate, he's become a spiritual thermostat, living his life in a way that challenges all of us to help change the spiritual climate of our culture. He is the epitome of living a "whatever it takes" life!

Today will be a hard day for mom and dad, but it will be another "minute" to file away in my heart for another blog someday!

Make Every Minute Count,