Saturday, March 28, 2015

Learning from Donkeys: A Palm Sunday Meditation

The other day Dionne and I were driving over to the park for a walk, and she pointed out a group of horse riders on one of the equestrian trails that interlace the park. What caught her attention was a little kid riding a donkey. Not something you see every day.

Horses and donkeys have a lot in common. They both carry people and people’s burdens. They look like genetic cousins (both genus: equus) and can produce hybrid offspring.

But horses seem beautiful and majestic; donkeys not so much. You picture John Wayne galloping across the prairie on a magnificent stallion, rescuing runaway stagecoaches. You picture Gabby Hayes toodling across the desert on a scruffy donkey. They make movies about horses like Secretariat or The Black Stallion. If they made a movie about a donkey, it would be something like Buttercup the Burro and Her Friend the Magpie. (My suggestion…Hollywood, call me.)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Three Jokes That Made Me Laugh in the Middle of Life’s Heaviness

My blogging has been very light lately. I think my creativity is at a pretty low ebb, and the reason seems to be that I’ve been preoccupied with some unusually serious issues. I’m not complaining. We all deal with hard things from time to time, and as a pastor, it goes with the territory. Jesus is still on the throne, and I know He’s working His will.

But one of the gifts God has given me in the middle of Heavy Things is laughter. More than once in recent weeks, my wife and I have been stressing late at night, and what helped us keep our sanity is silliness. Busting up over dumb jokes, or stupid movie lines we both remembered.

Here are three examples that cracked us up.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying

I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.

Those words were spoken by the character of Andy Dufresne in the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Based on a Stephen King novella, Shawshank is a story of friendship and how people triumph over horrific and unfair circumstances.

What Andy meant, I suppose, is that regardless of how grim your circumstances, you need to decide to live - to somehow make the best of it and keep on keeping on.

I admire the sentiment, but according to the Bible you’re supposed to do both. Get busy dying AND get busy living. In that order. Because, like Jesus said, John 12:24, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.