Last blog of 2009. Eventful year. A little employment adjustment, I went bionic, another wedding in the family, Anita gets a book contract, we inaugurate an African-American president, and the Cubs just miss the playoffs :).
For the most part, a good year. God used a whole lot of thing to grow and mature me. For that I’m glad. God’s not done with me yet and there are opportunities galore.
It seems that the next few years are going to continue to be interesting. The promised return to prosperity is taking awhile isn’t it? The disparity between rich and poor continues to grow. Political unrest is the reality of they day. Islam grows in both popularity and influence. Many of the moral moorings of our culture are being dismissed.
So, we stand in the gap between challenges and opportunity. What do we do?
Here’s some ideas:
Take the high road. The public debate on any issue is both heated and way too personal. Whether we’re talking about the Cubs, climate change or health care pundits are all too often taking the low road. And it’s not just pundits. We do it. We do it when we pass on that e-mail that wasn’t fact checked. We do it when we believe the next hot rumor instead of casting a skeptical eye on what doesn’t pass the sniff test. Character assassinations have become art forms. Maybe we need to start ignoring all those who major in attacking, defaming, and throwing mud. What if we asked for accountability in our own lives and asked others to remind us of the high road option whenever they notice us stooping down to a less civilized level?
Build bridges. We categorize, stereotype and buy into generalizations about situations and people. What if we boycotted stereotyping and majored for awhile in building bridges of understanding? There’s a mosque a few blocks from my home. What if I wandered over a few times this year and started to get know folks who are strangers to me? What if Republicans started to love on some Democrats? What if Sox fans bought a Cubs fan a beer? What if …?
Get involved. One of my favorite conversations this year was with someone who was wondering why we help the poor overseas when we have so many needs here? When I asked him where he put his time, talent, and money locally he admitted (after some hemming and hawing) that he didn’t give his time, talent, or dollars towards much of anything that addressed the needs in our culture. I walked away from that conversation muttering under my breath. Someway, somehow we’ve all got to find ways to invest ourselves in the crying needs of our day and age. We’re way past the day when we can only talk a good game.
Keep learning. Just yesterday I heard about a 72 yr. old widower who bought himself a Kindle. Gotta love it. He’s a reader. That’s always a good sign. The future belongs not to the learned but to those who want to keep learning. How many people do I know who have stopped reading, investigating, exploring, and questioning? Too many. There’s too many who don’t want to tap into the treasures of the past, keep current with today’s thinking, and chart a course into the future.
Stay faithful. It's been said that we play at our worship, worship our work, and work at our play. More and more I realize that I am created by a good God who wants me close. In relationship. 24/7. He doesn't want me to play around with that relationship. He wants it front and center. I'm yearning to be a better student of the scriptures, more present in prayer, and more cognizant of the movement of the Holy Spirit in the here and now.
Can’t wait for 2010. Wonder what God will do next in all out lives?