Our apologies at missing a couple of Sundays. Two Sundays ago was Memorial Day weekend and then last weekend both David and I ran into a couple of hurdles on the personal side.
I was actually getting ready to write the blog late last week, about this same time, when I came across an article about letter written and read by the unidentified Stanford University rape victim. I found myself overwhelmed by the story. I spent much of the week reading more about it and talking about it when given the chance. As a father and human being, it struck a cord in me. I became a bit obsessed and even took the opportunity to reach out to my oldest daughter, Emma, about it given she is heading off to college in a few months. However, I think the best thing here is to simply say if you have not read the letter or heard about the story take the time to do so. I do not want to give my two cents worth but will say that while I and many others were overwhelmed by the gravity of the entire situation the strength and grace of the victim are winning the day. I will say a simple prayer of strength and thankfulness for her.
This morning, while at church, I happened to catch a glimpse of a news article headline that said something about a mass shooting in Orlando. I had a moment to click on it and quickly learned that an estimated 50 people had been killed and 53 wounded in violent attack at a popular gay bar called Pulse. The initial reports and indications is this was an act of terror in the name of Islam and according to Reuters ISIS has taken responsibility. It has already become political fire for both sides of the isle with one perspective raging for gun control and the other against it. At the same time the religious implications given the link to Islam have stoked the fires again that started almost 15 years ago. While I find myself beginning to lean towards certain perspectives I find the entire situation overwhelming. What does any of it matter now? Would either have prevented it? Stricter gun laws or the ability to open carry? Are we going to start focusing on peoples beliefs rather than their character in regards to how we view them. I can not believe those are the real solutions to this situation and others like it. Those are possible reactions to what happened but not actions to keep them from happening. The answers to that question and what to do now in the wake of these tragedies seem overwhelming. I want to start by saying a prayer for the victims, their families and friends as they try to understand this terrible tragedy. As all of us do.
While at church this morning, I found myself shifting much more than usual in my seat because of a sermon by Doug Robinson. It challenged me because it made me uncomfortable and rightfully so. He talked about the false promise of the singular belief that our personal success, positive feelings, outcomes and the like are completely dependent upon ourselves. He showed a video clip which I have pasted below by the actor and comedian Jim Carrey. I have seen and heard him in various videos lately and all of them are focused on a single theme. We can easily find ourselves measuring our self worth and success by a medium that will never satisfy us coupled with a never ending conquest of success to reach a level of achievement that cannot be found.
As Christians, we have confessed that we cannot do it alone. We know that our fallen nature paved the way for the Crucifixion Jesus. I realized that when the mountain of my own mistakes had overwhelmed me to the point where I knew I had to look beyond myself for these answers. I had tried and failed because I could not do it alone. I need Jesus and if you asked me I think he can be the answer in everyone’s life. Even yours.
As we go into the week and try to understand why a man would rape an unconscious woman, a person open fire on a nightclub full of patrons or any of the other myriad of things that can, will and have happened we can find ourselves easily overwhelmed if we try to understand it, control it and fix it by ourselves. We cannot do it alone. Life is a team sport. It is not just about you and me. We need each other and Jesus at the center.
We do become the hands and feet of Jesus by employing the six sides of 1 Timothy 6:11 into our lives and everything we do. We are not just individuals meant to seek out our own glory but His. We are after all brothers and sisters. We are more like each other than we are different and this gets easily lost in the chaos of individualism. God loves us all equally. Why can we not do the same?
Member, Six Sided Men