Search This Blog

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Belief in a No Consequence World

Yes, I watched the news stories of the girl being beaten by her classmates. I understand she had done some bad things to them before they beat her. I guess these things have always happened. The difference is that they posted this on Youtube. It is one thing to commit a crime. It is a totally different thing to be so proud of it that you want the world to know. Or did they?

A phenomena we are experiencing today is the thought that something as public as Youtube or Facebook is only meant for your friends. Some have published pictures of themselves that they intended to be private but the world has peeked in. Then, these people are appalled that there are others seeing what was done.

There seems to be a disconnect between actions and consequences. Sure, people always run to watch a fight. However, people haven't always been making the fights available for the world. It makes me think of first Home Alone movie where one of the thieves flooded each house that was robbed so that they would have a reputation of being the Wet Bandits. He wasn't thinking that this would also tie together all of the other robberies when they eventually got caught. He didn't connect his actions with the consequences.

Maybe the girls had never had consequences before. The media said they were cheerleaders. Sometimes positions within schools give you privileges. You can believe the rules don't apply to you. Maybe this is why many professional athletes are getting in such trouble. When they grew up people covered up for them because they were such great athletes. Consequences never touched them before; why now?

I know that every action I make has the possibility of consequences. Some of these can be good. I have to weigh each action before taking it. Will this result in something that I want for my life and others or will it cause me and others shame, financial hardship or future disqualifications? The knowledge of how my actions will turn out comes from knowing what is wrong or right. Wrong actions may have positive results but the actions are still wrong and carry dishonor with them as a consequence. Right actions may cause me and others hardships but these actions remain honorable.

Jesus had to know the consequences of His actions. He knew those in authority would hate Him for them. He knew they would kill Him for them. He often spoke of His death. His actions remained pure and He submitted Himself to the consequences.

The difference we live in today is that people don't believe there are consequences for their actions. They do not know that a single act can cause hardships for the rest of their lives.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Elusive Final Game

I watched Kansas win the national championship last night. This was their goal. They reached it. The coach, the players and the Kansas fans all seemed elated. How long does it last?

I am not trying to be cynical. This is something that they will always remember. Will it also be something that they will have to live up to? Will each of the players always be introduced as a member of the 2008 National Championship Team? How will that sound fifty years from now if this is the last accomplishment of their lives?

The game made me think about how we want that release from having to keep on trying. We want to win the lottery so that we don' t have to worry about any bills or dreaming about anything we have ever wanted. We want the retirement day so that we will never have to worry about going to work again. Even marriage, children and reaching the "top" seem to be ends in themselves.

I don't want my accomplishments to define my life. I want my life to define my accomplishments. I just don't want something that says, "You don't have to do anything else for the rest of your life." If my life has meaning there will always be the fulfilling of that meaning.

I know the apostle Paul said that he had already run the race. I like that thought. He had run the race but he continues to write. If he were truly all finished, why write another word? Why even write that he had finished? He did so because his life defined his accomplishment. He could do nothing else. What he was doing was who he was.

I have no plans to retire as most men. Sure, I will quit taking a paycheck someday but I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ created to give Him glory. That does not end because I have reached a certain age. I will continue to share who He is all my life.

I know there will be a last day of my life on this earth. There will be a last act of who I am. Then, I will go to this place called heaven and more fully do what I was created for. I shall give Him glory.

Congratulations to the 2008 National Champion Kansas Basketball Team. This will be an honor that will go with them always. I hope they have something more than this though. I hope they know why they were created, who they are and will have a life full of joy doing that forever.

Do you know why you were created? I'd love to talk with you about it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

How Fast Can I Go?

I met with a bunch of people this past week who talked about the future. We noted the speed things are changing and tried to anticipate what will happen in the church of the future.

The problem is that tomorrow is the future. We do not have to predict things that we won't see for twenty years. Each year new technology is created that surpasses anything we have seen before. It is not incremental like the technology changes of twenty years ago. Totally new technology is created which we might never have thought of before we saw it.

These changes create a different type of person. The person under twenty has been using computers most of his/her life. He has been playing video games that require several brain functions simultaneously. She has developed relationships online with people she has never personally met. Today's youth can text message with their two thumbs faster than most people can type. They think globally rather than locally or even regionally.

I, on the other hand, understand about a tenth of what they know. They have learned it like their native tongue. I must pull my hair out to stay at a tenth.

It isn't that I am such a technological idiot. I have built several computers from parts, hacked my TiVo, written a couple of programs and regularly fix other people's ipods. In addition to an ipod I have a Zune, Gigabeat, Slingbox, laptop and desktop computer. I use several operating systems on these computers from XP to Linux. That gets me to about ten percent of what the people under twenty already know and use.

I have choices. I can ignore all of this and keep my preaching and church the same as it always has been or seek to engage these young people on the terrain they love. At the same time I must also continue to communicate with those who know as little as I do about technology.

The big question is: Can I go fast enough to realistically speak to this young generation? Church has always been a one thing at a time project for me. I am talking about communicating on a several methods of engagement level with these young people.

The fact that I don't know how doesn't change what I need to do. How fast can I go? I guess I will soon find out. After all, I started blogging, right?