With Honors

Honors Not sure why, but tonight I was thinkin’ about an old movie called “With Honors.” It’s one of my favorites. If you’re ever in Blockbuster or remember when you’re putting together your Netflix Queue – it’s a good one. I’d give it two thumbs up!

The movie centers on a college guy who is really ambitious about graduating “with honors.” Through a weird series of events he ends up meeting a homeless guy and they become friends. I don’t wanna give it all away, but there are some great lessons about priorities and remembering that people are always important to God – even homeless, throw-away-and-ignore-type people. (To God that type of person doesn’t exist because everyone is important.) Anyway – check it out if you get the chance.

Stories I Need to Tell – Swan

One of the classic questions used by youth ministers in “get to know you”-type games is this: If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why? My standard answer to that question comes from an experience I had in a park one day. I was feeding the ducks out on a dock in a park when I was in college, and there were two swans out quite a distance from the dock.
06-08-26I didn’t want them to miss out, so I threw the bread as far as I could out near them. One of the swans would pick up the piece of bread and then drop it in front of the other one, then he would eat it. Eventually I was able to get them near the dock, and each time I threw the bread the swan would take it to the other one to eat. I soon realized that one of them was blind. The one who could see was bringing the food to him.

So what animal would I be? I’d be a swan – I just don’t know wether I’d want to be the one who provided for his friend, or the blind one who was able to trust that God would provide for him. It’s my prayer that I can live my life in both ways – trusting God to provide and serving the people around me.

Stories I Need to Tell – Tyler’s Sleep

OK – Here’s the second story in my series of “Stories I Need to Tell.”

I am happily married and hope to one day have children of my own, but for right now the closest thing to that for me is my nephews. I have three – Tyler, Tucker, and Tanner. When they were younger (Tyler was maybe 4 or 5) they would get really excited when Uncle Teve (that’s what they called me) would come into town. I lived about 4 hours away so it was a rare treat to get to see me – besides that – I’m the only uncle that they have. I think one of the reasons they liked it when I came in town was because I would play dinosaurs with them. We’d crawl around on the ground growling at each other and wrestling a bit like we imagined dinosaurs did.

06-08-02Anyway, one particular trip, Tyler wanted to sleep with his Uncle Teve. Of course I was honored by the whole thing. When the time came for him to go to bed, I readied myself and he snuggled up next to me. I had my arm stretched out to one side and he got right up in there and layed his head on my shoulder. It was beautiful! We talked a little and said our prayers and then I watched him as he fell asleep on my arm. This was a new and really cool experience for me. I treasured each moment ’cause I knew it probably wouldn’t last long, and it wouldn’t be that long before he’d grow up and not want to be near me like that. Tyler just laid there and rested – he felt comfortable there next to me and treated me as if he belonged to me. As I relished the moments, I soon realized that my arm was beginning to hurt. There was this pain working it’s way up my arm and a simple adjustment would probably fix it, but I didn’t want to disturb Tyler or waken him. As the pain grew, I fought through it to cherish more time with him. I continued for as long as I could until it felt like my arm would just fall off – it probably wasn’t very long ’cause I’m a wimp, but anyway there’s the story.

Here are my thoughts on the whole thing. I wonder how many times God wants to cherish a moment with me and I just ignore Him or never even make it into the bed to be next to Him. Tyler truly was excited that I was there with him and wanted to spend every moment he could with me – Do I treat God like that? The pain that I “fought” through to cherish that moment with Tyler was nothing in comparison to the pain that Jesus endured on the cross for me. Does the Lord take pleasure and joy in me like I did with Tyler? What does that mean for me? How should I respond to that kind of love? Do I rest with God? Am I comfortable with Him? Do I treat Him like I belong to Him? How can I give Him moments like that?