Maybe We Just Need Skinnier Markers

catalyst bokeh

 

Did you enjoy coloring as a kid?

I absolutely loved it.

Here’s my confession: even though my job title has the word “arts” in it, even as I advocate for creativity and passion within churches and schools, even as we push our kids always to search for the creative answer to solve any problem…guess what…I stink at drawing. Seriously, not an artistic bone in my body in that respect.

Crayola-Broad-Line-Washable-Markers-Pack-of-8-P14819543

But I LOVE to color. Also, I’m lazy.

So as a kid, anytime I was given the option of which crayon or marker to color with…I always chose the big, fat, fattie ones. You know the type. Broad line, easy to use, less work. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

Trouble is…I don’t think our desire for broad categories and easy identifiers and less work ended in childhood.

There are seriously days in which I’m about ready to give up social media. It seems like many in my life have been stricken with a disease that renders them unable to identify any subtle nuances in the world around them. Everything is labeled good or bad, and then I fire off my 140 character rant about it…or even better if I can find it in a 10 word meme.

One lunatic with a video blog gets upset about red cups at a coffee shop, and every Christian is an insecure hypocrite. A few groups of extremists carry out some unfathomable acts of terror, and suddenly every person with a worldview different than yours ought to be locked up in a camp. Somebody has a few political views that differ from yours? Then by all means, they can’t possibly lead our nation.

skinny markers

 

Maybe we just need skinnier markers.

You know, like the cool guys wear their jeans. (haha, okay, I couldn’t resist given the mockery I take daily for my choice in jean fit)

But seriously, maybe it’s time for us to embrace the nuances of life.

Maybe it’s less about filling in the big spaces with color and more about appreciating the details of the contours. 

Maybe if we listened more than we spoke, we might learn something.

Been painting with a broad brush lately? Fine. But take some time to listen today.

Been largely unaware that there’s a big world out there filled with beauty that may not necessarily fit into your pre-determined categories? Okay, ask some questions, and see if your perspective grows.

And if you’ve been the recipient of unfair characterizations, then it’s time to step up. People make assumptions by what they see. If you want them to see better in you, then start showing it today.

There is no greater example of the best of what you represent than your life fully devoted to it.

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Character Is Not Made In One Big Moment

We’ve all said it at some point, right?

“That single moment defined him as a person…”

“No one knew she had it in her until that one day…”

But the truth is that somewhere deep down, we all know those are really sweet and kind and romanticized lies.

They’re like the “wait 30 minutes before swimming” rule of character development.

Character is not made in one big moment; it is revealed.

If you push someone out of the way of a train and die in the process…

If you refuse to give up in an unrelenting fight with cancer…

If you remain faithful in a tough marriage, praying that God will soften hearts…

One moment didn’t make you who you are; one thousand moments formed you over time.

If you die in an act of heroism, we won’t say at your funeral that that one event made you who you were. We will share memories from your whole life that reveal you were just that great all along the way.

You don’t have to wait to be awesome tomorrow by saving a bunch of kids from a burning orphanage.

You can be awesome today by making a handful of decisions to be a person of integrity.

And maybe the little decisions of refusing to fail today will prepare you for a big moment in which you succeed tomorrow.

2 > 2,000

You wanna change the world. I wanna change the world.

As the great poets in Tears For Fears once taught us, “Everybody Wants To Change The World”…or maybe it was rule the world…I can’t remember. Anyway.

Most of us live on a quest to make a difference. To do something special. To be significant.

So let’s fast forward and think about the implications.

Let’s say you live on fire. You’re pumped about your faith, and people know about it. And not in any weird or off-putting ways.

You make a huge difference. You never miss out on an opportunity. You’re always there when someone needs you.

And sure, there’s that nagging voice telling you that you could be home more often…that you’re neglecting some things, but you’re taking your faith seriously, and it’s making a difference. So you press on.

Let’s even say that you die, go to Heaven, and get to stand at the gates and watch people walk in. And on that day, a full 2,000 people stop on their way into Heaven and thank you. One by one, they tell you that you’re the reason they’re there. YOU made all the difference for them.

But on that day, the 2 kids God entrusted to your care, the ones who grew up in your house, they’re nowhere to be found.

You see, your passion to make a difference everywhere in the world kept you from being the best you could be at home.

You change eternity for 2,000 but miss 2 along the way.

I don’t think that works out in God’s math. I don’t think He’d be pleased.

I don’t think there’s a number high enough to make up for failure at home.

Wetherholt-ScienceAndIndustry

Change the world. Be awesome. Do something significant.

Just remember that it all begins at home.

[and for extra-special-super-cool bonus points…what if you just took the family WITH on your quest to change the world…you might find that you alter eternal destinies for BOTH the 2 AND the 2,000…]

What do you want to be remembered for…long after people forget your name?

BenLeadingWorship

Ben Hays leading worship at Park Church

What do you want to be remembered for long after people forget your name?

It’s the idea of legacy. And it’s been a topic that has dominated my thinking and my doing in ministry.

What are you doing that will outlast you? When people forget your name (and someday, they most certainly will), what impact do you want them to carry throughout their lives?

Witty jokes probably won’t be enough. Facebook rants probably won’t matter much. Being able to take down an entire 10-pack by yourself at Taco Bell…wait…no…that’s cool…and I would remember you for that…

Legacy.

Maybe it’s less about the events of tomorrow and more about the relationships of today. Continue reading

Oh hey, you look just like my maid…

Cinderella-the girlsBack in 2009 (you know…when I was like…ummm…19…yeah, that’s it), we were privileged to go to Disney with Elizabeth’s family. Our girls were beyond excited, but for the record, I think I was the biggest kid in our group of 10. So much so, that I made us ride “It’s A Small World” enough times that it may have violated the Patriot Act.

The girls dressed up as their favorite princess, and we made our way to 1900 Park Fare to dine with Cinderella and her family. During the meal (which was awesome, by the way), one of the step-sisters said the funniest thing I’ve ever heard at Disney. I’m sure she’s used the line 500 times to other girls dressed up in that same outfit, but for us, it was our first time hearing it and it only added to the magic.

She took one look at the pretty blue dress of our youngest daughter (then 2yo) and said, “Oh hey, you look just like my maid.” Continue reading