Stop texts stop wrecks. That’s the National Highway Travel Safety Administration’s current slogan.
Maybe you’ve heard the commercials before while driving… and it reminds you to put your phone down.
I certainly agree with the concept. It’s a corny slogan, but an important thing to try and stop.
Distracted driving is dangerous and deadly.
The truth is distraction sometimes gets a bad rap.
I think distraction can be incredibly helpful.
Our church launched a Celebrate Recovery program in January.
If you’re unfamiliar with Celebrate Recovery think of it this way: Alcoholics Anonymous and the Church have a baby and name it CR.
Celebrate Recovery is a recovery program that uses the 12 steps from AA and basically identifies who the “higher power” is, Jesus.
It’s been exciting people getting honest with themselves and others about their hurts, hang-ups and habits.
For so long the church was a place where those issues simply weren’t discussed.
It’s a great place to live.
There are no problems there… or at least it seems that way.
The only feeling experienced here is one of numbness.
Nothing is felt when you live here because you’re insulated.
Progressing and moving forward doesn’t happen anymore because in this place you’re living growth and positive change are not possible.
It’s lonely here. Not many friends, none who really get you.
It’s human nature, or at least the American Way, to continue to acquire more.
We want to build taller buildings, make faster cars, and set new world records.
Bigger, Stronger, Faster was the name the weight-lifting guide we used in my high school power lifting class.
It’s in our nature to want more.
We want to build wealth, to go further and to accomplish more.
But the question that must be asked while striving and straining for all this is, “At What Cost?”
As a pastor I’ve done my share of funerals.
They’re never fun.
People are hurting and are searching for answers.
Answers I wish I had, but rarely do.
This week I’m preparing to lead the memorial service of a close friend’s stepdad.
He died unexpectedly after 42 years here on earth.
Repeated heart surgeries were performed, but ultimately his body gave way.
As you can imagine the family is hurting and doing their best to comfort one another.
I’ve done my best to coach my friend through this horrible time. I’ve tried to comfort him with encouraging words. Tried to cheer him up in various ways, but the truth is I simply can’t relate to the pain he’s feeling.
I’ve never had someone really close to me pass away like he has.
After meeting with his family and planning the memorial service I’m struck by how strong his family is and how they’ve rallied together through tragedy.
I can’t help but personalize all this.
Acting strong for my friend and his family makes me feel like a bit of a fraud.
I have an infant son facing an impending open-heart surgery. How would I handle losing him? Am I willing to trust God the way this family is?
I hope so.
Until then I keep asking God for help.
Help me trust you. Help me bring comfort to others. Help me know you’re with me all the way.
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy!
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.
(2 Corinthians 1.3-5, The Message)