Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Crack Syndrome

Have you ever walked into a friend's house and noticed a crack in the wall? You know, the things that were wrong with the house? Maybe a cracked wall here, chipped paint there, or maybe (gasp) stains in the carpet. While we may notice these things, chances are your friend doesn't see them. Why? It's called The Crack Syndrome.

The Crack Syndrome's premise simple; the longer we live with something that has errors/blemishes - the greater chance that we overlook them. This not only works with houses and other material items - it also works with relationships too. For example, I might meet someone for the first time and notice a "tick" they might have. To me, it's glaring. However, after spending years with this individual (OK, I'm not talking about my wife don't jump to ANY conclusions) those ticks seem to disapper. I don't notice them until one day I introduce my friend to another new friend. Later that day, my new friend migth say, "Hey, what's up with your friend...he's doing that weird thing." I might laugh and realize that I've simply overlooked it over time. That's The Crack Syndrome. We overlook cracks over time.

There's something beautiful and dangerous about The Crack Syndrome. It's beautiful because we can live our lives without pointing out errors and 'mistakes' when it really SHOULDN'T matter. However, it's dangerous because there are times when these cracks (whatever they may be) SHOULD matter. The key to The Crack Syndrome is knowing when it SHOULD or SHOULDN'T matter.

Sometimes we take The Crack Syndrome too far or too lightly. Tight wads tend to pay attention to the hairline cracks that will never hurt anyone - while enablers disregard massive cracks that threaten the foundation of the structure.

God, please help me to be concerned about the RIGHT cracks. The ones that don't matter - help me to let go of. The cracks that may crumble the foundation (whether in my relationships or my house) need my attention. Help me to know what the correct REPAIR method is for the cracks in my life and those around me. I'll be honest, Lord, I don't like pointing out cracks in other people's I need Your courage to be honest with I see things that may rock the foundation of my family and friends.

Monday, January 23, 2006

It Doesn't Matter

So when doesn't it matter? You know...when you just shrug your shoulders and say, "Forget doesn't matter." It's like the time a co-worker came into my office in a tissy about something that (to them) was a big deal. I sat there thinking (of course, as they talked) to myself - you know, this REALLY DOESN'T MATTER. I don't care. It's of no value. I even thought I might comment on their tirad by saying, "...and what's the big deal?!"

Everything in life is given a priority. Take for example, our thought process in the morning. We begin thinking about what needs to be accomplished in the day. This usually takes place in the shower. By the time we brush our teeth (I probably have this out of order, or skip this one if you are gross), we might be formulating a pecking order of what should be done first. We automatically give priority to every task. This happens even if we don't realize we are doing it.

Everyone has their own unique priority order. While I think it is important to brush my teeth in the morning, the next person feels that getting down that first cup of java is more important. So who's right? While it's not really a matter of right or wrong in this case, when does it become a matter of right and wrong. For example, is it right to let someone wait to meet with me when I simply want to finish a project? This one is a little more grey. Then there are obvious ones, the priority of my wife over other women. My wife is priority one...and if she wasn't, I'd be wrong to think otherwise.

So the question is - how do we choose priorities? I'm convinced we select priorities based off of (most of the time) selfish desires and nearsightedness. Consider a doctor giving me news that I had a week to live. My priorities would shift dramatically. My investments of resources (not just money, but time and other elements) would look different. But why? Should I always live life like it's my last week? How about my last day? But how can I when I spend a day at work? Spending a day at work would not be my choice for my last day of life. So the trick is to live life using priorities primarily based from the information we know right now about the past, present, future...and to not dwell on the what-ifs. Bottom line, I want to get to the end with no regrets with how my priorities are.

Even this some point, it was my priority to post an entry.

And for some point, it was your priority to read this post.

God help us to prioritize our lives as if He would want us to if He were in our shoes.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Why are we here?

"Tell me again Maximus, why are we here?" One of the early turning points in the movie "Gladiator." Ceaser of Rome was dying. He was questioning how people would remember him as...a soldier, a visionary, a tyrant? While it can be sobering to think about death and a fixed life span here on Earth - there is hope in knowing life goes beyond the physical one we live out everyday.

How should I live my life in light of eternity? It comes down to what is most important NOW because of eternity. If there was no hope of life after death, then I should live my life for my own benefit. But eternal life brings a new perspective on life right now.

What would please God with my time on Earth? Coming up with a list is important if I desire to hear the words the Bible says God will state to some - "Well done, good and faithful servant." There is a key found even in these words. The word is SERVANT. What kind of servant? A faithful one. A 'good' one.

At the end of this life, I'd like for Jesus to put His arm around me and say, "Bryan, everything you did you did because you wanted to serve Me. Your family time, your personal time, your finances, your music, the books you read, the relationships you built, the trips you took, the words you spoke, the thoughts you contemplated - all of them were acts of service to Me. Not only did you do them with Me in mind, you were committed and steadfast in your purpose. I know you love Me because your life actions said it."