Friday, 1 April 2011

The Bucket List

In 2007 Academy Award winners Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman teamed up to star in the comedy drama “The Bucket List”. It is a touching, no-holds-barred adventure of two aging gentlemen that have been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The theme is that it’s never too late to live life to its fullest.

This may seem a bit morbid to those of you who are young and/or healthy and aren’t thinking of “kicking the bucket” any time soon. But think what a fun conversation starter this could be? Perhaps you could have multiple lists – one covering a short term horizon and the other focused on life’s fourth quarter. Lists could include an activity that you’d love to do that cost less than $50; or things you’d love to do if you could get someone to watch the kids for a weekend; or places you’d love to visit within the next ten years, etc. Well you get the picture.

I suspect you will learn something about one another that may surprise you. “Do you really want to take a sushi making class?” “Hang gliding, I thought you were afraid of heights?” Dare to dream. Don’t criticize one another’s fantasies. It doesn’t matter if they are realistic or not. You may be fifty and think you would like to go back to school and change careers. You may be ninety and want to take up skateboarding or in your twenties and want to drive a race car.

Hopes and dreams when held in the palm of your open hand can create excitement and anticipation. It is important to keep the palm open for God ultimately is in control. When we grasp a dream tightly we set ourselves up for disappointment.

Why not start that discussion tonight?

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What Do You Mean I'm an Ambassador?

Have you ever had the experience of reading a passage in the Bible that you have read numerous times and all of a sudden it took on new meaning?

I had just such an experience when I read 2 Corinthians 5:20 that says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” As an ambassador I am representing someone else. I am to represent his/her position in a way that would convey what they would want to say in a way that they would want to say it.

These are the kinds of phrases in Scripture that tend to cause me great discomfort. Such phrases are just shy of giving us a command but the message is clear. I can’t pretend like I didn’t understand it. Perhaps if I could remember how to diagram sentences, the actual meaning, grammatically speaking, would be altered. Who am I kidding? First of all I could never diagram sentences and secondly there is nothing I could do to this sentence to change its implications. In every situation in which I find myself I am to represent God. I am to say what He would say, in a way He would say it. I am to act in a way that He would act, given the opportunity.

So hypothetically speaking if my wife did something that disappointed me I would show her grace. If she did something that hurt me, I would overlook it and turn the other cheek. If she acted in an unloving or disrespectful manner toward me I would act in a forgiving and loving way toward her. And if in some way she was to say or do something that would offend God, I would gently restore her. Am I missing something here?

Why does God do this? Surely there are things in the Bible that are less clear. Couldn’t He have been at least a little ambiguous? He could have said, “to some people you are to be Christ’s ambassadors.” This would have left it open to my discretion. I assume that this principle also applies to the moron who cuts me off on the highway; the clueless person with a basketful of groceries in the express checkout lane; and the salesclerk who is too busy texting her friends to wait on me.

I know Scripture says that we are but aliens in this world, if I’m able to put this principle into practice my wife will think she is married to one.