Please watch this video about perception and true beauty. It means even more to us now considering the physical damage that has been done to Braden’s face.
Even in realizing that you are more physically beautiful than you realize, remember this: “God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”
Have a listen to this: Garrison Keillor reading a Walt Whitman quote about baseball. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Happy Opening Day!
A couple of years ago I found out what “you can’t take it with you” means. I found out while I was lying in a ditch at the side of a country road, covered with mud and blood and with the tibia of my right leg poking out the side of my jeans like a branch of a tree taken down in a thunderstorm. I had a MasterCard in my wallet, but when you’re lying in a ditch with broken glass in your hair, no one accepts MasterCard.
We all know that life is ephemeral, but on that particular day and in the months that followed, I got a painful but extremely valuable look at life’s simple backstage truths. We come in naked and broke. We may be dressed when we go out, but we’re just as broke. Warren Buffet? Going to go out broke. Bill Gates? Going out broke. Tom Hanks? Going out broke. Steve King? Broke. Not a crying dime.
All the money you earn, all the stocks you buy, all the mutual funds you trade—all of that is mostly smoke and mirrors. It’s still going to be a quarter-past getting late whether you tell the time on a Timex or a Rolex. No matter how large your bank account, no matter how many credit cards you have, sooner or later things will begin to go wrong with the only three things you have that you can really call your own: your body, your spirit, and your mind.
So I want you to consider making your life one long gift to others. And why not? All you have is on loan, anyway. All that lasts is what you pass on… .
We have the power to help, the power to change. And why should we refuse? Because we’re going to take it with us? Please. Giving is a way of taking the focus off the money we make and putting it back where it belongs—on the lives we lead, the families we raise, the communities that nurture us.
A life of giving—not just money, but time and spirit— repays. It helps us remember that we may be going out broke, but right now we’re doing O.K. Right now we have the power to do great good for others and for ourselves.
So I ask you to begin giving, and to continue as you began. I think you’ll find in the end that you got far more than you ever had, and did more good than you ever dreamed.
Last night I had a great dinner with a friend of mine, Brandon. Brandon and I are closer now that we live farther apart than we were when we lived near one another. We had some good barbecue and talked a lot about what we’re reading and other important matters in life.
As we finished up dinner, I found myself lingering at the table. I didn’t want to leave. Part of the reason is because I enjoy talking to Brandon, especially about what we’re reading, or about the writers we love on a TV show, or about baseball or whatever. And another part of the reason is because I knew I was coming back here to a temporary home, without my sweet wife and precious sons…a place where something is missing.
And it hit me. Friends, this planet is merely our temporary home. Something will always be missing here, because this isn’t the world we were created for. I hope to be about the business of bringing God’s Kingdom to the place where I live and the people I live with every day I’m here on earth. And yet there will be an emptiness, there will be something missing here, until the day creation is restored and I become a citizen again of the place I was created to inhabit.
Until the day I don’t have to park my car in the garage of a temporary home.
Play Well with Others
Last week I was in the drive-thru line at Kewpee, a Lima favorite. (Indeed, when I announced on Facebook that I was moving to Lima, two of my college friends immediately sent me messages telling me I HAD to try out Kewpee as soon as possible!) When the lady asked if she could help me over the speaker, I asked how she was doing. There was audible surprise in her voice as she answered that she was doing fine.
When I arrived at the window to get my sweet tea (Hooray! They have sweet tea!! This makes the sting of losing Chick-fil-a a little less severe), she said, “We’re not used to that.” I asked if she meant that she wasn’t used to someone asking how she’s doing. “Nope. Everybody just wants their food and they’re grouchy because they expect us to mess their order up.”
I thanked her for my sweet tea, told her to have a great day, and drove away somewhat flummoxed.
It’s the simplest thing in the world. It doesn’t cost anything at all—not time, not money, not emotional energy. In the midst of interactions you’re going to have throughout your day, interactions with the drive-thru guy or the cashier or the teller or the postal worker or your neighbor or your sister or your child, it’s a very simple thing to choose to be kind.
Not insincerely. Not pretending to be something you’re not. Not to check off a box or earn points in some celestial game show.
Just to be kind, because it’s the right thing to do. And because that’s how they deserve to be treated.
Try it today.
There’s something magical about baseball. Listen to this great clip of Hank Aaron breaking the home run record. And listen long enough to hear the spectacular narrative that follows.
I love this game.
Did you know “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” had verses?? Here’s Carly Simon with a great rendition! Baseball season can’t get here soon enough!