Daily Thoughts, November 27, 2004
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Many mornings I make a conscious effort to not read the paper on the way to work.  I have a reasonable commute with plenty of time to explore one of many British papers.  Yet there is something about reading a variation on the four or five story lines which seem to dominate life today.  Knowing another variation on this war or that isn’t new news.  Understanding humanity has slipped yet again and succumbed to one on one violence only reinforces yesterday’s impression.  Gaining insider knowledge on another broken relationship with the external gory details misses the point of what happens to hearts involved.  Even picking up the story lines on a business moving ahead or falling behind, often at the expense of the environment, a competitor, or sheer ignorance, is redundant to yesterday.  In many cases, world, national, and human interest to business to sports, the story line is yesterday’s with new names.
It’s hard to see, experience, and know while keeping a smile on one’s face.  It would be one thing if this was new but it isn’t.  In Jesus day, “a man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.”  (John 11.1)  Bad stuff happening, day in day out, variations on the themes of life.
Many, including myself at times, find themselves caught in a conundrum.  Do I look at life openly, candidly, and with honesty or retreat to a gentle corner?  When I do this I remember the words of a friend.  “You often see disasters, I see opportunities.”
What is the real story?  Is life full of junk, pain, and disasters?  Yes, yes, and yes!  Are many people hurting and going to be hurt?  Yes, in extraordinary and extremely heart wrenching ways.  The stuff of life turns on the next question.  Do I retreat or look for the opportunity?
God passionately and unreservedly loves every person, good, bad, pretty, ugly, and in between.  God offers you and me the opportunity to be arms, hands, and the voice of Divinity.  In this world’s stuff what an amazing opportunity.

November 26, 2004
November 28, 2004