In recent weeks, God has taught me in two distinct areas. Over the course of a day or two I heard three different sermons/teachings on 1 Timothy 6, about how contentment is great gain. I didn’t seek out any of these teachings knowing that they were on this topic. The other topic was on Alfred Nobel. As the story goes, his obituary was mistakenly printed in the newspaper one morning, and upon seeing himself labeled as the “Merchant of Death”, he became so disturbed that he used his fortune to create the Nobel Prizes. Once again, over the course of two or three days, I heard or read three different teachings on Nobel. Prior to this, I was not familiar with the story of his obituary or how the Nobel Prizes came to be. After learning about his efforts to create a better legacy for himself, I’ve given a lot of thought to my own legacy and how I want to be remembered after I’m gone.
As I was listening to an old song by Kitaro, the Japanese musician, I was flooded with memories and emotions from back in 1986 when I first heard this song. I had been introduced to his music at a summer program that lasted for several weeks. How in the world did I evolve from being a scared 17-year-old kid to a middle-aged man with two teens of his own? The enormous differences between my life then and my life now are amazing. I suppose there is only one answer for how this happened — one day at a time.
Lately as I’ve really tried to rely on God for everything (my daily sustenance), I’ve viewed my dependence on Him sort of like being in prison — waiting blindly for the door to open and some food or a package to slide through. I’m sad to admit this, to myself as well as to others. It’s hard feeling like you’re not in control, however. I pray that I can shake this feeling and begin to see my relationship with God as it should be.
As I was taking a shower one recent morning, I realized after a couple of minutes that I had already had three very different songs running through my head — the classic hymn “Shall We Gather at the River?”, Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild”, and Andy Gibb’s “I Just Want to Be Your Everything”. I have no idea why my brain decided to play these three particular songs that morning.
I’m always happy when pulling out of the driveway to leave for an overnight trip. I finally realized why. The road gives hope — you have something to look forward to, a destination that will give you a break from the daily monotony of ordinary life. This fact may be obvious to others, but for me I just realized it.
I’ve always been fascinated how conversations will evolve, how one topic leads to another, then another, etc. Recently I was sitting around talking with a mixed group of people. An older lady was remarking how her husband used to write her love notes when he was overseas in World War II. A younger lady then told how when she and her husband were first dating, he wrote her love notes on blue toilet paper. Then the thought struck a couple of us that you can’t find colored toilet paper on the shelves anymore. A teenage girl googled the subject, finding one result that said the dyes in colored toilet paper were banned several years ago due to a suspected link to cancer found in lab animals. The conversation then took a turn toward discussing the primate research lab at the local university. One of the women works in the medical center of this university, so the conversation drifted onto the effect that Obamacare has had on their industry and healthcare in general. So, our group’s conversation went from WWII love notes to the reduced quality of healthcare in a matter of minutes. And we were scarcely even aware.