February 18, 2010

How to Be GREAT

Yesterday, we took the staff to hear some of the great leaders of our time. Condolezza Rice, Colin Powell, Microsoft's President, Zig Ziglar, athlete Michael Phelps, and others. It was inspiring to hear their tales of sacrifice, hard work, lucky breaks, dedication, and climbs to greatness.

Two common themes I heard were these: Focus and Passion. Focus yourself on the goals that really matter and then passionately pursue them. People who accomplish extraordinary results have a clear focus and a tenacity to take enthusiastic action in the direction of their dream.

I love these kind of presentations. It's in the way that I am wired. BUT I think they need to be always with the wisdom of 1 Corinthians 13 and with the words of Mother Teresa. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 reminds us that we can do great things but if we don't do them with great love then they are actually NOTHING. It's how much loving for God and for people that you put into the DOING that creates the GREATNESS of the deed.

Also I think we miss the "greatness" of our ordinary lives if we are not careful. Mother Teresa said, "There are no great acts, only small acts done with great love". And Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Anyone can be great because anyone can serve". To see Christ in the people we meet everyday and to reach out to love them as we would love Christ...this is the greatness attainable by all people.

I want to be a GREAT MAN in God's eyes. "Lord, help me to simply faithfully love with your great love today and let my greatness be determined by you!"

February 09, 2010

OUCH! Bike Wreck!

I was racing home from the gym with a front tire on my bike that was deflating faster than the U.S. dollar in a recession.

I thought I could make it and was within a block of home. As I roared around the final corner by tire slipped off the rim, launching me head first over the handlebars onto the pavement in the middle of the street. Blood was spurting everywhere...I wasn't sure my left eye was still working...I rolled over, jumped up limping, and yanked my bike to sidewalk. I laid down and placed compression pressure over my eye to stop the bleeding
(That's NOT me in the picture but I looked a little worse than that!) .

I immediately began first aid procedures..."Help me Jesus! Heal me Jesus! In the name of Jesus (repeated quickly and painfully 20 times in a row". 5 minutes later Deb came rolling up and at first thought I was laying in the grassy median leisurely waiting for her. But then she saw the blood and it was yet one more time in our 32 years that I was glad she had taken two  years of nurses training.

I hobbled home pressing a towel to my eyebrow. I had knee lacerations, a partially dislocated thumb, a three inch gash over my eye and couple of other smaller head wounds. Deb cleaned me up and upon hearing my resistance to go to urgent care, ended up butterflying my eye gash.

Of course I drew some practical and spiritual analogies from my painful experience. Practically speaking, I think helmets are a good idea. Personally I believe an angel caught me in midair. At the speed I was going my brains could have been and should have been laying in the road. I think the angel caught me and then dropped me a little to teach me, "Buy a helmet dummy".

Spiritually speaking, I thought about how people can have bad leak in the their lives, the Spirit of God leaking out of a problem they really need to deal with. But they are racing through life thinking oh it's not that bad, I can make it, there's always time to get it fixed. Then bam! A sudden blow out occurs and they are on their face needing the Great Physician to put them back together again. Don't ignore the leaks in your spiritual life.

My head hurts and so does my ego, but God gives new wisdom to the humble.