Keep God as the one constant in your life…

August 4, 2017

The only thing constant about life is that there are no constants…everything changes – that’s vaguely what the ancient philosopher Heraclitus was alluding to when he said that “life is flux”.

 

Every now and then I stop and think about how things, little things, change in my life from day to day or week to week. For a while I was going to gym and working out every day. Then it became three times a week and now it is maybe 2-3 times a week. It’s not that I consciously decided to stop going all the time, but life changed and I got too busy to women looking at watchgo every day and then too busy to go 3 times a week and now I really have to make a special effort to go twice a week.

 

The same thing happened to my blogging. For a while I was posting to this blog every day, then maybe 3-4 times a week, then maybe 1-2 times a week and now maybe 1-2 ties every two weeks. I didn’t stop loving to do blog posts, but I ran out to time because I let other things take precedence over spending that hour to write a post.

 

There are many other examples that I could expound upon and many examples in your life that might come to your mind. Life changes and our daily routines change with it, sometimes causing things that we used to like to do to fall by the wayside. Our faith and churchthe practice of it in our daily lives can become victims of life’s changes and distractions, if we don’t make a special effort to recognize God as the central constant in our lives.  For most that means taking time out once a week to attend church.

 

I’ve posted here a couple of times (perhaps the posts might be considered to have been rants) about the hegemony of sports, especially youth sports, on the practice of religion in America. We certainly didn’t see that change coming.  Whole families are taken away from church because of soccer or female soccer playerbaseball or other sports (hockey in the winter) that are now played or practiced on Sunday mornings. One could hope that somehow the families involved took time later in the day to home school their children on the importance of God and religion in their lives, but I suspect that is more of a dream than a real hope.

 

So why make God the one constant in our lives? I would ask in reply to that question; what else do we have, if not God, to serve as an anchor, a constant, in our lives?  God is the only thing that we can imagine or point to that never changes. Our beliefs may waiver and our minds may wander from time to time; but, every time that we turn back to God, He is the same. He never leaves us and He never stops loving us, even as we wander away, distracted by other demands in our lives.me

 

It is worthwhile to take a moment each day and at least acknowledge that fact, that God is the one constant, in our lives. Just reaching out to God as the touchstone in our lives on a daily basis will serve to keep us grounded in values that will also serve us well in meeting life’s challenges. I have shared here before the very simple, yet immensely powerful little prayer that I use to reach out to God – “Not my will, but thy will be done.” That simple little sentence incorporates belief, acceptance, surrender, and hope all in one phrase and is a great start to any day. Try it yourself. It will help you keep God as the one constant in your life and you will begin each day unburdened by the concerns and fears that you just handed off to God.

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What happened to Sundays?

May 29, 2017

While I was at church this past Sunday, at least one of my grandsons and his dad were at a little league game that started at 9 AM that morning. It’s quite probable that another of my grandsons had a game, too. I thought back to when I was growing up and how baseball glove and ballSunday was a day dedicated to church and family time, and not a day filled with organized sports or other activities. In fact, when I was a kid in Illinois the state still had “Blue Laws”, which made it illegal to sell alcohol on Sundays and illegal to open retail stores. We used to drive across the Mississippi River into Missouri to shop on Sunday afternoon (after church, of course).

Now, I’m certainly not advocating a return to the Blue Laws days; however, I do find it both disappointing and somewhat offensive that Sundays have been turned into sports days. It seems that every little league sport of any sort now views Sunday mornings as fair game for practices or actual games. If it’s not baseball, it’s soccer or hockey or basketball or whatever. Our children are not only lured into these things, but are now actually forced into them by the pressure to start competitive sports at younger and younger ages. II have seen articles that blame the passage of the Title 9 laws back in 1972. Those laws encouraged (some might say mandated) the creation of programs to educate and keep baseball playerchildren busy (and off the streets). Out of that start more and more “little leagues” for all sports grew, until we have what we have today – seven-days a week sports activities that not only keep our kids off the streets but out of churches as well.

Why is that so important? I believe that a case can be made that the teachings that children used to get by attending church and Sunday School were a critical part of their development into responsible adults. It was, and still is, the primary place that focused upon establishing a moral base for adulthood, through the teaching of right and wrong as defined within religious doctrine. It was a rite of passage on the journey to adulthood that we have largely abandoned as a society and we are much the poorer for that.

I believe that another thing that the usurping of Sundays has caused is exhaustion in both the children and the families. We no longer have a day that we set aside for relaxing andlistening toi music.png rejuvenation. Instead we are on the go rung to and from activities seven days a week. Not only don’t modern children get bored, they don’t get any rest either. There is less time for reading and play, because they have to get to the next game or to rehearsal for an upcoming recital. There is no time to just be a child; one has to get ready for the next competition. We are teaching them that it’s a win-lose world, a zero sum game in which the one who works the hardest wins. What a shame that they are no longer exposed to the win-win world of Christianity in which making the effort and helping others is more family grroupimportant than winning every time.

All of this could be avoided, if parents just took the stand that Sundays (at least the mornings) are not for sports, but for family time and for church. Unfortunately, the current generation of parents is among the first themselves to largely abandon organized religions. Perhaps that is the fault of the religions themselves, which were slow to change and recognize the needs of younger parishioners. The growth of modern, non-denominational churches sprung from the recognition of those needs and a willingness to change in order to fill them.

However, not all churches can make the change to so-called “modern” services, with praise bands and video productions and other attractions/distractions to lure the young and the bored. Hopefully, for those churches, God will find a way to bring back the folks churchwho have wandered away to watch a Sunday morning game. Sometime, somehow, in the back of their minds God will plant the seed that they are missing something in their lives and that the best place to fill that void is in church. Let’s just hope that the churches can hold on long enough for them to have a place to go back to when that happens. I’ll be there to welcome you back if that happens to you.