Happy 2012 and the resuming of the CatchFraze blogging adventure!
I have been up since 4:15 a.m. traveling to N.C.Y.M. (National Conference on Youth Ministries--www.ncym.org). I love to travel, but this morning’s wake up call was painfully early. Even so, as I sit typing in the food court of Orlando International Airport, the flight from Dallas to Houston to Orlando produced a few random thoughts on life that are worth sharing. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Wearing a Nebraska Football jersey in public is not as cool as it once was! I am in the city in which the bowl game they are participating in is being played and receiving little or no reaction. The great Husker Nation will rise again. (at least I am not wearing a Cowboy’s jersey). Thought: How quickly the crowd cheers new celebrities and forgets the "greats" of the past—fame is fleeting! Makes me glad the Lord loves me just the same whether the crowd thinks of me as a “winner” or “loser!” (BTW: A husband and wife just walked by in their Wisconsin Jersey’s—they snickered when they saw the “N”)
- Not everyone enjoys the cries of a baby on a crowded plane! As a dad, I understand and empathize with parents who wrestle crying babies on planes. Stares from annoyed passengers are piercing and the “try this” advice or “pop their ears” suggestions get old…fast! Those who have never wrestled a crying baby in a crowded space are often the most annoyed—they will learn soon enough. Thought: It is easy to be annoyed by the “cries” of a hurting world if you fail to empathize with their situation! It makes me think twice before calling out sin and judgment and reminds me to be more like Jesus who demonstrated empathy towards a fallen creation.
- Powerless parenting is raising up a generation of “entitled” students—trouble is brewing! Sometimes I can’t help but stare at the source of annoying comments. It is like passing an accident on the road—I can’t help personally assessing the damage of the collision. This morning’s flight featured an annoying “collision” of two teenage boys, a powerless mom and a group of annoyed passengers (just for fun, these two boys and their mom were sitting next to the crying baby—extra drama). There are too many annoying comments and sounds to catalog here(yes, flatulence was imitated with abandon), but let me summarize by saying it was obvious that these two boys had their mother where they wanted her—controlled. Thought: As a dad, discipline is not my favorite thing, but it is a necessary thing! I am not being holier-than-thou, I am not a perfect disciplinarian and continue to learn and seek wise counsel. Discipline is messy and something we often stumble through until we find the consequence that motivates a change of behavior. It may be difficult, but when students are raised with the “have whatever you want precious” parenting style they can develop into demanding, unrealistic (emotionally and spiritually), unkind and weak adults. The cost of non-discipline is a price no one wants to pay. NOTE: Students still have to make their own choices and may reject discipline, but that is not an excuse for adults to ignore their responsibility or fail to give their best effort.
- A rising sun grabs our attention! It is one of the greatest, maybe only, blessings of an early flight schedule. There is something about the sun’s first rays peaking over the horizon that grabs our attention and creates pause. Games, books, spread sheets are ignored for a momentary glance at the indication that a new day is beginning. I often wonder what is going on in each person’s mind as they witness this daily reminder of God’s goodness—I bet it is something spiritual. Thought: What would happen if we let the simple beauties of the day grab our attention? I would imagine our focus would be more centered on the greatest things (commandments): Loving God, Loving People (this is the greatest commandment, Hard Rock Café borrowed a little).
That concludes the beginning of the 2012 CatchFraze season. Be watching for the soon to come “Student Ministry Resolutions for 2012.”
Happy New Year!