Every day I drive the same highway to and from the office, and every day I see an alarming number of distracted drivers. Usually they’re talking on the phone or texting, but I have also seen people reading the newspaper, putting on makeup, and eating a bowl of cereal while trying to maneuver a car at 70+ miles per hour! In some circumstances, distractions are fleeting and harmless. In a moving vehicle, they can kill.
A college student I met had recently placed her faith in Christ. She described her initial life-change this way: “When I trusted Christ for salvation, it felt like God reached down from heaven and placed a new set of eyes in my eye sockets. I could understand spiritual truth!”
Someone has defined friendship as “knowing the heart of another and sharing one’s heart with another.” We share our hearts with those we trust, and trust those who care about us. We confide in our friends because we have confidence that they will use the information to help us, not harm us. They in turn confide in us for the same reason.
When the US Civil War ended in 1865, more than half a million soldiers lay dead, the economy was shattered, and people remained deeply divided politically. The observance of Mother’s Day in the United States began with two women’s efforts for peace and reconciliation during this time of anguish. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe called for an International Mother’s Day on which women would unite in opposing war in all its forms. A few years later, Anna Reeves Jarvis began her annual Mother’s Friendship Day in an effort to reunite families and neighbors alienated by the war. There is always great suffering when friends and families are fractured and unwilling to forgive.
Seventeenth-century Quaker leader Isaac Pennington said, “The Lord has been teaching me to live upon Himself—not from anything received from Him, but upon the life itself.” The people in John 6 wanted to live off Jesus, but not for the same reason. It was not because their hearts were loyal to Him, but because their hearts were loyal to what they thought He could provide for them—namely, food and deliverance from Roman oppression.
Early on a sunny Sunday afternoon after church, I headed out for a walk around the neighborhood. A man was trimming his grass along the sidewalk, and we greeted each other with the usual “Hello, how are you?” In a negative tone, he replied, “It’s just another Sunday.” Later, I wondered what he had meant by that. Was he saying, I’m just doing my chores—going through the motions?
Our world has become increasingly noisy. But according to a news report, science has found a way to achieve absolute silence: “Scientists have shown off the blueprint for an ‘acoustic cloak,’ which could make objects impervious to sound waves. The technology, outlined in the New Journal of Physics, could be used to build sound-proof homes, advanced concert halls, or stealth warships.”
I still find it amazing that we can launch probes into deep space. But think of how wasteful it would be if on the way to Mars our probe got caught in the gravitational pull of a lesser, insignificant object. Beware! That might be happening in our lives.
A friend told me about his church’s leadership retreat. For 2 days, church leaders pulled away for a time of prayer, planning, and worship. My friend was not only refreshed but also energized. He told me, “This retreat is really going to help us move forward as a church ministry.”