The Masters Tournament is one of the most prestigious in professional golf. In 2009, Kenny Perry placed second after leading during the final round. Writing in The New York Times, Bill Pennington described Perry as “disappointed but not despondent” after the loss. “I’ll look back on it occasionally and wonder what I might have done differently, but I won’t dwell on it,” Perry said. “If this is the worst thing that happens in my life, I’ve got it pretty good. I won’t let it dog me. There are so many other things in life that matter more . . . . I’ll go home tonight with my family and we’ll have fun.”
The documentary film Young@Heart gives a rollicking look at a senior chorus of 24 singers whose average age is 80. Filled with humor and poignant moments, the film includes this remarkable singing group’s deeply moving performance at a New England prison. When the concert concludes, the singers walk into the audience, greeting the surprised prisoners with handshakes and hugs.
When Britain’s oldest man turned 111, vintage aircraft did a flyover, and the Band of the Royal Marines played “Happy Birthday.” According to the Daily Mirror, Henry Allingham was amazed by all of the attention. Until 6 years earlier, he had for 86 years kept secret the horrific memories of what happened in the trenches of World War I. Only when tracked down by the World War I Veteran’s Association did this old man, who had been shelled, bombed, and shot, receive honor for what he had endured in behalf of his country.
When my husband and I first went out as missionaries, I recall being concerned about the growth of materialism in our society. It never crossed my mind that I myself could be materialistic. After all, hadn’t we gone overseas with almost nothing? Weren’t we choosing to live in a shabbily furnished, rundown apartment? I thought materialism couldn’t touch us.
When we meet Naomi in the Scriptures, her life is a mess. She and her husband had gone to Moab searching for food during a famine. While in that land, their two sons married Moabite women, and life was good—until her husband and sons died and she was stuck, widowed in a foreign land.
Almost everyone will at some time in their life be affected by depression, either their own or someone else’s. Some common signs and symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, worthlessness, and helplessness. Although we cannot say for certain that characters in the Bible experienced depression, we can say that some did exhibit a deep sense of despondency, discouragement, and sadness that is linked to personal powerlessness and loss of meaning and enthusiasm for life.
As an avid baseball fan, my favorite team is the Chicago Cubs. The interesting thing about being a Cubs fan is that the team has a way of letting us down. They have not won a World Series since 1908. And while they often have great promise at the beginning of the season, they usually disappoint their loyal fans in the end. One die-hard fan had it right when he said, “If they didn’t disappoint us, they wouldn’t be our Cubs!”
Expectations! We all have them. We expect that people will be nice to us, that we’ll have good health, great marriages, faithful friends, successful careers. But what do we do when life doesn’t live up to our expectations? In Philippians 1, Paul shows us the way. He faced broken expectations of place, people, and the future, yet he remained surprisingly upbeat.