I’ve been stunned lately by the deaths of some family and friends. My grandmother died late last year. My Uncle died last week. One of my best friends from high school was found dead this morning.
Thinking about death makes me think about what I do on a daily basis. It makes me think about the way I treat people and respond to situations. It makes me think about the plans I make and how I spend my time. It makes me want to dedicate myself to live better.
When I think about life and death, I am drawn to James 4:14.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
We have a short time here on earth. We have little time to influence people. I want my short vapor of a life to count for something. I want, when the mist is gone, for Christ to have been magnified by my life.
Nothing else matters. I will miss the people who we have lost in the last few days. They influenced me. They are in my memories. Their lives counted. I want my life to count for something.
What would happen if we lived life in light of James 4:14? What would happen if we realized how short life really is? I’m sure my daily decisions would be different. I’m sure I would live to make a greater impact both in my family and in the lives of those around me.
Last week, Apple celebrated the seventh birthday of the iPod. You can check out a visual journey of the iPod’s evolution here).
Before I had an iPod, I had a little MP3 player (a Diamond Rio) that held about 32MB of songs. I thought it was so cool. Then, I bought a Dell Jukebox, which was a great product with a better price than an iPod.
Finally, a few years ago, I delved into the dark world of Apple and
begged allowed my wonderful wife to buy me a “video iPod.” She even got it engraved. I recently purchased a used 1st gen iPhone (which I love). Technology has certainly come a long way in 7 years.
I say all of that to say how much changes in 7 years. Technology surely changes, but also our lives, relationships, and ministries.
Seven years ago, I was a youth pastor at a local church in Florida. Now, I live in a completely different country and have a different job description. Now, I have two sons and a lot of different relationships all over Latin America.
I guess, my question is, “What’s going to happen in 7 more years?” Imagine what the iPod/iPhone will be like in 7 years. Imagine what your life will look like in seven years. I’m hoping that, like technology, my ministry and life continue to advance and get better throughout the years.
(Photo by happylandfill on flickr)
Having a three year old in the house means we watch a lot of Spongebob Squarepants. We watch Spongebob in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night.
I’ve grown to like the cartoon sponge, and I’m willing to admit that I think Spongebob Squarepants can be a positive role model. In fact, I think there are some things we can learn about life from Spongebob Squarepants.
I Want to Be Like Spongebob Squarepants
- He is positive. Spongebob starts every day by saying, “I’m ready!!!!” His positive attitude is seen in pretty much every response. It’s a common thing for the Spongebob to respond positively to something that everyone expects him to respond negatively. We could all imitate Spongebob and change our attitudes to be positive.
- He is persistent. Another thing about Spongebob is that he doesn’t give up too easily. He perseveres. It seems like he’s been trying to get his boating license forever, but no matter how hard he tries, he can’t pass the test. His teacher, Mrs. Puff (she’s a puffer fish), ought to be impressed with his persistence. I want to be persistent at what I’m trying to accomplish.
- He is playful. One of Spongebob’s hobbies is to go “jellyfishing.” He catches jellyfish with his net. He’s constantly got a playful attitude. Maybe that’s why he’s a cartoon, but I think we adults can take ourselves too seriously sometimes. I want to be playful like Spongebob.
- He is friendly. Spongebob gets along with everyone, even his neighbor Squidword. He finds ways to get people to like him regardless of how silly he is. His best friend is an extremely dumb starfish. He has a great relationship with a squirrel who lives underwater, and his boss likes him, too. I want to make friends as easily as Spongebob.
Isn’t it funny what you can learn from a porous, absorbent, yellow sponge that lives in a pineapple under the sea?