February, 2015: Time for a Second Look



Time Of YEAR!

Time to break resolutions before the tax documents arrive!

Time to forget doing taxes to watch the Super Bowl!

Time to complain about the weather to avoid doing taxes!

Time to watch hockey because that’s what’s on!

Time to forget Valentine’s Day until Feb 14th’s afternoon, then blow a few grand!

Time to forget which presidents we celebrate on Presidents’ Day…and why.

Time to forget what Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. actually stood for.

Time to forget all the great things the Irish have accomplished because we had too many beers…

Time to plan massively packed itineraries to consume the only week we have off during the spring semester, then complain about how exhausted we are after the time off.

Time to plan activities for Easter, one of the two or three most important holy days in the Church calendar, and decide how to split time between Jesus and the Bunny.

Time to panic about the ACT, college, graduation, finals, and, and, and…!


So…what will you make time for?

What will you honor with your time?

What will get the most valuable possessions you have, your time and attention?

The urgent is loud…but the important is what you will wish you would have done. How easy it is to think only of feelings in the moment, and miss greater moments in the future. Our will to be uncomfortable now translates directly into joy, peace, and relief later. Our indulgence, procrastination, and lethargy now translate directly into guilt and delayed success later. It is hard to hold back when so many comforts are so easily had. It is hard to leave the warm for the cold, wet, and gray. But Spring is coming.

When the world turns green in a week, the animals begin to fire up their engines, and the sun feels warm all day long, we will have energy, ambition, and great dreams. But we will have massive debt, baggage, and regrets, as well, if we are not careful. Success is not an accident. No one builds empires on lottery winnings, buried treasure, or caught Leprechauns. Successful projects and lives are built on discipline, hard work, and God’s direction. So what time is it?

Is it time to go psycho health-nut, eating raw grass and running marathons? Time to pitch out all the electronics, or the sweets, or the stash of whatever? Time to sell it all, move overseas, and adopt every orphan that comes by?

Well…maybe. Maybe that’s what it would take to finally see your life as it is, and not just how it feels. Maybe that would turn your values upside down, and change your habits, and change your destiny.

Maybe it takes something smaller and more difficult. What about turning off the electronics instead of throwing them away? What about eating vegetables instead of sweets? What about loving the children you already have by consistently enforcing boundaries in their lives and modeling submission to boundaries in your own?

Maybe it means training yourself, and then your family, to hold something sacred, to observe a reverent attitude instead of a flippant one.

Maybe you should find out what MLK actually said, and believed.

Maybe you should do the taxes first, and then watch the hockey.

Maybe you should slow down, look around, and just let things settle a little bit. You might be surprised by what you see, perhaps for the first time.

See the selfless resignation of Washington and the massive generosity of Lincoln. See that your wife needs your support at home or a day off more than she needs flowers or candy. See that your elderly neighbor needs a friend, your marriage needs the stability of disciplined spending, and your cravings are a mask for your insecurity that only God Himself can fill.

See the miracle of Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension, and let Him speak to you about your future.

Investigate the history of the Irish, especially the story of Saint Patrick, God’s messenger to the Irish.

Give thanks for the sunshine, the snow, the warm, and the cold, and know that no storm of life lasts forever.

And maybe, just maybe, Spring Break might be a good time to just…take a break. Unschedule your week, and just let it happen. See what comes into your life and what decides to leave. See what comes into your mind, and what fades away. See what God has planned for you, and let go of trying to figure it all out.

Sometimes a second look makes all the difference. Unless you’re watching hockey.

My daughter just blew a snot-bubble…inside of another snot-bubble. That deserves a second look.

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