During the month of February we have been looking at how the family is similar to a tree. The roots are all of the ancestors who went before us, our grandparents, great grandparents and all the way back to the origins of our families. Their stories and struggles, victories and values, character and commitments have shaped who we are and what we hold dear. The importance of the roots is often forgotten about because they are out of sight underground; but it is the root system that provides the support and nourishment to the tree.
The roots drawn in the water and nutrients from the ground and transfer them up to the trunk. The trunk are the parents. Parents are the most visible, aspects of the family. It is from them that the children are to learn wisdom and the lessons that will guide them through life. The book of Proverbs is chock full of examples and antidotes of parents imparting wisdom to their children. Not knowledge (facts, information or practical understanding of a subject) but wisdom (accumulated life lessons, good sense and judgment). The good old-fashioned things that will keep you out of trouble, out of debt and on the straight and narrow.
The branches are the children who can only grow strong and true when they are not crowded or hovered over. And the fruit is what we show others. Our love, joy, peace, patience, understanding and compassion.
As we finish up our series this Sunday, we invite everyone to come join us for lunch after the morning service. No need to need to be a regular attendee, just a desire to come share some good ole family hospitality. Hope to see you all this Sunday for lunch!
Just like 100 million other people, our family watched Super Bowl LIII. I have come to realize that I can only really enjoy a football game if I have absolutely no interest in who wins. When I have a rooting interest, I am far too tense and emotionally invested to appreciate the game. This was exactly the case as I watch the Patriots and Rams. While I am not a fan of the Patriots, I can only name three people on the team, Brady, Gronk and Edelman, I am an admirer of the Patriot program, otherwise known as, "The Patriot Way." What they have accomplished is amazing. I know more people hate them than like them. I know they are called cheaters, babies, they pay off the refs and on and on and on. Yet despite all of their detractors, they just keep winning. Yes, I like them because they win and because I appreciate seeing excellence.
It was that very mindset that made me miserable watching the game on Sunday night. I was anticipating seeing the Pats offense control the game that I completely missed the high-powered performance their defense put on display. Although I was watching the Patriot defense stop the Rams on eight straight drives, I did not appreciate what I was seeing. I just wanted to see Brady throw a deep strike to Gronk or Edelman for a touchdown.
It was not until the next morning, as I sat alone in the silence of the early morning hours that I realized that not only was Super Bowl LIII the lowest scoring game in Super Bowl history, but the 3 points allowed by the Patriots defense tied the lowest amount of points allowed in the Big Game. In 53 years, only two times were teams held to 3 points, and I watched one of them. I was so determined to see one thing that I completely missed what was happening right in font of my eyes because I was not looking for it. When I made this observation to a friend I work with he said, "When you think of the "85" Bears, what do you thing about?" I said, "A dominating defense." He said, "Exactly, and even a stinky Patriots team scored 10 points on them."
What I should have realized Sunday night completely went over my head, all because I was not in tune to what I was watching. I wanted to see one thing which caused me to refuse to see something incredibly obvious. Then I got to thinking, how many times do I do this with God? God shows his power and might, beauty and love every day, but how often do I miss it because I am looking for something other than what is going on right in front of me. How many times do I look right past the beauty of God's creation because there might be some grey clouds in the sky? How many times do I miss the joy of waking up with breath in my lungs and in my right mind because I may have a little ache here or there? How many do I times do I look right past the joy of fellowship with others simply because we might have a different point of view on a subject?
What a simple football game taught me was that I can get so caught up in what I want that I can completely miss the incredible gifts that God is giving me.