As you probably know, last week a young man wearing black, carrying four guns, opened fire on students at Northern Illinois University. Six are dead. Many more are wounded. Once again, Americans struggle to understand what prompted Stephen Kazmierczak, 27, to snap. Scrambling for answers, the media, as they typically do, turned to the “experts” for their insight. One authority claimed Stephen was “unbalanced” and had stopped taking his medicine . . . another pundit pointed his finger at the role of violent video games in many of these school shootings .
Let’s talk about divorce for a moment.
My parents were divorced when I was five years old, so I speak as one who has first hand experience in both the pain and the host of insecurities that are often a byproduct of a failed marriage. My first observation has to do with the cavalier attitude toward divorce popularized by the law firms who specialize in dissolving marriages.
For instance, I came across a full color advertisement hanging on the wall in a men’s restroom with this slug line: “Don’t Let Your Starter Wife Take Your Dream House.”
I was scheduled to be in Ireland for several days of meetings last week. I packed, kissed the family goodbye, tossed my bags in the trunk, and headed to Denver – alone. While I enjoy traveling and working with our partners around the world, I sure miss my family. Upon arriving at the Denver International Airport, I was in for a surprise. The United Airlines representative informed me that my flight was delayed.
Translation: I’d miss my connection to London and, in turn, wouldn’t make it to Ireland in time for several key meetings.
If there’s one resource that my mother could have used, it would have been Dr. Dobson’s book Parenting Isn’t For Cowards. After all, as a child there were times when I was quite the handful. Case in point.
As a six year old, I tagged along with my mom whenever she went grocery shopping. You see, I always got to pick out a toy. If I didn’t get one, I’d throw a full-body tantrum – the kind of fit that turned the heads of other moms.
Life is short. It’s longer for some, shorter for others.
Even to live to be 120, in the grand scheme of things – specifically, in view of eternity – life is still short. Which is probably why Moses prayed, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” None of us knows how long we have to live. Moses knew that making the most of our moments on earth comes from gaining God’s perspective on what’s really important.
I came across a news story several months back that I’ve been meaning to comment on. Here’s The New York Post headline that originally caught my eye: Arrests Soar For Young & Ruthless. In their report the Post documented an alarming trend in crimes committed by youth in New York City. No question, the facts are disturbing: 52,936 youth (ages 13-18) had been arrested during 2006. Don’t rush too quickly past that figure.
That’s more than half the population of Albany, the state’s capital.
Let me tell you about an unusual conversation I had the other day. I was speaking with a friend who had left behind a thriving career in order to gain some much needed perspective on his life and family. During his season of reflection he wanted to do something radical. Much to his wife’s surprise – and his children’s glee – he set out to pursue his childhood dream of raising chickens.
Chickens? Rhode Island Reds to be exact.
How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? If you’re like many, you might have purchased a treadmill with an eye on walking more this year. Perhaps it was a membership at the YMCA or a health club, the purchase of a stationary bicycle, or simply buying a new pair of walking shoes to encourage a regular cardiovascular routine.
Perhaps you cut up the credit cards in an effort to dig yourself out of debt.
The battle over who gets to compete for the coveted Super Bowl XLII ring comes down to how the Patriots, the Packers, the Chargers, and the Giants perform in the final playoff round. Personally, I had been pulling for the Colts to do a repeat performance of last season. After all, head coach Tony Dungy is such a class act, both on and off the field. He’s one of the best role models to come along in a long time.
If there’s one thing that I can almost guarantee in 2008, it’s that you and I will encounter struggles in our marriage or family life. This is, after all, a fallen world. Things break. Relationships become strained. Misunderstandings happen. Sickness happens. Life gets messy. Even Jesus as He walked on this earth refused to sugar coat reality. He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).