Friday, December 11, 2015

The Careful Life

Sometimes my devotionals are sparked by a communication from a former youngster in my life. This entry, from September 11, 2011 was one of them.

Thirty two minutes ago, I received this Facebook message from one of my former players:
I could be jumping ahead of you but that's because I expect a blog every night. Anyway, I hope it's on 9/11. Remarkably sad, then again it should be a motivation to so many because of the heroism so many people showed that day. Hope all is well, Coach Hawley! Miss your daily teaching, and coaching. 
To be honest, I wasn't going to write about 9/11. I think so many people have tremendous things to say that I could add little to the discussion. Several nights ago, my topic was buying shirts from Jos. A Bank and the influence of my sister-in-law, Sally. Right before I read Juliette's message, I took one of those shirts out of the bag to hang it up. (I'm not one to wash clothes before I wear them unlike, apparently, many people.) I thought I was going to unwrap the dress shirt but disassemble is more the correct term. I counted- fourteen pins, pieces of plastic, pieces of cardboard, and tissue-like paper were used to form the white oxford into a perfect square for me to take possession. I don't know who put that shirt into its display form but they did a wonderful job- they made it their masterpiece. They were careful to get it just right. And that, Juliette, is the lesson. Life should be lived joyfully, courageously, lovingly, but also carefully. Paul taught us in Ephesians the manner in which we should spend our days on earth:
 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
You see, I'm not careful most days. I'm careless with my words, careless with my thoughts, careless with my time, careless with my actions, and careless with my keys. (Keep reading this week about the keys!) When we're careless, we can lose our freedoms, our souls, our families, our lives, maybe even our nation. We cannot prevent all the bad things that happen to our loved ones or our country but we can live our lives to the best of our ability. We can tell the people we love we love them. We can learn a great deal about people simply by seeing how they do their job, no matter how small it seems at the time.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us and neither is our liberty. So that's the lesson, Juliette. My favorite line from My Country Tis Of Thee is "Land where my fathers died." Someday, I'll join them. This nation will either be better or worse because of my citizenship and yours. Let's be careful with that responsibility.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Be careful how you spend your time: Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of."

Richard Baxter

God bless,
Steve (former coach of Juliette)
Luke 18:1
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