Sunday, May 15, 2011

You're Gonna Miss This

She was starin' out the window of their SUV

Complain'in saying "I can't wait to turn 18"

She said, "I'll make my own money and I'll make my own rules."

Momma put the car in park out there in front of the school

And she kissed her head and said, "I was just like you"


You're gonna miss this

You're gonna want this back

You're gonna wish these days

Hadn't gone by so fast

These are some good times

So take a good look around

You may not know it now

But you're gonna miss this

Before she knows it she's a brand-new bride

In a one bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by

He tells her it's a nice place, she says "It'll do for now"

Then she talks about babies and buying a house

Daddy shakes he head and and says, "baby just slow down"

(repeat chorus)

Five years later there's a plumber working on the water heater

Dogs barking, phones ringing, one kid crying, the other one screamin'

And she keeps apologizin'

He says, "They don't bother me"

I've got two kids of my own

One's twenty-six, one's thirty-three

Huh,'s hard to believe

But you're gonna miss this....

(from "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins)

Peter was a boy who was strong and able, yet sadly flawed by an attitude of impatience. Always dissatisfied with his present condition, Peter spends his life daydreaming about the future.

One day while wandering in the forest, Peter meets a strange old woman who gives him a most tantalizing opportunity...the chance to skip the dull, mundane moments of life. She hands Pater a silver ball from which a tiny gold thread protrudes. "This is your life thread", she explains. "Do not touch it and time will pass normally. But if you wish time to pass more quickly, you only have to pull the thread a little way and an hour will pass like a second. But I warn you, once the thread has been pulled out, it cannot be pushed back in again."

This magical thread seems the answer to all of Peter's problems. It is just what he has always wanted. He takes the ball and runs home.

The following day in school Peter has his first opportunity to put the silver ball to use. The lesson is dragging and the teacher scolds Peter for not concentrating. Peter fingers the silver ball and gives the thread a slight tug. Suddenly the teacher dismisses the class, and Peter is free to leave school. He is overjoyed!. How easy his life will now be. From this moment, Peter begins to pull the thread a little every day.

But soon Peter begins to use the magic thread to rush through larger portions of life. Why waste time pulling the thread just a little every day when he cal pull it hard and complete school altogether? He does so and finds himself out of school and apprenticed in a trade. Peter uses the same technique to rush through his engagement to his sweetheart. He cannot bear to wait months to marry her, so he uses the gold thread to hasten the arrival of his wedding day.

Peter continues this pattern throughout his life. When hard, trying times come, he escapes them with his magic thread. When the baby cries at night, when he faces financial struggles, when he wishes his own children to be launched in careers of their own. Peter pulls the magic thread and bypasses the discomfort of the moment.

But, sadly, when he comes to the end of his life, Peter realizes the emptiness of such an existence. By allowing impatience and discontentment to rule him, Peter has robbed himself of life's richest moments and memories. With only the grave to look forward to, he deeply regrets ever having used the magic thread.

The moral to the story?..... Don't be so quick to want to rush through life. Whether the times are tough and disappointments arise, or whether the times are exciting and exhilarating.... it's all just a part of the journey...and the journey is the gift we have in this life here on earth. Take it all in, might just miss something you'll regret....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Great Evil... Part 2

Last week I talked about the Ten Boom family. A family who suffered greatly during the Nazi regime for their stand against the evils of Nazi-ism and German Socialism.

After World War 2 many of the German S.S. high command (military leadership) went into hiding. They were harbored by many nations. Most thought that they had escaped the world's wrath against them for their atrocities. Most were also hunted down and captured. War crimes trials were held in Nuremberg. Adolf Eichmann, one of Hitler's top henchmen, was allowed to speak and defend his actions.

His words: " I have broken no laws. I was simply following the laws of war and my flag."

Eichmann was correct.

German "law", in 1935, had deprived the Jewish people of German citizenship. There were also laws forbidding them to marry or have sexual relationship with anyone of the Aryan, "Germanic" Race. There were thirteen administrative regulations against the Jews that would later outlaw them completely, and, eventually, through intense propaganda, they were given the status of "non-human".

With Hitler's ability to make arbitrary "laws", there was no opposition, or at least, no opposition without the threat of severe punishment or death. Even pastors could be arrested for treason for resisting the new "laws" of the new German Socialist Government. Since they were "breaking the law" by resisting, they had no recourse.

It's hard, almost impossible, in our day, to imagine that a law could actually be imposed which would strip a person of his or her status of being "human". It's unfathomable, isn't it?

If such a law were passed, then the taking of a human life could be easily justified and rationalized. If it's resisted, then it must be a flaw on the part of the person who is not willing to validate the law of the land. They must be "subversive" in some way. If it's "legal", then it must be correct. Case closed.

At least that's the way the Nazi Party saw it. That's the way the German citizen accepted it without much opposition. (There were other, economic reasons also).

A pastor of a German church tells the story that, on Sunday, when the church would gather for worship, at a particular time, every Sunday, they would hear a train go by the back of their church during the service. They could hear the cries of the Jewish people as the train passed. It was a horrific sound. So, what did they do?

At that time, every Sunday, when they knew the train was to pass by, they made that time their "hymn singing" time. They would all sing just as loud as they could as the train passed by. That way they couldn't hear the cries of those "non-humans" barreling down the tracks towards Auschwitz.... and the ovens. It worked. They didn't hear them at all after that.

There's a saying, "If you want to see a Nation's God, then look at that Nation's Laws."

Eichmann's argument, although valid, succumbed to the decision of the War Crimes Tribunal. They weren't going to argue that what they Nazis did were "illegal" according to the laws of Germany. They were going to insist that there was a "higher" law in which to ultimately yield. There was a natural law that superseded the arbitrary laws of any particular nation. Although they couldn't exactly explain it, they knew that, just because something was "legal", it didn't make it "moral", and the hideous nature of the crimes stood in start contrast to human decency and sensitivity.... and morals.

Anyway, that's my rambling for this week. What does it all mean?

You decide.... Only as individuals can we decide when to resist and when to sing louder....