Sunday, February 06, 2005

Deep Thoughts Amid Dirty Diapers

Why is it so difficult to avoid watching T.V.? From an objective point of view, I know I'm happier if I do just about anything other than watch the tube. Yet when it comes down to it, I often find at the moment I am weak and I just give in. It really is like a drug addiction.

There are (at least) two types of trials that beset modern man in America. The first is common to all men through history, and that is dealing with suffering. When we are given suffering, we must endure it, grow through it, and, if we have been blessed with the gift of faith, we can redeem it by offering it up to Jesus and joining it with His suffering.

But modern Americans have another trial that has not been so common to so many: Dealing with surplus. Most Americans (certainly including myself) have been blessed with more material goods than we need. We have been blessed with security, clothing, shelter, education, and general opportunity beyond what most of the world has ever known. One of the things the distinguishes a great life from the life of mediocrity is what a man does with this excess. It is so easy to get swallowed up in it, to see life in its terms. No matter how much we have, we can always want more. There are endless amusements and diversions that can pull us away from the deeper things of life.

I really see the wisdom of God in ordaining marriage. Very often, the one thing that keeps me from being completely absorbed in trivial amusements is the call of my family upon my time. I'd like to play video games, watch movies, go dancing, and many other things that would serve no purpose other than to amuse me for a time. Yet I seldom get to do any of these things because I need to work, change diapers, read stories, tuck into bed, and a 1,000 other things that need to be attended to when one has four young children.

At the time, each of those obligations can seem a burden. But when I am faithful to them, I am so much happier than I would be if I had just played. There are men throughout history that have accomplished amazing things by keeping laser-focused upon accomplishing some task or completing some work. They staid single and used their lack of attachment to achieve great things. I would not have been such a man had I never married. I am so thankful to God, my wife, and my children from drawing me into a much deeper life than I would have ever lived on my own.

Along these lines, please pray from my wife, Denise. She is pregnant with our fifth child, she is in the yucky first trimester, and she has a bad cold. Please hold her up to the Lord that she might receive healing, hope, and strength.

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