Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Far Is Too Far?

The Good Shepherd left 99 sheep to go after the 1. Those 99 sacrificed on behalf of the 1. Private James F. Ryan was one man and yet 8 men went and sacrificed on his behalf to rescue him. Watching the movie "Saving Private Ryan," made me wonder about the Good Shepherd. I think that when most of us hear the story of the Good Shepherd we think about the Shepherd, sacrificing His life for His lost sheep. What we don't usually take note of - or at least I don't - is the fact that the other 99 had to sacrifice their Shepherd for that time.

I know that following Christ involves sacrifices, but sometimes I wonder how much? How far is too far to go for someone? How much is too much to give to someone?

In the movie, Captain John Miller said something interesting about all this. I couldn't find the exact quote, and the movie already went back to the library, but he basically asked how much his mission was worth.

(For those of you who may not know the story line, Captain Miller and 7 other men were sent on a mission right after landing at Normandy on D-Day, to go find a Private James Ryan who was being sent home due to the death of his 3 brothers. Ryan was part of the 101st Airborne whose whereabouts were unknown, other than the fact that he was somewhere around Normandy.)

Miller said that usually when he lost men, he knew it was to save the lives of 10 to 20 times more people. Then their lives were worth it because it was saving so many more people's lives. In the mission that he was given, 8 men were risking their lives for the sake of 1.

More than half of those 8 men died, but Private Ryan was saved. - Was it worth it?

When the Good Shepherd went after the lost sheep, 99 sacrificed having a Shepherd and a leader. - Was it worth it?

Well in these cases, yes, it was worth it. But what if the sheep is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing? What if it's a goat? What if you go after it so far that you get lost and become another lost sheep?

Are we not supposed to go after the sheep at all? Do we leave that to the Shepherd and just wait bleating away until they return?

Either way there are sacrifices. I don't have answers to any of my questions. I just know that those 99 sheep had no Shepherd for a while. The real issue I'm dealing with is how far do we go for someone before we have to give them up?

The men that went after Ryan did it hoping that he would live a good life, do great things. Because he did, their sacrifices were not in vain. But, what if he had lived a horrible life? What if he became a thief or criminal? Would their lives have been worth it then?

I don't know.....

How far is too far?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We Could Do So Much More

We have just spent this last weekend at the 2012 Family Economics Conference. It was truly a wonderful time and experience. I have so much that I could write about the actual conference, but all of that will have to wait because I have something else besides family economics weighing heavily on my mind.

I'm going to talk about boy/girl relationships....actually, I'm going to talk about brother/sister relationships. :-) They're tricky, they're sticky, and some of us truly act like we think they're icky. But they are NOT. At least, they don't have to be.

At the conference, I was amazed at the genuine kindness, politeness and friendliness displayed by the young men and women helping put on the conference. The young men would say, "Hello" and smile, just like the young ladies. They didn't walk past and ignore me like I was a picture on the wall. I was able to have good edifying conversations with some of them - and with some young ladies too. It was wonderful. Seeing them work together for the glory of God really inspired me. They worked TOGETHER. The girls didn't work on one half of the room while the guys worked on the other. No, no, no, they worked side by side.

Now, I'm not trying to imply that guys and girls should be standing in groups, frivolously bantering and acting immaturely. That's what we need to stay away from, but that doesn't mean we avoid each other like the plague!

The group of young people that helped put on the conference knew the beauty of brother and sister relationships. God didn't intend for men and women to be segregated, separate species. We were created to work together, to help one another.

As young people we have two great assets, youth and singleness. When we use these to the glory of God we can accomplish great things for His kingdom. The young people I saw, put on a conference for thousands of people. They were such a blessing to me and I know they were a blessing to others as well. That's how all of us should be acting.

We need to quit acting like cooties are for real and start working together! When a guy walks in the room we girls don't need to go hide and pretend we didn't see them, and vice versa.

Yes, girls and guys can get too friendly, in fact you will probably run into situations where people get wrong impressions, but that just means we need to work things out. We need to repent and move on, not cower in a corner feeling like a wounded puppy.

I won't lie; I'm talking to myself here. I just thought that I would share my thoughts. Something to think about. We've got to start working together for the glory of Christ and for the furtherance of His kingdom.