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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Distraction Caused By Others
The splendor and beauty of the Red Rocks in Sedona
First a word of apologetics here. We call these things that are written here sermons. We do that in order to claim some license in the area of preaching. If the label did not fully warn the reader of this, for instance if the title did not include “sermon” we would possibly entice people to read unfairly. So we apologize if there is misleading in the term “sermon” as we distinctly do not tell the community what to think. If that is what you are looking for in a sermon, be forewarned that it is not here. These are merely suggestions of what to think about, hopefully not even how to think about them.
Now onto the crux of the matter in humiliating form. My son is 5 and ¾’s. We finished our 100th game of chess last night. He has the moves down and he is beginning to think several moves ahead. But the kid just can’t sit still and fully concentrate. Oh my! The gyrations, the noises, the up and downs and the dancing on a good move. So I am pummeling him with direction to sit still and concentrate.
Well all my hard work came to fruition last night. The boy beat me fair and square. I have no defense to the humility but I was the one who got a great big learning episode out of it. I was so absorbed in teaching him not to be distracted I was myself greatly distracted. What a fool’s errand I embark on when I try to teach a youngster the “right” way to do something. Next I will be telling you and my wife how to do something right. Of course the right way is always my way. Oh the glory of those lessons we should already know yet are taught to us by the student.
And now the little boo boo head beat me in chess.
Now just relax and call me in the morning.
Perhaps I should end it right here.
But such is not my lot in life. My job is to give us some more insight into this one area of our life that we can control and be the master of. If I accept you for who and what you are then I can love you. If I can accept me for what and who I am I can love me. Whoa smarty pants out there. This does not mean we do not learn and grow. I tell you not to accept your flaws – correct them. I tell you never to stop trying – improve. But that little boy taught us that that learning should not interfere with our being ourselves.
Can we say it this way: I am satisfied with who I am. My improvement is not based on my faults. My improvement is based upon where I want to go. I see a character defect and I love it but want to say good bye to it.
Can life be that easy in the realm of finding peace within ourselves? Yes it can. Unless we have some technical inhibitors that block us from that path. Yo! Over here, I am guilty as charged. I got issues as examples for us here. My ego sucks sometimes. It puffs me up and puts me in the cockpit of my machine that I have no business trying to drive. This self will is just too much machine for a simple country boy to handle. But my ego tells me I can handle it so I do not reach out for help. In my world that help to reach my good self is just a prayer away, and it don’t even have to be out loud. So I do not know about you but I have that hurdle to overcome.
Next is this wild and crazy notion I have in my head to argue with everything. Heck I even argue with myself in the quiet of the night before sleep. Whoa! I spend more time in my head as the kick butt attorney in court and usually the problem is that I am both the prosecution and the defendant. I even point a finger at myself as the one who did it. And then take the stand and deny it. Hopefully you get the gist out of that. Again I have to go outside of my self in order to relax and get inside of my self. This one I find is best served by serving others, it kind of breaks down that accusatory finger pointing.
I just like this photo
Me wanna go home.
The point is not avoiding others but rather living with them.
So we are well served to serve others rather than view it as correcting others. How could I teach my son concentration while I myself was distracted? OK I admit, beating daddy is awesome for his confidence and that great concept of self-esteem. But I also just taught him that daddy is a hypocrite, who preaches against distractions as a guiding force, and yet became so distracted that he failed in his purpose. So when all was said and done. He and I learned that we are not perfect. That we actually make mistakes. That we do the opposite of what we know we should do. That is just the way we are. But back to that learning and growth concept. If daddy learns not to be like that and try harder to act the right way then the humiliating experience was in fact good for daddy. We do not lose in life, we only discover ways in which we will not win. And let us not discount for one second that sometimes we get beat by something or someone who is simply better at that moment. I look forward to many more quiet evenings getting thrashed by my son as he gets better and better than I. Such is the real juice of life.
So where are we here?
We try. Please just let that simmer for a moment. We try. How wonderful that is. We try. Is that good enough. As for me, it is not. I must do. But in my old age dotage I am coming to realize that trying in and of itself is marvelous. Accomplishing is sometimes to “accomplish the trying”.
So back to our topic subject for today. Distraction of others. Now we can take a quick look at the distraction of others. My boy distracted me because I was concerned over his conduct. Oops! If we are so wrapped up in how others are acting we lose control of how we are acting. We can lose the focus. If I walk down the street and see the homeless man as a stinking, filthy dirty bum, then I might be dissuaded from my purpose in giving him the water and five dollar bill meant for him. If I focus on the task at hand and take the man as I find him, I will succeed in my purpose. We must notice and care for those around us and even make adjustments to accommodate. But do we need to be distracted by their behavior?
Blessings to you on this fine day.