It was a warm spring Sunday morning in this rural Georgia town. The sound of birds, crickets and the smell of flowers permeated the air. There are no indications of commerce, stores are closed and traffic is at a stand still. A beautiful sound of a church bell can be heard throughout the community. The day before, shoes were being polished, mothers were preparing Sunday ‘dinner’ and the children were told how to act respectful when at church. The time of church was set at 11:00 to accommodate the farmers who had to take care of their chores and still have time to get to the ‘meeting house’. The year was 1954.
As we fast forward the calendar to 2013 we return to this beautiful ‘Hallmark’ town where Sunday appears to be another day filled with activity making it hard to distinguish from any other day of the week. A pick up truck pulling two dirt bikes rushes by, its radio blasting. Another car is pulling a boat on the way to the lake. The new mall is busy with people. A car pulls into the parking lot with a ‘boom” box at top volume. A passer- by turns and says “turn the noisy radio off, there ought to be a law against that kind of noise.” “We need one day a week of quietness and peace.” The people in 1954 would say; “there is and it is one of the top 10.”
The research is quite clear that we need a day of rest. A day away from the hustle and bustle of the busyness of life. Religion put this principle in place in the very beginning; Muslims have chosen Friday, Jews have chosen Saturday and Christians have made the first day of the week, Sunday, their day of rest.
The immediate question for this idyllic little town would be; “what happened”. In 1954 the church and its activities were the center of the community. Today recreation and similar activities are in the center, and while the church building remains the same, in truth, it has been pushed to the outskirts of the lives of the people.
“When Jesus said, ‘no one can serve two masters,’ he really spoke to the heart of the human situation.
Even before a decision is made, the process of reaching a decision is determined by the fundamental core values to which a person will remain true. When a father decides that the most important thing in the world is his job, he has already made the decision about whether he can take his child to a ball game or whether he has to have dinner with an important client. The earlier decision—–the value setting decision—determines everything. Every time an action takes place it is a reflection of what you have made the most important thing in your life.
At this time of the year when we begin to look at 2012 through the lenses of the Internal Revenue Service you may discover things in last year’s receipts that add to a conclusion that is different from the way you thought you were living. A great exercise is to sit down at the end of a week or maybe the end of a year and take inventory of how you spent your time and money – it is probably different than what you thought it was as you went through.
Life sometimes becomes an unfolding of our deepest desire when we really were theorizing the desire was something else. In other words, sometimes it’s only in reflecting, as we look back on our lives, that what we thought we were doing was not, in fact, what we were doing. The question that rings loud and clear in our minds is what impact will my actions have on my life and other people. This will be determined by the way you live your life.
Each of us have a core value system. You are going to be making theoretical attempts to decide what your judgments are. It’s best to back away and look at the decisions you are making, they are reflective of your value system. When you and I look at our lives there is a hope for change, a crack in the door, look for it, go through it. What you find at the center of your action will stand you well in the heart of your life.
Oh yes remember, God created us with an inspirational gas tank that will run six days, needing to be filled on the Sabbath.