Friday, July 17, 2015

I don't need another slogan

Culture is rich with pithy little life slogans to help you think well, but to be honest, as I thought about it this morning I realized slogans don't really do that much to help me.  They sound nice, they sometimes make us smile, make us angry and may even make us think but they do nothing to help me live.

I found these 37 life slogans, many you have heard, as examples of how we try to help one another with nice little words,

A day without laughter is a day wasted.
Accept what you can’t change. Change what you can’t accept.
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.
Bite off more than you can chew.
Bloom where you’re planted.
Counting other people’s sins does not make you a saint.
Do small things with great love.
Do something each day to bring you a little closer to your dreams.
Do something good today.
Done is better than perfect.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.
Dreams don’t work unless you do.
Enjoy every moment.
Flirt with adventure.
Have less. Do more, Be More.
I can be as contrary as I choose.
It will all work out.
It’s the little things.
Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens.
Laughter is the best medicine.
Live by the sun, love by the moon.
Live in the moment.
Live what you love.
Make it happen.
Make mistakes.
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
One day at a time.
Please and thank you are still magic words.
Rejection is not fatal.
Rise above the blues.
Seize the day.
Sometimes the wrong choices brings us to the right places.
Take a moment and breathe.
The glass is half full.
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

Some are a bit true, some are helpful....but none model for me what will help me really live well.  As I left to take the dog for a walk this morning my daughter came by to take care of a few things. She was stressed, a bit overwhelmed and I gave her one of the many little slogans we use.  She laughed sarcastically and replied, "Thanks John Lennon!"

So what do we need?  What will help us live, really live well?  

What we all need is a life lived well, lived all out in which we can see how it's done.  When Jim Elliot said, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." it really meant little until he really did it and gave his life for the souls of others.

What I need is someone who has really lived well!  That's why there are four gospel narratives.  Four stories of men who watched the perfect man live life as we are meant to live it.  We don't need another slogan, we need someone who has lived it out.  Jesus did that.

And so, daily, I'm "following Jesus" as he walks the dusty roads of Israel, engages people, helps those in pain, cares for the outcast, deals with the proud.  When I tell you I follow him that's not just a nice phrase, it's how I read the gospels.  In the stories of Jesus there are not just 12 disciples, there are 13....and I'm that 13th one.

As he fed the 5,000 giving bread and fish to the 12 to pass out I'm also passing some out.  When he calmed the storm in the boat and the 12 worship so do I.  In every story I'm there and as I follow Jesus I see what life was really meant to be, what we were designed to be.

Slogans are nice, but they don't help me live.  What I need is someone to follow and I follow Jesus.  I hope, one day, to look like him a bit.  I hope, one day, someone will say, "weren't you with that Jesus fellow?" And will exclaim with excitement, "YES!  Yes I was!"

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