Adjustments are necessary in life. Making the right ones determine success or failure. Learning how our life contributes to the lives of others helps us make the right adjustments. How does our contribution help others find the right way to go in life? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In the heat of the moment people have been known to overreact, fly off the handle. The competitive nature of racing shows us the ugly side of competition all too frequently. Then something happens that puts the significance of our racing in perspective.
Reflecting on the time I had the pleasure of bringing my friend, Jean Daniel Antoine, GoGo, to his first race. GoGo is from Haiti, he is a survivor; he survived the earthquake in Haiti by jumping out a second story window just before the building collapsed. He brings a different perspective to the life we live. He puts racing into focus.
GoGo didn’t know who anybody was; their reputation and past accomplishments meant nothing to him. He could have been standing beside Richard Petty or the track custodian, he didn’t know. But he treated everyone like they were the most important person there. Living through the things he has endured in Haiti has helped him make adjustments to his life. He lives life differently than we do. Because he has lost so much he cherishes every moment.
Last week our main concern was the heat and VBS; this week there are others to think about. Everything we do in life fails to compare with the loss of family or our home. We need to take note of this and make every effort to appreciate the time we spend together. We need to leave no doubt in their minds of others that we love them and care about them. We must make the most of every opportunity because life is too short not to appreciate every moment.
In the Gospel of John, chapter 21, we find the story of one who made some adjustments in his life. We read about Peter and his encounter with Jesus that restored his relationship. You see Peter was a fisherman and one day….
Matthew 4:18-20; As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
Peter began his relationship with Jesus that day and it grew until they were very close. So close in fact that Peter proclaimed his commitment to Christ this way. As Jesus explained to his disciples about his pending crucifixion…
John 13:36-3; Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
Peter said the words but when it came to the test he failed. He denied Christ three times just as Jesus said he would. As Peter heard the rooster crow he fell to his knees and wept bitterly. Peter had denied his relationship with Christ. But there is hope and Jesus represents that hope.
Jesus seeks to restore our relationship with God. He comes willing to meet our spiritual, physical and mental needs. In John 21 we read about a breakfast that took place on the beach. Jesus was there waiting and willing to accept and restore Peter.
Peter didn’t waste any time getting there when he knew it was Jesus. The adjustments were made. The relationship was restored. Peter went on to live a life dedicated to serving God and yes he did eventually lay down his life for the cause of Christ, but he did it upside down, he didn’t want anyone to think he was equal to Christ. So where does that leave us?
We need to focus on the things that are truly important, our relationship with God and our family. I think we can draw some guidance from a common source, our dogs. After all, dog spelled backward is God and dog is an acronym for Depend on God. Here are some things we can learn from dogs that will help us make the right adjustments;
• When a loved one comes home run to greet them.
• Never pass up the opportunity for a joy ride.
• Never pretend to be something that you are not.
• No matter how many times you are scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout, run back and make friends.
• Run, romp and play daily.
• Stop and lie down in the grass under the shade of a tree.
• Be Loyal.
• When you are happy, dance around and shake your entire body.
• Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
• Most of all…when someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Making the right adjustments and having the right priorities in life makes all the difference. Jesus came with the purpose of restoring our relationship with God. It cost him his life. He didn’t consider that a price too heavy to pay and paid it.
We must ask ourselves the same question. Is it worth it? Are we willing to make the necessary adjustments to demonstrate our love for others? Having an influence on the lives of others is a responsibility we are given by God. Let them know how much they matter by taking the steps to show them how much you love and care for them.