Monday, May 25, 2009

What Really Matters …. I changed the title of my blog a couple of months ago. It can be read as either a question or a statement. Either way, what really matters is people – those close to us, those in our wider circle, and also those we don’t know who desperately need our help. As I’ve noted in prior posts, at least one-third of the world’s population is just struggling to survive each day. These people also matter.

I’m reminded of a powerful little booklet entitled “Tyranny of the Urgent”. The author drew the distinction between the urgent and the important, suggesting that almost all of us allow the urgent to crowd out the important. The urgent matters are essentially the daily tasks in front of us, while the important matters are relationships – vertically with God and horizontally with other people.

As a Type A personality, I need this lesson drummed into me every day. Type A’s talk about being Type A and chuckle. But it’s not really funny, because many of us wish we weren’t. We need to learn to enjoy the experience of allowing the important to push aside the urgent. I know “what really matters” in my head, but I need to live it each day.

Working at Gladney has awakened parts of the relational side of me that had been gathering dust. Gladney is nothing if not relational. Within the Gladney community, we call it Family for Life and we mean it. Beyond the borders, we’re doing everything in our power to impact the lives of children left behind in orphanages around the world. What really matters ? It’s right in front of us, if we’ll see with the eyes of our heart.

ESPN

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I was never too good at sports, but I have always loved to watch them – live and on TV. My TV is usually tuned in to ESPN and I imagine I have watched ESPN Sports Center several hundred times.

Imagine my surprise when on Thursday, May 14, I was on the Noon segment of Sports Center ! I can now go to my grave in peace.

Here’s the story – Mike McMahon, Gladney’s President for the last 20 years, was given 4 tickets to the Rangers – Mariners baseball game last Wednesday night – first row; behind home plate.

The game was back and forth all night. The Rangers won on a walk-off double in the bottom of the 11th, a good enough game to make the highlights on Sports Center the next day.

My colleagues are witnesses to the fact that during lunch on Thursday, they saw me on national TV for about 2 seconds where the camera captured me behind Hank Blaylock, who got the winning hit.

The saying goes: “We all get our 15 minutes of fame.”

I’m content with my 2 seconds.

Distractions !

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I’m on a flight from LaGuardia to DFW – delayed; no surprise there. A dad and his 3-year old boy right behind me. Uh-oh.

I was trying to read the latest TIME. And this dad started to read to his boy. This turned out to be more distracting than I expected. He was British and it sounded like J. K. Rowling reading “Harry Potter”, only he was reading “The Cat in the Hat”. It was mesmerizing. By the time he got to little cat z, I was on the edge of my seat, because I couldn’t remember how he cleaned the spots off the snow. It turns out, if I heard right, that he had “voo” under his hat. And it worked !

This dad then engaged in silly talk with his boy, who was laughing hysterically. And it made me happy and sad at the same time – happy for the times I was silly with my kids when they were younger and sad that I wasn’t sillier more often.