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In Genesis Chapters 37 through 50, we see the making of a Man...a man of influence...a man of significance. Joseph was a Man placed in one of the most powerful positions in  all of Egypt. God raised him up into a position of prominence in a foreign culture, hostile to his faith.

God has placed a similar calling on each one of us...Joseph finished his life well...ultimately using his gifts, talents, abilities and acquired experiences for the sake of saving his loved ones...God has gifted us with an opportunity to do the same...

But, much like Joseph, our character will be forged by adversity...adversity will either make us bitter or better, depending on our perspective...Quality of life is dependent upon attitude...The scriptures tell us that godliness with contentment is great gain...the secret to happiness is not getting what we want, but wanting what we already have...

What a great epiphany it is for each of us, when the light bulb goes on and we realize that we are in no way lacking and that God himself is forming our character for a significant role in which we impact people's lives for eternity.

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07
Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
August 7, 2014

At the time, we did not consider the outcome of our actions…it just seemed like a fun and funny thing to do. Didn’t think about what our decision might do to someone else. It was a Friday night in the beautiful Bel Meadow apartments and we were bored. Nothing sounded good…Lego’s…No…Wiffle ball…No…Space invaders…No…even Ding, Dong, Ditch ‘em sounded boring. We were thinking that we were destined to be love boatin’it. “Love Boatin’ It” is what we called it when we couldn’t find anything else to do on a Friday night. So, we resigned ourselves to sit in front of the boob tube and watch reruns of the Love Boat. We spent our night watching the crazy antics of Captain Stubbing, Doc, Gopher, Isaac the bartender, and of course the cruise director, the beautiful, Julie McCoy.

So as we whined and complained our way back to my apartment, Apartment 82, I was struck with what I thought was an absolutely ingenious idea. Deep in the recesses of my brainstorming brain, a demented and diabolical thought occurred. That thought processed into a plan; a plan that would provide a few harmless laughs for me and my buddies…a few laughs at someone else’s expense. So, I relayed my plan to my pals and with new found vigor, we ran to my room and tore open the door of my closet.

We began sorting through all my clothes. We rifled past my Hang Ten, O.P. and Lightening Bolt shirts, on past my corduroys and tie-died denim jeans. There in the back, in the deepest darkest corner of my closet, was my Batman Halloween costume from the previous year’s time of trick-or-treating. My costume sat there so unassuming, unaware of the extreme makeover that we were about to give it. We hurriedly put our plan into action. We needed newspapers, matches, rolls of socks…and so our obnoxious operation began. We began stuffing the arms, legs, and torso of our super hero. We lit some matches and sealed the arms and legs of this plastic piece of art. Then we used a little fishing line and one of moms sewing needles to sew up the neck hole. Then we placed the plastic person in a chair and stared awestruck at our amazing piece of art. There he was in all his glory ̶ our own decapitated Batman.

Phase two of our perfect plan was short and simple. We grabbed our decapitated Dark Knight and headed for the front of the apartment complex. At the front of the complex there was a 3 foot block wall that separated it from a sidewalk and Heil Avenue. Now Heil Avenue was and probably still is, a very busy street. This is when we thought our fun would really begin. My buddies and I ducked behind the wall and we waited. We waited for what we thought would be just the right moment…our marvelous moment of merriment.

Then off in the distance we heard the soft hum of what sounded like an Oldsmobile…or maybe a Cadillac…or was it a Pontiac? Heck it didn’t matter. We waited until we could hear the engine coming closer…closer…closer…closer. Now! We flung our fake handicapped human into the street. We ducked back down behind the wall and began to giggle. Then it happened…the grand finale…what we had been waiting for…the slam of the brakes, the screech of the tires…the smell of the rubber…the cussing of the driver.

Then all of a sudden, it didn’t seem all that fun or funny anymore. The sights, the sounds, the smell, left me with a sick feeling in my stomach. I was left with this thought…what we did…what I did…was just plain wrong. I did not consider how my action…how our actions…would affect the driver. We didn’t walk home rejoicing in the outcome of our ingenious idea. It was quiet walk home. A night pregnant with possibilities ended in awareness that we could have put someone else in a perilous situation. We had a lot to think about.

We did not consider the outcome of our actions. The Bible says in the Book of Romans that, “no one lives to himself and no one dies to himself.” Said simply, our actions do effect others, and in some cases, they effect others for years to come. We, the people of the Book, need to constantly think beyond the moment. God has given us a stewardship of time. Let’s use that time wisely.

Filed under: Character, Foundations

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