Some years ago, executives at one of the nation’s largest Mainstream Protestant denominations (not Baptist) put together a committee to purge their liturgy and hymnal of all militaristic language and imagery. Quite a few of the old hymns and readings got cut out, such as “Onward Christian Soldiers.” As you can imagine, the committee caught a lot of flak for their decisions. Some of it was deserved, but some of it was not deserved. After all, none of us is above engaging in the same kind of theological “downsizing” from time to time. There are terms and concepts and images that we do away with when they no longer suit our fancy or serve our purposes. I’m thinking in particular of the word “duty” and all of the images and the concepts that are associated with it.
Jim Rohn was one of the pioneers of motivational speaking in the last century, the precursor to such household names today as Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar or Wayne Dyer. Like most motivational speakers, Rohn had his share of famous quotes, but the one that will always stand out to me is his quote that goes: “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, then you’ll find an excuse.”
If there’s one incontrovertible fact to life here on Planet Earth, it’s that nothing about our existence is anything near a piece of cake. Most of us know all too well how each day’s events have a way of weighing us down with all manner of burdens and responsibilities, many of which are simply much more than we can handle.
Matthew 22:34-46 • “What Do You Think?” Back in the days when shopping malls were places everybody frequented, you often saw people scattered about with clipboards in hand stopping shoppers to seek their opinion on topics ranging from political causes to entertainment tastes to leisure activities to favorite sports teams. I’ve even bumped into some who were conducting religious surveys. Nowadays, most of those surveys are done by telephone or email, but the end result is still the same. People are always trying to gauge where the Court of Public Opinion stands, not so much out of mere curiosity but more as a way to initiate a conversation that might those who answer the survey to consider an option they may never have considered before.