Sunday begins the season of Advent, which is a time of preparation intended to make sure that our souls are set to receive the Christ Child as Christmas draws near. Each of the Sundays in Advent will focus on one of the “gifts” of Christmas: hope, peace, joy, and love.
Harry Coover is a name you probably have never heard, but his invention of Super Glue has most likely come to your rescue a time or three over the course of your life. As the story goes, Coover, an engineer at Eastman Kodak, came to this invention quite by accident. While working on a project to make clear plastic gun sights for Allied soldiers during WWII, one of the products his team devised was a bust as far as gun sights go, but turned out to be a truly remarkable quick bonding adhesive. Put on the market in 1958, the product was launched publically and the rest is history. The story makes you wonder how many things in life have come to us by accident.
My first years in school were in a private, Christian school. My mother thought I was big for my age and with my December birthday enrolled me in first grade at five years of age, which the public school would not allow. She obviously wasn’t factoring in athletics at the time, which fortunately didn’t turn out to be a big deal when the family moved to small town Alabama. But one of the benefits of the Christian school was their emphasis on Scripture memorization and how it gave me a love for learning signal Bible passages “by heart.”
A true disciple is a lifelong learner. That’s because there’s always something new to know about following Jesus or some spiritual discipline that we can become more proficient in pursuing. At no point does our need to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus become more evident than in the matter of giving.
Everyone is aware of his or her limitations. Part of the maturation process involves facing the painful truth that we are not capable of doing everything our heart desires. Coming to terms with such a discovery means learning not to put ourselves in places or situations where our weaknesses get exposed.
One of the earliest lessons most of us learned was to be careful about the company we kept. At the time, that lesson may have not have hit home as well as it should have, but along life’s way it became more and more apparent that because we get so many of our cues in life from others, we’re always wise to make sure we have people in our lives who can show us right from wrong.
As we all know, names are more than ways to identify one another. Names either express our gratitude for special people to us or point to the hopes and dreams we have for those under our care. It’s always been the case from the beginning that our names say as much about us and our background as anything we might say or do.
All of us are familiar with the “blame game.” It is, quite frankly, a game at which all of us excel. Projecting the responsibility for our wrongdoing is an ability with which we seem to be hard-wired, simply because it comes so very easily for us. Owing up to our part in what is sideways in our lives is indeed one of life’s greatest struggles.
You’ve heard the expression, “The more the merrier?” That saying points to how when we come across something good, more of it is even better. When we come across something good, it always seems like we never can get enough.
What was it Shakespeare said? “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances” (As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII). The speech addresses the seven stages of life, with our entrance coming in infancy. But as we all know, life is actually marked by many entrances – entrances into adolescence and young adulthood and senior adulthood – so that every exit becomes an entrance into something else.