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July 11, 2014

Love What You Have

“Love what you have. Need what you want. Accept what you receive. Give what you can. Always remember, what goes around, comes around…” –Unknown

When I was a teenager, there was a song called, “Love the One You’re With.” It said, “If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with!” It offended me. Not only because some classmate sang it to me when he gave me a ride home that took a detour into the country (nothing happened – other than the very strident response of TAKE ME HOME! when he tried to steal a kiss) but because at that time, there were young men in Viet Nam. They were the boyfriends and husbands of those who could not be with the one they loved, and the thought of some ridiculous poser (think Bill Ayers) taking advantage of that loneliness and using that song to tempt them was anathema to me.

It signals the line of thinking that if something is hard, if it is causing you anguish, then find relief, even in the arms of another.

That philosophy has permeated our culture: If something is difficult or painful – forget it! I want instantaneous relief. I can’t wait, I need it now!

The long, grueling, difficult march through adversity is not the path for many in my generation. They are unwilling to do the work and instead base their decisions on situational ethics and scapegoating arguments. The problem with that lifestyle is that ultimately life demands that we endure some discomfort in order to grow. If we are always running from the difficulty, we will never grow and be productive.

Even worse, there is a generation rising who feels that “If I can’t see some results or some return on my time immediately, I’m off to the next thing.”

Instead of rooted and solid oaks, we have become a nation of tumble weeds, blown around by each new wind of opinion and justified in our “openness for  change.”

I am appealing to those who are firmly planted, who understand what it takes to achieve something, really ANYTHING, worthwhile.

Our culture is destined to become a wasteland, with piles of tumbleweeds drifting without roots or purpose, unless we dig in and commit to something bigger than our own personal whims and desires.

I pray that you will be an oak and not a tumbleweed today!

Psalm 1:3, New International Version (NIV): “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”

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