For more than a week Norma Jean and I’ve have been on the go. We’ve been away from home. From our normal activities. And from the daily habits that seem to come with a regular routine.
As I end my part of the journey, I was thinking about some things that I’ve missed for the past 9 days.
I have missed watching Matt Lauer and the Today show every morning. I have missed watching Fox News. I haven’t watched The Five, The O’Reilly Factor or The Kelly File for 9 days. Yet, somehow stuff happened and the news was reported without me watching it!
I have missed watching two Indiana Basketball games. I did learn that they split the two games. That both won and lost without me experiencing the joy of victory and the agony of defeat from the comforts of my family room.
I missed reading the Kansas City Star. No sports. No comics. No Dear Abby. No news. No newspaper.
I missed seeing another Republican debate. Was there really another one? I think I heard there was. I guess someone was declared the winner by an impartial media. Right? Did Donald Trump show up? I dunno. I missed it.
I missed watching the Channel 41 Action News. I missed watching the perky Kalee Dionne inform me of the day’s weather each morning and the flamboyant Gary Lezak prepare me for the next day’s weather each evening.
I missed watching and reading the Super Bowl predictions. I missed all the hype. I missed the first half. And the half-time show. I did manage to see some of the second half. But I don’t think I influenced the outcome by my lack of involvement.
I missed surfing the net. Reading Yahoo news feeds. Keeping up on the latest celebrity shenanigans. Checking my email about 10 times a day. And checking the stock market. (BTW, are we up or down?)
So, what was I doing? With what did I replace those things I missed?
I attended 3 days and 3 nights of the Florida College Lectures and heard powerful preaching and soul-stirring sermons from the Psalms. I gained insight from older preachers (I like that I can still say that), Bob Owen, Ed Harrell, and Melvin Curry.
I learned from young men like Edwin Crozier, John Gentry and Shannon Shafer. I was edified by a former classmate Gary Henry, enlightened by the lesson from the always passionate Tommy Peeler, and moved by the fervor of my friend Ralph Walker.
I joined with 1200-1400 brethren from all over the United States to sing praises to God for three nights. I attended a singing at the Temple Terrace church where my friend, Don Truex preaches and delighted in worshiping God with over 900 in attendance.
During the past 9 days I have enjoyed lunches with former preaching interns, Justin Berss and Andrew Roberts. And evening dinners my family, friends and brethren.
We’ve reconnected with former classmates, seen old friends, made new friends and generally enjoyed the fellowship with those of like faith.
In the past 9 days I’ve also managed to enjoy playing with my grandsons Roy and Miles. Oh, and of course, being with our daughter, Rachél and son, Kenny and their spouses, Jared and April.
We’ve engaged in fellowship with brethren not only in Tampa, but in Lafayette, Louisiana. Savored Cajun cuisine. And enjoyed more family time.
In fact, as I reflect on it, I haven’t missed anything in the past 9 days!
But I’ve gained a lot.
I’m reminded that life is about people. Relationships. Sharing. Caring. Life is richer when we experience Fellowship. Friendship. Family.
Life is about that which transcends this old world. It’s about God. Spiritual association. Divine imperatives. Life is deeper and possesses greater meaning when we tap into the spirit and focus on the eternal.
The experiences of the past 9 days will not be forgotten. May the lessons be remembered. And may I be reminded that I can function very well, in fact, even better with less TV.
May I be motived to “make the most of my time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:16).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman