It’s been a little while. As basketball season has picked up, I’ve fallen off a bit on this blog. But it does not mean that I haven’t been thinking. I just hate to write blogs simply for the sake of having something posted. I’d rather write when I have something to worthwhile to say and the time to say it.
Before I really jump into the topic at hand, I want to wish each and every one of you a very happy holiday season! The holiday season is a time for family and friends and cheer and goodwill etc. But so is every day. And while January 1st is an easy target date to make life (altering?) changes, why wait? There’s no guarantee that we will see January 1st! Now, I don’t mean that to be cynical. I simply mean to throw out there that we needn’t wait for any particular time to celebrate our blessings, or to share our joy. And that kind of brings me to the topic at hand. And rather than try to squeeze all of my thoughts out, I will break this blog into parts. May be 2 parts. May be 3 or 4. We’ll see.
God, Jesus, religion. These, and other similar topics, can be rather polarizing. Over the last seven weeks, there have been few, if any, athletes that have been talked about more than Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos’ quarterback who very openly celebrates and testifies about his relationship with God. In fact, “Tebowing,” is now officially a word in the Urban Dictionary; a verb, meaning to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different. There’s even a site, Tebowing.com, dedicated to said practice. And while it’s an interesting phenomenon that opens itself up to both praise and ridicule, the point is that Tim Tebow, despite what anyone else has to say is very open and honest about his faith, and as a result some people are quickly turned off by him and some people are readily drawn to him. This, however, is a rather common effect when it comes to religion and spirituality because the way people celebrate and express their religious and spiritual beliefs are often very personal and vary in so many different ways.
I’m finding myself, more often, bringing God into my every day “conversation,” whether on Facebook, Twitter, or in face to face interactions. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more comfortable with it. My relationship with God has always been a very personal thing for me. As such, speaking to people, and discussing God/religion/spirituality with people, who might be considered “very religious” or who are well versed on the ins and outs of the Bible was often (and sometimes still is) uncomfortable. A few things have made it easier for me though. Number one is simply age. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve matured spiritually. Additionally, and maybe more importantly, I continue to get a good deal of positive reinforcement and feedback from other people of faith, that encourage me to continue to do so, find encouragement in my doing so, or both.
I could go on for a little while about this, but it’s actually just a lead in to the reason I’m writing this blog. I got an email one time – I believe it was a response to one of my Words of Wisdom emails – that said something to the effect of, “I really enjoy your ministry.” Ministry, to me, is (or was) one of those polarizing words that I associate with church/religion/God/spirituality/etc. And it disturbed me a little bit. By no means did I want to come across as “preachy” or anything similar. I didn’t want to be the overly religious person, or the person that was trying to show off how spiritually pure I am. That wasn’t the intent. And while I had no problem bringing God into my every day activities, I was far from a minister. But … maybe I was wrong? I thought about it all day, and then I finally decided to look up the words ministry and minister. Initially, all I saw was definitions that reflected what I already believed to be true. They all had something to do with religion. As I looked further, however, I found one definition of minister that was interesting to me. As a noun, it can be defined as a person who acts as the agent or servant of a person or thing. Or, a person who attends to the needs of others. As a verb, it can mean to attend to the needs (of); or to take care (of). And when defined in these terms, I decided that I had, in fact, begun to establish a ministry. But what were the needs that I was taking care of? Who or what was I serving via this ministry?
See Part 2 for that …