A couple weeks ago Kellie and I went on a spring cleaning kick. We started organizing everything, trying to remove the clutter in our lives.
In the process we found an old VHS tape of some home movies. Kellie and I went to Puerto Vallarta for our honeymoon back in 2004. We took a couple hours of footage of us going around town, doing what tourists do, checking out the sites.
So we recorded our adventures in Puerto Vallarta, put it on a VHS tape, and forgot about it. Ok, we lost it!
While we were cleaning, we came across this tape. We popped it into our VCR and it was like hopping in a time machine.
I’m sure this happens to you whenever you look at old photographs or watch old home movies. You take a trip down memory lane. But you don’t just remember the events you are looking at. You remember that time period of your life.
So as Kellie and I were watching this video, both of us were having flashbacks to our lives back in 2004. To our values. Our priorities.
And this is going to sound really weird, but it was like watching two strangers on TV. We were watching ourselves but those people on the screen were no longer us. Because back then, our lives were basically all about us.
We were believers in Jesus but we weren’t following Him all that much.
Back then we defined Christianity basically as a set of beliefs. And we weren’t bearing all that much fruit even though Jesus commands us to (see Matthew 7:15-23). For example, back then the only time I served the poor was once a year when I helped out with the Thanksgiving baskets giveaway at Kensington Church.
And I thought I was like Mother Teresa for doing that!
As Kellie and I watched the video and began reflecting on our lives today . . . with how we are living . . . with the choices we are making in how we spend our free time . . . we are thankful that the honeymoon is over.
In saying that, neither of us feel like we arrived. We aren’t saying we are super-Christians. Move over Billy Graham! Nothing like that. In fact, over this past week, God reminded me that there’s still work to do. Here’s an example . . .
This past Monday our undefeated (!) Detroit Lions were scheduled to play a Monday Night Football game for the first time in 20 years. I desperately wanted to watch it but had two obstacles to overcome. First, the game was scheduled to be on ESPN so I needed to head over to a friend’s house to watch it. Plus, the game was going to end around 11:00pm and I am usually in bed by 10.
But I was willing to do whatever it took to watch this game.
As I was prepping and planning to watch the game, I felt the still, small voice of God say something like this: “Dan, you sure are doing a lot to watch a football game. You are doing whatever it takes… Rearranging your entire schedule. Driving across town. Sacrificing sleep. Would you do the same for an opportunity to serve the poor?”
That’s an example how I’m not “there” yet. I haven’t arrived. But at the same time, after watching our honeymoon video, while I may not be where I want to be, I can thank God that I’m not where I used to be.
***Join us this Sunday at The Eastside Vineyard Church. If you liked this blog, it’s a sneak preview of what I’ll be preaching on this Sunday as I unpack Matthew 7:15-23. Plus, Danny Cox will be leading worship! Sunday. October 16th. 10:30am (new time). Shelby Junior High (new location). More info at our newly redesigned website — tevchurch.org***