It Takes All Types to Make a World

I enjoy people watching – gotta admit it’s true. And today I’m sitting and typing this at Younger Toyota, while I wait for my car to be serviced.

Sitting across from me in the waiting area is a father and his two sons whom I’d guess to be about ages 15 and 11.

The father is clearly telegraphing his life values and interests. He is wearing a humorous tee-shirt with a giant “WANTED” printed over a couple of pictures of large-mouthed bass about to chomp on a lure. And at the bottom is some sort of “fish killer” message. He is also sporting a camouflage hat. Clearly, this guy is the stereo-typical outdoorsman. I can tell you right now that his vehicle being serviced here simply has to be a four-door Tundra truck. The only thing curious is that it is not a Ford or Chevy that he fixes himself on some cement blocks at home. Update: he is now talking with some on his very large and outdated cell phone about sources of ammo.

The oldest son is clearly a chip off the old block. His camo hat is accessorized (not a word he’d use of course) with various pins and lures. Wearing hiking boots and jeans, the most interesting part of his attire is his red and white plaid button-up dress shirt – that has the sleeves deeply cut out. Along with his peach fuzz-encouraged goatee (I think that is the effort being attempted), he is the next gen expression of Larry the Cable Guy.

Larry the Cable Guy

Larry the Cable Guy

But here’s where it gets interesting. The 11-year-old is entirely different – in dress and deportment. This kid looks like he must have been the illegitimate child of Silicon Valley tech geek and who was abandoned at birth and adopted across the country by a family valuing horsepower over megabytes. The boy is wearing a shirt sporting a movie fantasy theme, with cargo pants and sandals. While his older brother is reading Field and Stream magazine, this younger boy is frantically working away with an iPad.

I don’t mean to be critical… laugh with me here, it is just funny. Hey, I confess to being a geekie guy in many ways, while at the same time having a flock of chickens and a rusted out pickup truck in the woods.

It is simply humorous that so many family systems get such a different mix of kids in the same house from the same parents! When folks over the years have said to me some version of “I don’t know where this kid came from and how he got in our house,” I have just said to them, “God gives us what we need.”  And God has given us a world with all sorts of varied personalities, sometimes even under the same roof.

Permit a Wee Money Rant …

Our dear local newspaper begins an article (opinion page) with this statement, “The Lord rested on the seventh day. And sometimes it appears that churches, having done their work on Day 7 rest for the other six.”

So local journalists, why do you need to do that? God forbid you miss an opportunity at taking a shot at Christians, even while writing to applaud one – the article praising the good work of the departing Salvation Army director.

On the same day is another article about my own Hagerstown Rotary Club, which gave away $63,000 to local non-profits – representing the distributions of funds raised over the past year. Within the article is this statement, “Since its inception in 1980, the Hagerstown Rotary Club has raised more than $1.6 million for more than 120 nonprofit organizations.”  This is all very commendable, and I am not knocking it as insignificant.

In reflection over my 19 years at Tri-State Fellowship (beginning here on the 4th Sunday of June in 1994), our church has simply given away about two million dollars to missions and benevolent causes near and far. And in our own lean financial times and while facing our budget for the coming fiscal year, this seems at first glance like a crazy activity to have done. It is a number that roughly equals the amount we have spent on all land and building acquisitions over the same time. Imagine if you personally gave away amounts equal to your mortgage and value of your home. Well, some of you reading this have probably done that … and done it through TSF … which explains why we were able to have done what we did.

Our rewards for giving as unto the Lord are not to be realized in this world – certainly not through a media that generally despises people of faith. It is not even surprising when we take a shot of false accusation, as Jesus said it would occur … “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”  And Peter said to live such good lives amongst the people of this world, that though they may criticize you, your good deeds would be more than obvious.

Yep, yep… but I did find it annoying.