Friday, August 21, 2015

That’s Life

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV).

Life does not follow an invariable set pattern. Not all stories begin with “once upon a time.” Not all end with “and they lived happily ever after.” Moses served the Lord to the age of 120. John the Baptist and Jesus were both dead at the age of 33. Most of the Lord’s servants were married, but John, Jesus, Paul, and Jeremiah were all exceptions to that general rule.

Life is unpredictable. I had friends in college, Mike and Susan, who intended to be missionaries in Africa. They ended up being missionaries in Brazil. Chery and I set out to be missionaries in Brazil. We served in Africa instead, and ended up in Toledo. Someone has suggested, “If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans.”

It really is not that significant whether our life is long or short, whether we are rich or poor, whether our lives are settled and predictable or unsettled and strange. What is significant is the direction of our lives.

The life lived for self is a failure, even if it is long and we are rich. The life lived for the Lord is a good life, no matter what happens along the way. So, whether you are living a predictable storybook life, or a life of surprises and frustrations, just be sure that it is lived to the glory of God.

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it (Proverbs 15:16-17, ESV).

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lion Killers and Other Stupidities

Let’s get this clear right from the start. I have shot a lot of lion but always with a camera, never a gun. I have not, could not, and would not pay thousands of dollars to kill a lion. I also wish to say that I am no fan of dentists. I have always tried to avoid them as a group of people too willing to cause pain and distress in their fellow humans.
Still, I am troubled by the illogical outburst of hatred toward the dentist from Minnesota who killed the lion known as Cecil.
Zimbabwe is a country I have visited on a number of occasions; and I promise you, there are bigger issues in Zimbabwe than this lion. People are suffering in Zimbabwe. I do not know if the lion was killed quickly by a clean shot, or suffered several minutes or even hours. But I promise you there are thousands in Zimbabwe who have suffered, are suffering, and will suffer far more. I would want to know what we plan to do about the human suffering in Zimbabwe before putting a lot of effort into punishing someone who may (or may not) have hunted a lion illegally.
Minnesota is a state I have crossed on a number of occasions; and I promise you, there are bigger issues in Minnesota than a dentist who kills lion. One has to be morally brain dead to hate a dentist for killing a lion while expressing no anger at doctors who kill human babies.
One has to be morally brain dead to leave messages such as have been left for the Minnesota dentist. We should “love animals” one message read. The next message for Doctor Palmer read, “I hope you rot in hell.” So, evidently, we are to love animals and hate people.
Finally, if you are more moved by animal suffering and death than by human suffering and death, let me point out that the zebra, wildebeest, and giraffe of Africa are all in favor of allowing lion to be hunted. They instinctively feel that killing more lion would reduce animal suffering. I think that they may be mistaken, but their instinct on this matter comes closer to being logical, and is more in touch with the realities of places like Hwange, than most of what we are hearing regarding the lion called Cecil.