Dear Lord,

I was really angry the other day.  I made the mistake of looking at the news of unimaginable, incessant violence in the Middle East.  Then there’s all the kidnappings and murders in the USA, not to mention our relentless pursuit of destroying each other whether its politics or even how we do church.  And then I see all the pain and suffering in families whose loved ones are fighting for their lives against diseases that just won’t let up.  And I was angry.

Driving to work, I watched people try to zip in and out of traffic or barge their way into my lane at the last possible moment (I guess because their schedule is way more important than mine).  I watched people throw trash and cigarette butts our their window like the roadways are their personal trash can… And I was angry.

And then last night, I was at home and watching football and keeping up with some friends on social media.  I noticed that the MTV Video Music Awards show was on.  I wasn’t watching but apparently a lot of people were! This morning, I saw a report about the VMA’s on The Today Show and I thought about all that went into making that show happen.  The NSYNC thing was kinda fun, I guess, and there’s no doubt a lot of great talent was on display, but there was a lot of other stuff going on, too.  Maybe I should’nt single her out, but seriously, Lord, what’s up with Miley Cyrus?  And I’m not so much angry as I am sad. 

But, Lord, as I sat watching football and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, I also saw another picture emerging.  This one had a lot of bright lights and guitars and drums and singers, too.  It was the Campus Praise and Worship service at Trevecca.  There were over 500 students and friends of TNU there and, by all accounts, You were as well.  And thinking about this helps to ease my pain and calm my anger.

Our world’s in a mess, Lord.  But, I guess you’ve known that for a long time… Like for thousands of years!  We humans, in spite of Your best efforts, keep doing human-like stuff.  Left to our own devices we can do some really nice things for each other every now and then, but so often we make awful choices that hurt others and hurt ourselves.

So, I’m praying specifically today that what took place last night at that TNU student-led and Spirit-inspired worship service is just the beginning of an unusually blessed year on our campus.  I’m praying that you’ll remind us that your love and grace and mercy can change the world but probably only as much as we allow it to.  Help us to make good choices and effective use of our time.  Help us to know that it’s not just about beginning well, but finishing well.  Help us care for each other and our city and our world in ways that would honor you!

In your name and for your sake.

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Photo is courtesy of Matt Spraker

Amen

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