Archive for August, 2010

Just got back from vacation. Had a wonderful time. What an adventure we had as my wife and I loaded up our four children and trekked down to Florida. Moreover, what a wonderful time we had as we explored the magical kingdom of Disney World.

Having four children, it was fun to see things through the eyes of two teenagers, an eight-year-old daughter and a just-turned-six year old son.

 One of my favorite moments occurred as we watched the fireworks display at The Magic Kingdom. My six year old looked up at me and said, “Now will all of our dreams come true?”

I did not answer; I just smiled.

 I love the innocence of children. Their ability to believe and have faith is untainted by the disappointing moments in life. My son heard the announcer say at the fireworks display that all of our dreams would come true. He simply believed. What a wonderful lesson in simple faith.

I did learn some other things while I was on vacation.

One, I learned that if you are miserable, angry, and unhappy…even Disney cannot fix that. I saw many people fighting, arguing, and tearing each other down. It was sad.

Two, I also learned that the best part of my vacation was what I left with. Incidentally, it was also what I came with. I arrived at Disney with a wife who loves me, and four wonderful children who like me! I arrived at Disney with peace in my heart that comes from my relationship with God. I arrived at Disney with hope for the future that stems from my faith in that same God.

As wonderful as Disney World is – and yes, I am just a big kid when I am there – the best part of my vacation came home with me. For true happiness and genuine fulfillment is not found in where we are or what we are doing; true contentment is discovered in the relationships we have.

 I look forward to my next vacation. However, though our tour of the wonders of Disney is over, I am still smiling as I hold my wife, gaze at my children and pray to my God.

Hmmm…I guess all of my dreams did come true.

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Give it away…

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , , , ,

RYAN ARNOLD

I hear a lot of talk about giving our lives away. People have many causes and agendas that cry out for full commitment: giving of yourself selflessly for the sake of others. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I would say that I embrace this type of call.

I believe in living for something greater than yourself. Treating others the way you want to be treated. Nevertheless, it is easy to live life for ourselves.

But in the end…the question does have to be asked… “What did I do that mattered?” Tough question: one that I do not always want to ask myself. Much less, one I want to answer.

At times, life seems meaningful and I feel that I understand what it means to “give my life away.” Then, I hear a story. Not just any story, but a story of someone who truly gives away their life for the sake of someone else.

Just this last week, a young man by the name of Chad Arnold had gone into the final stages of liver disease. His life was coming to an end. Then, his brother Ryan decided to do something heroic. He decided to give 2/3 of his liver in order to save his brother’s life. The operation went well and was a success. Chad is in recovery and it appears his life has been saved.

However, Ryan…well, He is now in Heaven. He gave his life for his brother.

My heart is broken for the family. Moreover, I am crying out prayers from deep within for God to fill them with the peace and grace for this season that only He can bring.

At the same time, I am personally filled with some shame and conviction. I feel ashamed that I have ever acted as if I know what it means to give my life away. I am convicted that I too often choose my own comfort over the inconvenience of giving of myself.

Ryan, your life…your sacrifice is already affecting the lives of many. Your sacrifice is causing me to reassess my life, my choices and the time I have left on this earth.

Lord, be with Chad and the rest of the family.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

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