Beautiful Messes: Life doesn’t have to be Perfect…to be Great!

Beautiful Messes,, Life doesn’t have to be Perfect….to be Great! I took this picture recently of a butterfly. If you will look closely, you will notice that part of it’s wing on the right side is damaged. I stood and watch it fly around the yard for several minutes. You would never know there was anything wrong with the butterfly by seeing it fly around. I sometimes think we have an unrealistic view of what our lives should be like; we all want everything to be perfect… perfect bodies, perfect health, perfect house, perfect families, perfect job and the list could go on and on… The reality of living in an imperfect world though, should help us realize that just isn’t the way life really is most of the time. We should all pray, work, and hope for the best but at the same time, not make it an “all or nothing” proposition in order to be happy in life. As Tim Sledge puts it: ” Because God loves me, it is OK to be incomplete.” Our focus should be on God’s love and not just our own personal wish list of things and dreams. 

There is a new song by Hillary Scott entitled “Beautiful Messes” that I really like a lot, some of the lyrics include: 

“Are you spinning in a ladder that keeps telling you

That you aren’t good enough

And when you’re looking in the mirror

Do you see someone impossible to love?

Full of fragile broken pieces

We’re all rough around the edges

We ain’t perfect no

We ain’t even close

We got holes in our hearts

We got scars we don’t show

But all the baggage we

Keep on dragging around

Anytime we start laying down

Lay it down at the foot of the Cross

Give it to the One who can carry it all

Even at our worst , to Him we ain’t lost causes

So bring your thoughts , your flaws, your secrets

And watch Him use those broken pieces

Because we are all just… Beautiful Messes”

Richard Black has said: “ What the caterpillar calls the end of the world…the God of creation calls…the Butterfly.” This particular butterfly reminded me that although it’s not “perfect”, it can have a great life…and we can too if we  will turn to God allow Him to take our broken pieces and turn it into something great for Him to help others. If God can take care of a broken butterfly, imagine what He can do for you and me.

 

Run Jerry Bear Run!

Run Jerry Bear Run!..Earlier in my life, before my earth suit began to go south on me…I used to run for fitness. As with most things we do in life, you occasionally have “One of Those Days” where your motivation is low and it is just a struggle. I was running with a pastor friend of mine and it was one of those days when we both weren’t into running that particular morning. Every step seem difficult. We were in training for an upcoming race. Just as we went  around a curve, suddenly out of nowhere came all the motivation we needed… a huge canine critter (humongous dog) spotted us and began to run toward us. I told my friend Greg, that we couldn’t out run that dog. He replied, as he kicked it into high gear and he passed by me…”I only have to out run you!”

I didn’t stick around either to find out the details of the dog’s intentions! All of sudden I felt like running, my adrenalin kicked in and I ran and ran and ran. The dog eventually turned back, and we laughed as we finished our run that day. 

What is your motivation in life? What keeps you running each day? 

Let me encourage you to allow the Lord to guide your motivation and passion in the right direction… “Let us with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”- Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NLT)

Blessed are the flexible…for they shall not get “bent out of shape”

Blessed are the flexible…for they shall not get “bent out of shape”. We should be more like a palm tree. Even in a storm with high winds, they will bend but not break…Have you every had one of those days, where most everything you had planned …didn’t work out? Sometimes it is due to unrealistic expectations caused by trying to squeeze too many things into a short period of time. The key there is not to “over-book” and allow some margin in your schedule to allow for adequate time between tasks and to compensate for unexpected delays. When our life is cluttered with too many obligations, we tend to have misplaced values that can make everything seem like a “big deal” when it really isn’t. Dwight Eisenhower rightly said “The urgent is rarely important and the important is rarely urgent.”

On other days, we may encounter an unexpected crisis, delay, or a change in our schedule that is really beyond our control. This requires patience, a proper perspective and a good attitude. It is also helpful to think about options in how to adapt and adjust in these situations. The reality is, there are actually a lot of things beyond “our control.” 

  I experience these type of days because of the nature of my work in helping people in times of crisis, grief and serious illness .The basic theme of a lot of my days have been to go with my planned schedule and daily priorities but at the same time be totally flexible in allowing God to control my day. It is interesting to note, that when Jesus walked this earth, a lot of His most important ministry opportunities happened during an interruption on His way to somewhere else. 

I have learned that there is a freedom in doing your best, yet allowing God to change Your schedule to be a part of His plan for your life. Our detours can become His destinations for us, our disappointments can become His divine appointments for us in the grand scheme of things. We can take comfort in knowing that God is with us no matter what we may encounter each day. We need to be like palm trees. They thrive in most any environment. Because of their flexibility and resilience many cultures considered them symbols of victory and peace… “Good people will prosper like palm trees, and they will grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. They will take root in Your house, Lord God and will do well. They will be like trees that stay healthy and fruitful even when they are old.” – Psalm 92:12-14 (CEV)

PAT’S PLACE

Pat Summitt was an incredible coach that accomplished so much for the game of basketball and women’s sports. She was a champion of champions, winning the right way. I really enjoyed attending games that she coached. With her teams, you always felt like they would  play hard and she would find a way to win by adapting and adjusting to what the other team was doing during the game. She was known for her stare and glare from court side and an intense competitor simply because she wanted the best for her team and players.Some of her famous  quotes are:

– “Offense sells tickets, defense wins games, and rebounding wins championships.”

– “Coaches who start listening to fans often end up sitting beside them.”

– “The willingness to experiment with change may be the most important to success at anything.” 

When she wasn’t coaching she was a Champion in other ways. She was constantly helping charities, attending events that help make a difference in our community. I would occasionally stop by her office to leave things for her to sign, and then take them with me on my visits to the hospital or people with serious illness. Their eyes would light up like a child at Christmas… and put a smile on their face because they looked up to her and respected her so much. It would make their difficult day easier to deal with and help them to face their own challenges. 

Some have said Pat’s Place is in the record books as one the most prolific coaches of all time. Others have said it is the basketball court at the University of Tennessee, or the State of Tennessee. Her influence will continue in Pat Summitt Foundation in their fight with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. All of these are true, but to be honest with you, her impact is not limited to a location or one particular thing. I also think that Pat’s Place is…in the hearts of family, friends, fans, and people that she touched in big ways and little ways through the years… me included.