No, not Chug-a-Lug
I know what is in many of your minds right now. Roger Miller’s 1964 song, Chug-a-lug, Chug-a-lug. We are not talking about chugging down a drink. This is Chug-a-love.
Do you remember last month’s topic?
In January’s Kenny’ Korner, we talked about the New Year and how people get really excited to make all kinds of resolutions concerning the changes they will make in their lives. They promise to lose weight (and then never stick to it and give up after a few days). They promise to go back to school or college to get their degree (but very, very few do). They promise to start a retirement account (but they see that bargain at the store or the opportunity for their dream vacation). People promise to read the Bible cover to cover (but the book of Leviticus stops them once again). Hey! I understand. New Year’s resolutions are tough to keep.
Last month’s topic was titled “On Your Mark? Get Set . . .” and it focused on our desire to do things differently because we are tired of never making progress. When we were children and young adults, we got excited about New Year’s Day because it not only gave us a reason to party, but also to start over. January 1 gave us a new starting point.
What about this year?
The challenge we offered last month was for you to make this year different. Not that you are going to get rich or buy something extravagant, but we challenged you to do something worthwhile that would affect your personal spiritual life and growth here at RCC. This month, let’s add your family life as part of that challenge. For the next few minutes and the rest of this month, let’s focus on both our spiritual life and family life.
With January behind us, have you done anything about getting started on making this year better than last year? Remember, we are not talking financially, unless you are in great need to get your finances in order. Rather, we are talking about you making spiritual growth happen this year. We are talking about making your family relationships better this year. This is where Chug-a-Love comes into action.
Life is often difficult
Life has a way of knocking us down. That’s the way life is. That is the result of the sin that took place so many years ago in the Garden of Eden. If you don’t like some of the bumps and bruises of life that you didn’t cause and you want to blame someone, blame Adam. He is the one you can justifiably point at and scream, “It’s your fault!” Jesus, who never gave into temptation and never sinned, got bumped around and bruised in life on earth. Sin was not His fault, but life is hard and He had to endure life’s struggles too.
If we want to really get ahead of life and progress in any area, we have to work hard because, as we said, life is hard. We have to make things happen. We do have to chug-alug, just like the little train engine pulling all the cars up the mountain.
Life is a marathon. We have to pace ourselves to complete the race, but at the same time, we cannot take it easy either. When I ride my bike up a huge hill or ride into a strong headwind, if I stop pedaling even for a few seconds, I lose momentum and have to work harder to get that momentum back. Life is the same way. We need to work hard and not quit. We need to chug-a-lug.
How will you measure your life?
In the book, “HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself”, which is a compilation of the Harvard Business School’s best-selling articles on self-management, Clayton M. Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, authored an article, How Will You Measure Your Life? Professor Christensen is a god-fearing man, and although we disagree on our views of God, he tells part of his story while a young man attending Oxford. You and I can learn from his story.
As you can imagine, attending Oxford has to be tough, but Christensen wanted to have a clear vision of his purpose in life before deciding on his career goals. He felt this was essential before completing his education. He was a Rhodes Scholar and his program was demanding as he crammed an extra year’s worth of work into his time at Oxford. I think we can agree that Christensen was a busy young man.
As a student, however, Christensen concluded that he needed to take one hour each night to read, think, and pray concerning why he was placed on earth; why was he put here? With his class load and the need for study, this was an astonishing commitment. But now as a seasoned adult, he says that taking that one hour each night taught him the ability to apply his purpose in life to everything he does and to every aspect of his life. He concludes, “It’s the single most useful thing I’ve ever learned” (Harvard Business Review. HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011. pg 5).
So here is where chug-a-love works into the equation of keeping our momentum and in fulfilling our goal to grow spiritually and develop deeper relationships with our family. We need to follow the practice of Clayton Christensen.
If you and I will take one hour out of each day to read from the Bible and possibly also read from another book on spiritual growth; if during that hour we will pray and then think about our purpose in life; we will discover that the one hour might be the single most beneficial thing we have ever done.
Better yet, if possible, spend this time together with your spouse and children. Get everyone into the same room together and divide the hour into sections of which everyone reads at the same time. You don’t have to read the same thing, but it might help. Spend part of the hour in silent prayer or pray together as husband and wife or as a family. And then spend the last part of the hour talking about each of your purposes in life and how you fulfilled your purpose that day or how you plan to fulfill it in some way tomorrow.
This is chug-a-love. You are pressing on (chug-a-lugging) in making something better happen this year in your spiritual and family life. In this, you will actively love God and you will actively love your spouse and family. There is no passivity in this activity. This is active love in practice. This is chug-a-love in action.
Love you & God Bless