forgiveness

Time

by Larry Hehn on August 3, 2015

timeA few nights ago my wife and I, looking for a break from a busy week, decided to crash on the sofa and watch a movie. After flipping through the Netflix directory for several minutes and failing to find anything that excited the two of us, we settled for the 1996 John Travolta/Christian Slater flick Broken Arrow.

As reviewer Don Kaye describes it, Broken Arrow “delivers a number of exciting action sequences but is let down by a credibility-straining plot.”

While it wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen (that distinction belongs to 1984’s Night Patrol), it was far from the best. As the credits started to roll I turned to my wife and said, “Well, that’s 109 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.”

When it comes to time and what we do with it, I’ve determined we have three options:

  1. Waste it. When my time is “wasted”, it’s used up in pursuits that don’t generate anything of value for me or anyone else. Things like worrying. Mindless entertainment. Looking for ways to be offended. Plotting revenge. Posting angry rants. Reading angry rants. People magazine. Night Patrol.
  2. Spend it. When my time is “spent”, it’s used up in pursuits that may be worthwhile, may be necessary, but offer little long term impact on me or those around me. Things like sleeping. Eating. Making the bed. Mowing the lawn. Shaving. Ok, the necessity of shaving is debatable…
  3. Invest it. When my time is invested, it generates a return not just for myself, but for others. Things like praying. Visiting the sick and lonely. Making meals for those who don’t have the time or means. Learning a new skill with practical applications. Teaching someone a new skill. Offering sincere hope and encouragement. Seeking and pointing out the good. Mending fences. Seeking reconciliation. Choosing not to be offended.

The next 24 hours are going to go by anyway. With those three options before me, the hope for a positive legacy lies in how much I focus on category 3. What I do with my time is entirely up to me.

Who or what will you invest your time in today?

What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

{ 1 comment }

Relieve Stress in One Easy Step

by Larry Hehn on May 30, 2013

road rageI dropped my son off at school early this morning. I don’t usually drive him, but today he had to be there for 6 am. On my drive home along two eastbound lanes, I sought to move from the left lane to the right, since I had to turn south at the next block.

After putting my turn indicator on, checking my mirrors, and doing the standard head-turn check for my blind spot, I determined that I had plenty of room to move over.

However, the guy who was several car lengths behind me in the right lane had other ideas.

As soon as I indicated my desire to get into his lane, he mashed the accelerator to close the gap between himself and the car in front. I’m not sure what possessed him to try to squeeze me out, but he obviously didn’t want me to be in front of him, even though I already was.

Though I saw him start to accelerate, I still had plenty of room to make the shift. As I eased into the right hand lane, I could see him fuming in my rear view mirror.

He was yelling, waving his right hand around, and having an all around hissy fit. Even as I turned right and he continued straight, I could see him glare at me as he went through the intersection.

“Dude,” I thought out loud, “Do you realize that my pulling in front of you didn’t add a single second to your trip, or pose any sort of threat to your drive? It’s 6:01 am. I sure hope the rest of your day gets better.”

Of course, that’s completely up to him.

It’s something I’ve learned firsthand over the last little while. My wife and I just wrapped up a few weeks with a counsellor. One of the biggest lessons I gleaned from our time there is that I am responsible for my own attitude. Whether or not something stresses me out or offends me, is completely up to me.

It’s amazing how much stress melts away when I simply choose not to be offended by stuff.

If you are looking for reasons to be offended, you are sure to find them. Heck, you may have already decided that you are offended by this post. Ultimately it’s a choice. My driving buddy could have just as easily let me change lanes without incident. I’m sure his day would have been better as a result.

I’m thankful to be more aware now of just how liberating the right attitude can be. It seems so simple in hindsight, but this was a revelation that really only came to light through some great conversations mediated by a helpful counsellor.

And it’s definitely something worth sharing.

Want to relieve stress in one easy step? Choose not to be easily offended.

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Jung

{ 10 comments }

Would you like to get well?

by Larry Hehn on March 27, 2012

sick dogInside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” – John 5:2-6

Before Jesus healed the man at the pool of Bethesda, he asked him one simple question.

“Would you like to get well?”

Because Jesus knew.

Some of us wouldn’t.

Some of us don’t want to get well because we won’t get as much attention.

Some of us don’t want to get well because we’ll have to give up our charity handouts, and go back to working for a living.

Some of us don’t want to get well because we’ll have to control our appetites rather than allow them to control us.

Some of us don’t want to get well because we’ll have to repair the damage we caused while we were sick.

Some of us don’t want to get well because we’ll have to ask forgiveness and admit that we were wrong.

Some of us don’t want to get well because we’re too proud to admit that we’re sick in the first place.

Some of us don’t want to get well, because sometimes it’s easier to just stay sick.

Been there, done that.

We don’t want to be told that we’re sick.

We want someone to tell us that we’re fine just the way we are.

We want to follow our own desires, and look for teachers who will tell us whatever our itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3).

And some of us will get really angry if anyone tries to point out that we’re sick.

But we all are.

Yes, all.

Are you ready to admit it?

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” – Mark 2:17

Would you like to get well?

{ 17 comments }