Tonight is pizza-movie night. We started this tradition about two years ago and it continues today. (I expect we will have pizza-movie night in Paraguay, although I do think the pizza will not be quite as good). Usually, we choose a kid's movie and have a good time laughing and hanging out with the kids.
Tonight we watched a movie called, "The Ultimate Gift." If you have seen it, then you know it can be quite a tear jerker. If you haven't seen the movie, it might be worth looking into. (Btw - I no longer officially recommend movies after a Tommy Boy fiasco many years ago - I won't go into that... but, thanks Stuart Jones!)
Anyway, without giving away too much of the plot, it boils down to a story about a rich guy who has to find himself by working hard and enduring problems. In the end he becomes richer but, in many ways other than money. (oops, there goes the plot)
It is funny, his whole life he had things handed to him, but it was only through pain did he really know what it is like to be RICH.
My mom once asked me if I (John) have come to a place in my life where I am truly thankful for all the things that have happened in my life (good and bad) because that is what made me into the person that I am? Good question, huh?
Side note - the indians (er, Native Americans) were famous for many things, one of which was not wasting anything. In fact, history tells us that the Indians used every part of the Buffalo. Every square inch. In contrast, the Settlers killed the buffalo, by the thousands, only to skin the hide and leave the carcass to rot in the rising sun. This lovely image has a point.
God uses everything. He uses everything in our lives... every square inch! The good, the bad and well, you know. God is the one who originated the recycling program! In fact, I have found that it is the worst times in our lives that God uses best. I don't necessarily like it, but I can't escape it. With God nothing is unusable.
So, now I ask you the same question that I have been wrestling with for the past 15 years. Have you come to the place where you are thankful for all the things in your life because that is what has made you into the person that you are?
And maybe to follow that up, have you asked God to show you how He has used those good, bad and ugly times?
Not a bad thing to do, if you have some time and a good hanky. ;)
PS... Tomorrow is Mother's Day... Thank you Mom for always challenging me! I love you