Thursday, January 4, 2007

In The Arena

I took apart the Christmas tree tonight. It is so much easier to take down than it is to put up. I didn’t even have to think about it. I just pulled everything off the tree and dropped it in a box.

It was a different story going up. I wasn’t even allowed to touch the thing going up.


My wife carefully and methodically placed every snowflake and icicle on the branch where it belonged. The garland was strung carefully between the lights and the ornament bulbs. Each strand of lights delicately laid to rest on a particular branch to make sure there were no “bare spots”.

Yes, when the tree was put up and decorated it was a careful and deliberate process. When it was torn down it was a careless and inattentive procedure.

That seems true of most things. It is easier to tear down than to build. Furthermore, it is infinitely easier to destroy what another has built than to build something of value ourselves.

Most of what passes for news and entertainment in our popular culture is nothing more than mockery and criticism. The talking heads build nothing of value themselves yet they make millions of dollars criticizing those who are attempting great things and carry great responsibility.


I may not agree with everything that a leader does (i.e. boss, president, pastor, etc...) but that does not license me to personally attack that person and destory their effectiveness within their area of labor. So many feel that they can freely destory anothers reputation and ability to discharge their duties because of personal or ideological differences. I simply do not believe that I have the right to destory another person; even if they deserve it.

No one deserved what was coming to them more than Saul. He had David on the run and was intent on killing David if he could. Yet when David stepped into a pristine opportunity to destory Saul he would not take advantage of it (http://bible.cc/1_samuel/24-4.htm ). Twice David had the opportunity to kill Saul and twice he would not do it. Lord help me to be like David.

If I have anything resembling a new year’s resolution it would be this: To be cautious in my criticism of others. It seems many, too easily I might add, are able to make hasty decisions as to an individuals motives and intents without considering the deeper causes or nuances at work in their life. We want many to leave room for error when we are being scrutinized yet we leave no room for humanness when we study the lives of others.

Furthermore, the people who most gain our respect and are fondly remembered are those who were quick to offer us an encouraging word and to lift our spirits. It’s the encouragers, not the critics, who make the difference in the lives of those who make a difference.

If I like to be around the people who are positive and encouraging maybe I should become an individual who is positive and encouraging.

I like what our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, said.


“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” (http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trmaninthearena.html ).

2 comments:

Aunt Pat said...

Well...now you went and did it! You stepped on my toes! :) Hey..this really got me thinking. Thanks for sharing what the Lord gives!!!

Adam J. Solorio said...

I'm Sorry! This had nothing to do with Editor Reynolds by the way! He deserved what he had coming!! HaHa!