What Do You Need?

What do you need?

Oh, I know that, most of the time, most of us actually need very little. We have the absurd luxury to say that we need more bread when we get to the last two or three slices in the bag. I dare say we misuse the word “need” more than we use it correctly.

But I am a needy kind of person (and that is, perhaps, the most loaded statement I have ever typed). In this stage of my life, the one thing I find myself most often in genuine need of is direction. I need to know how to proceed – as a pastor trying to lead a congregation and as a father trying to lead a family.

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood.

I was driving through town with the windows down and the sun roof open and enjoying the cool air and thinking, “It’s a beautiful day…in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine?”

And now it’s probably in your head too. It is, of course, the theme song from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” It’s kind of a catchy tune written by the beloved Mr. Rogers himself. But the reason it was so sticky in our minds, so memorable, was the way he sang it. It was his rich, personal sincerity and disarming kindness.

When he sang those words, “I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,” we believed it. He genuinely wanted us all to be his neighbors. And so, in some sense, we were until he moved from this world in 2003. I am confident he would wants us to join him there, but that’s another blog post entirely.

That song, though…”won’t you be, won’t you please, please won’t you be my neighbor?”

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A Boy and His Dream

This morning we did something that we’ve done a few times before. We took one of our kids to their next and most exciting adventure yet…and then drove away. It’s always hard, but this one was different.

My son Jon (about whom I have written before) is on his way to Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. In about four months he will come home and go to college. And, when he returns, he will be a different person – a different man – than the one that we hugged goodbye today.

I’m so excited for him. All of his life, from the time he could even formulate the words, he has wanted to be “an army guy.” He is living that dream – with all of the hardship and hurt and the exhilaration and adventure that goes with it.

And I’m anxious for him. He is away from friends and family. He will have very limited contact with any of us. And he will be pushed physically, mentally, emotionally, and probably spiritually like he has never been tested before.

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