**This post is a guest post by Billy Johnson, who writes at CA occasionally on the area of family and discipleship in the culture we live in.**
To my friends at the CA blog: I would like to make a book recommendation! One of the greatest cultural pitfalls that we face today is a “WorkAholicism”! We overwork our underpaid jobs and under love our overstressed families! This pitfall is not exclusive to men, but is definitely more common among them. For that reason, every dude needs to read Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley.
Andy teaches that we all cheat, the question is who we cheat! When we say yes to something, we say no to something else! We know this in the realm of health. When we say yes to the cheeseburger and fries, we say no to the healthy life we desire. But this truth applies to our families and work as well. When we say yes to things at work, we say no to aspects of our families.
If you read this book, you will learn to cheat strategically and intentionally. You will learn to not only make your family a priority, but make sure they feel like it. You need to read this short, yet powerful book!
Awe and wonder. It seems our culture, specifically our nation, thrives on being amazed. We look for the awesome, the exceptional and the uniquely talented in every field. We hang our mouths low when a manly, some would even say ugly, lady sings so beautifully it impresses even the toughest of critics. We cheer loudly when someone swims faster, jumps higher, or supersedes our expectations. And we find ourselves in awe, in wonder.
This fascination is nothing new, but seems to have accelerated in the new world in which we live. We now live in a world that has so combined the material and the digital that the line is often fuzzy. This connection to almost every corner of the world at our fingertips has only heightened our thirst for awe and wonder. Now we can watch short films by amateur Indian movie makers and watch start up bands from Russia with the click of the mouse or the tap of a fingertip. We can view live cameras of the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Great Pyramids all at the same time. We can download millions of songs, legally and illegally, and experience such an eclectic array of music it makes our heads spin. And we find ourselves constantly searching for the latest, greatest experience. To fill us with awe and wonder.
And we do this with our children. We show them how some GREAT guy can jump high enough to put a ball in a hole. Or we show them this AMAZING dude who can carry a piece of pig hide 100 yards. And we teach them to love it as much as we do. And then, we look for something EVEN better. So pro-athletes pump up and juice up to invoke even more awe and wonder. But there is a limit. A person can only run so many yards in a season, or hit so many home runs, or write so many amazing songs, or paint/design so many pictures. And so we look to someone or something else to fulfill our eternal thirst for awe and wonder.
As we raise children in a culture striving after awe and wonder, and as we carry the message and mission of Jesus to that same culture, make sure your fill and their fill of awe and wonder is found in God. Turn your TV off, turn the radio off, shut down the laptop, mp3 player and iPhone, and look around and see what God has done. See creation in all its splendor and majesty. See lives changed, relationships mended, hurts healed, addictions broken, and hearts filled. See the power of Christ accomplishing the purpose of Christ in the place where you are. And while you are standing in awe and wonder of what God is doing, be sure to tell your kids and neighbors about it.