Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vroom Vroom

"Ka-chow, Ka-chow!"  Lightning McQueen boastfully celebrates his win at the beginning of the movie Cars.  He's caught up in his victory dance, that is if a car can dance, and doesn't realize what the next hour and a half (human time) will hold.  He sure is in for a reality check though.  There are a ton of great parts in this movie, but there is one scene that I'd like to focus on. 

In this scene, Doc Hudson AKA The Hudson Hornet, is trying to give Lightning McQueen some racing advice.  Doc says, "I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right."  In a very sarcastic tone, McQueen responds with, "Oh, right.  That makes perfect sense.  Turn right to go left."  He throws Doc's advice to the curb without even considering it.  Why?  Because in McQueen's eyes, it doesn't make sense.

Many times we are like Lightning McQueen.  When we seek for advice, specifically through prayer, we may not always get the answer that we're expecting.  We'll often times get an answer that makes no sense to us.  Turn left to go right?  How will that ever work out?  1 Corinthians 1:25 says, "...the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
It all comes down to faith.  Do we have faith enough that if we turn left we will go right?  Will we listen to the answer we receive even if it makes no sense to us?  We must remember that God has created every track that we'll race on in this life.  He knows every bump, divet, and curve.  When we heed to the master's advice, we will find that we're not only happier, but we're winning the race as well.  Remember that God loves us and will never lead us astray.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Superman, Step Aside!

"It's a bird, it's a plane, it's SUPERMAN!"  That line has been a classic throughout the years.  How they got Superman confused with a bird or a plane is still a mystery to me, but hey, they got it right in the end.  There's not much that the Man of Steel can't do.  Just look at him: he can fly, shoot lasers from his eyes, and lift anything imaginable.  That's all pretty sweet, but is that what we think of when we think of our heroes?  In our lives we don't look up to superheroes, we look up to just plain heroes.

So what makes a hero?  A hero is someone who will put others before himself.  A hero is someone who gets home from work and still has the energy to play catch with his kids.  A hero is someone who doesn't let losing a job discourage him, but gets up and keeps on going.  A hero is someone who puts his trust in God and not in himself.  A hero is someone who is there for you even when you don't ask.

I don't know anyone that can fly, shoot lasers from their eyes, or lift anything imaginable.  Or do I?  I know someone that I look up to so much that it's as if he's flying.  I know someone that has the determination in his eyes to do anything for his family.  I know someone who can lift any heartache, sadness, or discouragement with one of his goofy jokes.  Superman step aside!  That someone is my Dad.  He fits every qualification of hero in my book and will always be at the top of my hero list.  To you, I give this trophy.  Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Remember Who You Are

Nothing brings me back to my childhood like a classic Disney movie.  Who am I kidding, I still like to watch those.  My favorite one is probably The Lion King.  There are so many quotable lines in that movie.  Rafiki, "It doesn't matta, it's in the past.  Hehehe."  Zazu, "It's a small world after all."  Simba, "I laugh in the face of danger.  Hahahaha."  Just a few examples there.  There is one quote in particular that I want to focus on though.  Its when Mufasa visits Simba in the form of a cloud and gives him advice as to what he should do.  He says, "Simba, remember who you are."

In order for us to remember who we are, we have to know who we once were.  Romans 8:16 reads, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."  We are literally God's children.  That's who we are, and that's what we must always remember.  God is our Father in Heaven who watches over us every second of every minute of every day.  How cool is that?

There are times in life when we might feel like Simba did.  Times when we won't know where to go or what to do.  That's when we need to take Mufasa's advice and remember who we are.  Remember that God is watching over us.  Remember that he hears and answers every last one of our prayers.  Remember that he sent his only begotten son to die for us.  Remember that we mean EVERYTHING to him.  If we always remember that, then we will have no need to worry.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

But They Look So Nice

"Wait, wait, wait.  Those aren't flowers?!?!"  I exclaim with an expression similar to the one to the right.  "Nope," my buddy answers.  "But they look so nice," I respond, still trying to process what I've just discovered.  This short conversation changed my whole perspective on the world.  Everything I knew was turned upside down.  How could those nice, yellow dandelions be weeds?  Talk about looks can be deceiving. 

This is the technique that Satan uses to trap us.  He tricks us by making the wrong decision look so appealing.  The question that comes up is how do we not fall into the deceitful traps all around us?  This isn't something we can learn overnight.  After all, it took me almost 20 years to realize that those little yellow plants were weeds, and not flowers.  Learning the difference comes through understanding what God expects of us and through overcoming the temptations that are put in our paths.

There are many instances in this life where looks can be deceiving.  For example, big sunglasses.  It's our job to filter those things out.  We have to pull the weeds out of our lives so that we can have a nice patch of flowers.  We have to put forth our effort in order to keep the weeds out and to be able to always recognize the subtleties of Satan.  In doing so, our lives will be blessed beyond measure.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What's Your Mutant Power?

Some of the coolest action scenes in the history of movies have been in the X-Men series.  Well, that's my opinion, but I stand by it.  The thing I like about this series is that everyone has a different power.  They don't choose the mutant powers that they get, but they make the most of what they have.  How cool would life be if we all had our own individual mutant powers?

Maybe we can look at it on a smaller scale.  Matthew 25:15 reads "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability..."  We may not have mutant powers, but we definitely have different talents and abilities.  Just like the X-Men, we can't choose our talents, but we can make the best of them.  Too often we look at other peoples talents and wish we had theirs.  We shouldn't compare our weaknesses to other's strengths.  We don't see Wolverine complaining because he can't shoot lasers from his eyes, or Ice Man whining because he can't run through walls.  They take what their given and make the most of it.

This is what we have to do.  A talent not used is a talent that is wasted.  We are given many talents and abilities.  It's our job to exercise them for good.  We can be like the X-Men and use our powers for the benefit of others.  Always remember that no good act, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Life: A Team Sport

One thing I love about hockey is that there are no "one man teams."  One player can never do it on his own.  Each player has a purpose and must work together if they intend to accomplish their goal, which is, to defeat the opposing team.  We all have teammates, just like in hockey, that we need to utilize in this life.  If we want to conquer this life, then we have to work with our teams.

We all have different "teams" in life.  Our families are a team, our schools are a team, our little group of friends are a team, and so on.  No matter where we go, we'll be in some sort of team.  Each team has a purpose and is usually there to make us better.  Our families raise us, school educates us, friends entertain us, and so on.  Often times we forget that we have so many teams rooting for us. 

Too many times in this life we feel alone.  We should never feel that way.  Always remember that there are teams all around to help support you.  "...We must realize that all of God’s children wear the same jersey. Our team is the brotherhood of man. This mortal life is our playing field. Our goal is to learn to love God and to extend that same love toward our fellowman." ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Always remember that we have the best teammate that we could ask for: Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ has been through it all and is rooting for us always.  He's always by our side.  Never forget that we are all on the same team and must work together if we want to reach our goal.