Fifty-Two Days … January 28, 2013

Jon Signing(1,774)

I got out my calculator and figured it out–one-seventh of a year.

I just spent one-seventh of a year situated in South Florida to spend Christmas with the family, record a new album and share in a whole bunch of Sunshine State churches before making my departure this morning.

People often talk about evaluating the success of a project or the fruitfulness of an endeavor. The only difficulty with that aspiration is that we can’t keep moving the goal post to accommodate the lack of achievement. (Actually, that may be the secret to bringing America out of its economic and spiritual doldrums–if we could just get people to admit that the present flow of finance and inspiration is lacking, we might become righteously disgruntled enough to DO something about our plight instead of rationalizing it.)

So as I drive up 27 N to take on another hunk of the Floridian countryside, I must ask myself what I thought I wanted to accomplish when I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale over seven weeks ago.  It really boiled down to four missions:

  1. I wanted to enjoy my family.
  2. I wanted to bless all the people I met.
  3. I wanted to increase my productivity by recording an album and getting my video ready for touring in 2013.
  4. And I wanted to make sure my children are growing in the faith, prospering and in good health, “even as their souls prosper.”

So even though it’s silly, I would like to take this morning to give myself a report card. Now, there is a good chance that I will grade myself too generously, but since I don’t have anybody else to come in and score my papers, we’ll just have to be satisfied with my ciphering.

Let’s look at #1–enjoying my family. I think I can give myself an A on that one. I am convinced that being a good father is the correct mixture of hands-off, hands-on and hand-outs. In other words, I want to give my children room to breathe and be themselves while simultaneously intervening when I see them racing toward the edge of a cliff–and never make them feel that if they hit a hard spot, they can’t ask for assistance. I hope they all feel that way. So thus far, so good.

Concerning blessing all the people I meet, this has become a heart’s desire and source of chilling excitement to my soul. At my lodging location during this period, I got to know the maintenance people, the maids and all of the staff–blessing them with a dollar or two from my wallet from time to time, letting them know I appreciate their contributions to my life and that I admire the work they pursue to make a living wage. I certainly could not do it.

I also tried to tenderize my heart even more towards all the congregational members, audiences and sponsors who were gracious enough to allow me a platform to air my thoughts. So I’m going to give myself a B+–mainly because we can always do better at doing better.

Now, concerning increasing my productivity, it was a smashing success, as I slid into my son’s recording studio, producing a new album, and with the assistance of my other son, put out the video of my show. Both the album and the video are now in my van, journeying with me. I really feel that I landed on a bit of inspiration and heavenly breath with both projects. It doesn’t cause me to be prideful, but certainly grateful for the spunk and initiative to bring God to life through art instead of just reading about Him in a book. So I’m going to make that grade an A+. (I’m a little embarrassed because it seems like I’m grading myself very generously. But it was a good 52 days.)

And now for the final step of assuring my own soul that those individuals who sprang from my lineage or have been introduced into it are finding power in their spiritual journey. I think I have to give myself a C- here. The world and the pressure to conform have taken some toll on my little conclave of family. Don’t misunderstand me–they’re beautiful people and I love them dearly, but they are living in a society that has convinced itself that it is cool and intellectual to deny the work of a universal Father. It doesn’t sadden me so much as it makes me realize that they’ve increased the difficulty in their lives by journeying without a map, compass or co-pilot. I think most of them still believe in God–they have just bought in a little bit to the social lethargy which feels snooty by ignoring a divine goodness.

I know they will not like hearing me say this, but I do believe it’s my duty after fifty-two days to warn my friends that the popularity of the moment is never the lasting virtue of the future. God has not gone away. He is often disguised by religion, which wishes to profit from His image more than seeing the world enriched by His wisdom. He’s been nearly mutilated by politics, which has attempted to turn the Almighty into a poster child for everything from abortion to gun advocacy. And He has been locked up in a black leather-bound book, which is so vulnerable in establishing the weaknesses in its heroes and characters that it falls prey to the cynic.

So as I drive on today with my A, B+, A+ and C-, I realize that I have once again ended up where I have often found myself in life–B.

I don’t know. Perhaps maybe I am doomed to be a B movie for eternity. But at least, God has given me the sense of humor, ability to be honest about it while simultaneously refusing to give up–continuing to pray and believe that all things work together for the good.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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