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Jamie Johnson
6 September 2010

What Kind of Gloves are You Wearing?

Mowing the lawn: It seems insignificant. I do it week after week during the seasons of growth. It is routine and redundant. I bring out the mower, check to make sure it has gas, and so on. I fill it as needed and put on my work gloves. I then tug until it starts and onward I proceed. Routine. I'll do it again when the grass grows tall. Redundant.

The last couple of times I mowed, however, I saw something significant. My son joined me with his toy lawnmower in order to "help" me. I remember smiling as I would see him in my periphery. He stopped his mower on a sidewalk and "checked" it as I had done prior to starting my mower. He then disappeared for a few minutes. When he returned, he was wearing his red winter gloves -- in the summer heat of August! These were his work gloves. I checked my mower. He checked his mower. I wore work gloves. He wore work gloves. I mowed. He mowed. I did not ask or tell him to do any of it, but he did. The significance? He was watching me. He is watching me.

I pondered that for awhile. In a simple, seemingly insignificant activity, someone was watching how I conducted myself. I thought about how my actions as a father teach my son. I also thought about what my actions as a man show the world. What kind of gloves am I wearing? What kind of gloves are you wearing?

Not only are children watching parents. The world is watching you. And it is watching even more now than before. Facebook has become a global phenomenon on the web. And if you search for a person, you may find a bit more about him or her just based on his or her Facebook profile -- even if you are not one of his or her Facebook friends. You may even find out things about the person that s/he did not want you to know. Employers have made decisions not to hire based on information about applicants found on Facebook. And it is for good reason a person checks the resource of social networks. Americans are spending 22.7% of their time on social networking sites like Facebook according to a Nielsen survey (related articles at eWeek and cnet). The world is watching and we are watchable.

Christians need to consider this further. Is what we are showing worth watching? Is it making an impact that persons are better off from experiencing? Is it making a difference for Christ? Do they "know we are Christians by our love"? I know not every believer is called to the same ministry or type of ministry, but we are all called to love.

Yet, we fail (even among one another as fellow believers as we violate Romans 14). In and of ourselves, we are no good. I can look back on my day and think about things I could have done better and situations in which I failed to bless others.

Dr. Seuss writes the following in Oh! The Places You'll Go!:

Wherever you fly, You'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so but, sadly, it's true that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups can happen to you.

And I'm sorry to say so but, sadly, it's true that you'll cause Bang-ups
and Hang-ups to others, too.

However, I can either dwell on my failures as some sort of twisted self-pitying self-centeredness or I can confess, ask for forgiveness, make it right, and resonate with the words of Paul in Philippians 3:12-14:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

In Christ, we have every spiritual blessing. And His blessings are enough. His grace is sufficient. It is more than enough; we overflow to bless others, whether that be with time, talent, treasure, or however God has called you.

God calls us to leave a legacy more so than to success. This does not mean that we are not successful or that we cannot be successful. It means keeping in mind that significance is more important than success. It means that while your success leaves this world when you leave it, a life lived to the glory of God will leave a significant legacy after you leave this world. My Dad left a legacy. I shared recently with a group of people about how Jesus prepares a place for those who are His and quoted my late father in what he said about Heaven: "Be there!" Dad's words continue after his death, pointing to the One who overcame death. Even in death, people may be watching the life that you lived - what you did and what you left behind. Even in death, the world may talk about what kind of gloves you wore...even in the seemingly routine and redundant things.

Don't wait for death. Right now, you are wearing some type of gloves. Where are they from? What are you doing with them? Who's watching? Are you worth mimicking? What kind of gloves are you wearing? Are you clothed with Him or does He need to change your gloves so that others may see and do good?


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