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Minus 500…

By March 26, 2013August 30th, 2022Lost in Translation

I made an executive decision this evening. I was having a conversation with someone and he told me that one of his friends had more than 1000 contacts in his phone directory on his cell phone. Moreover, the guy I was speaking with had only about 60 and that included his entire circle of influence. It got me thinking about my own list of people and the the fact that I don’t do a very good job managing the people in my electronic Rolodex.

So, I decided it was time that I did something about it. In fact, that’s why I am a little later than usual with this evening’s post. That’s because I went through every one of my 1088 contacts and recalled who they were and which one of my past corporate lives they were from. Several years ago, I did a great deal of work for a very well known national, make that international, company. More than 200 of the contacts were from that company alone and you know what? I haven’t done any work for them in almost 3 years and it doesn’t make sense for me to keep them current in my files.

Then, there were those who were from way back in the early days of ministry. People who had asked me to fill in for pulpit supply, or the time that I did the Good Friday service in Noblesville one year. This list was of people who I met once or for some reason, I sent them an email and they ended up in my contact list. On top of all that, I had a number of duplicate files. You know, the ones where you think that they weren’t there, so you add them again and, suddenly, they appear 3 or 4 times. Well, I got rid of all the duplicates.

Finally, there were the airline clubs, restaurants, hotels that I stay in around the country and a host of other services that I still use. I kept almost all of those – well, except in the areas of the country that I used to travel quite frequently but don’t go to any more. Gone…

When all the deleting was finished, I was curious where the list stood. Well, I now have 588 contacts in my file. That means I removed 500 – exactly. What’s the chance that almost half of the people in my personal database no longer had any interaction with me or the life I lead today? Then, of course, I started thinking about whether I should have deleted them. I always second guess myself. The family still laughs at me when I ask them if we bought the right boat back in 1987. In fact, they really make fun of me. While I appreciate the humor, at my expense, I really do go back and visit some of the decisions that I have made.

One of the contacts I removed this evening was the number of a guy that I went to grammar school with. I haven’t seen him since graduation back in 1966 and we spoke once on the phone more than 10 years ago. I don’t have an email – just a cell number and the guy seemed annoyed when I contacted him the last time. What if I want to try him again? Well, with the advances of modern technology, chances are that I should be able to go out on the internet and track him down – probably with a more accurate number than I had for him on my phone. But I did have to deal with the issue of deleting him in my own mind…

So now I have what I think of as a sanitized list. All the contacts, places and shops are relevant in my life today. And if by some chance some of those other folks should walk back in, then you know what? I’ll add them right back… The good thing here is that nothing is final.

So I got to thinking about all this and was comforted by the fact that even if I deleted the numbers, God hasn’t. I’m sure that you guessed this is where I was going this evening, but it’s true. God created every one of us and he remembers each of us. In fact, we were created in His image. When Adam was first created, the Bible tells us that God breathed life into Adam. In the Greek, the work is “pneuma” and is the root of the word that forms our English word “pneumonia”; a problem with breathing… it’s also associated with the idea of a spirit – as in Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit is like the wind – can’t be seen, but is certainly felt.

And since that time, God has been with those who believe in Him and in many instances, has even changed the name of His devoted followers. But for tonight, the verse I have chosen reflects that note in the Scripture that affirms that God wanted us to be like Him. We are told, in Gen. 1:26, “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” In other words, God have us dominion – we were to have authority over God’s creation.

My encouragement this evening is that God knows your name, whether you know God or not. My prayer is that you will make an attempt to know God as well as He knows you. Now I understand that is impossible, because He is the Creator and we aren’t, but I hope you get the idea. I pray that you will enter into a deeper relationship with the Creator of it all. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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