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What Matters

Why do birds suddenly appear (

I write a weekly feature for the local paper: Kids You Should Know. These are students who excel in sports, get good grades, head up community service projects, win awards.

They’re good kids.

Something’s started bothering me, however, about my weekly interviews. It seems they’re all the same. Every star student wants to make a difference, to be remembered. And every single one is following the same path — get organized, stay focused, work hard.

These aren’t bad things, but they aren’t good things either. They’re neutral. How is a person to know if he’s focused on what really matters, striving toward a worthy goal?

It seems they’re all the same.

Stealing Time

Kitchenette. Plate stack. (

Today, I took time to wash the dishes. Took my own sweet time — stole it back from the concerns of a busy schedule. It was a moment of conscious rebellion.

Too often, I consider myself a slave to the duties of work and ministry, forgetting that every moment is a gift from God. And the greatest part of this gift? God gives me complete control, free will. So today, I lived like a king. Took charge.

I ran the water, hot.

Watched as suds spilled over bowl and spoon and glass.

Listened to the tune of muffled chinks and clinks. Glass bumped bowl and spoon tapped glass in a clumsy, underwater dance.

Today, I took time to wash the dishes.

Michelle Couldn’t Hear

At Boise State’s spring commencement today, the university president asked for a moment of silence. We waited, almost 10,000 of us, packed to the rafters. The band played a slow rendition of “America the Beautiful,” and as it ended, a man yelled. The shout — muffled by bodies and distance — sounded something like a cap gun, a far-off explosion, small but distinct. He let loose a second time and then a third. He was calling a name. Michelle.

Another voice joined his from the opposite end of the pavilion, and then — a sudden swelling — the building was filled with a chorus of calls for Michelle and her classmates.

I’m still haunted by the moment, filled as it was with longing. Thousands — trapped in their seats — reached out with their voices, a compelling cacophony.

Had we been closer, we never would have been so bold.

Thousands — trapped in their seats — reached out with their voices

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