I just finished reading a great little book by Randy Pausch. The book is entitled “The Last Lecture.” It contains biographical information and practical advice from a professor at Carnegie Mellon University that was positive, uplifting, and quite entertaining. Pausch shares snippets from his early years and his family life with his wife, Jai a UNC grad, and their three children. He was an expert in computer science specializing in virtual reality and he was actually giving his last lecture. He was diagnosed with cancer and given three to six months to live and he had some great stuff to share from one who was living on borrowed time. I could and will probably quote from this book for the rest of my life. But one little saying is what I want to share with you today. It is a quote from his father:
“When there is an elephant in the room ……introduce him.”
You and I have found ourselves in the room with the elephant on numerous occasions. Randy Pausch practiced what he preached as he began his lecture by sharing with the assembled class in attendance, “I am dying with cancer,” and he goes on to assure his audience that this will not be a pity party and he’s gonna talk about living life and achieving dreams whether you have three months to live or ninety. His mission was accomplished. He died in 2008 but his words are true even in 2020.
Let’s address the elephant in the room for a moment. You and I are not gonna live forever…Merry Christmas! With this in mind perhaps we need to determine what’s important and what is not :
- When the elephant in the room is hard feelings toward another it could be time to introduce the elephant and fix the relationship.
- When the elephant in the room is unforgiveness , superiority , judgmentalism…introduce them.
- When it’s a disagreement or differences over what‘s sin and what isn’t. Get the elephant out there and talk about it.
Jesus came to us to bring reconciliation to this earth and this doesn’t happen when we harbor ill will, nurse grudges, and practice the silent treatment. As we celebrate the holiday I am sure there may be a herd of elephants at many of our small gatherings because this is 2020 and we are actually mad at each other because some wear masks and some don’t.
If you run into any pachyderms at your place of worship, learning, socializing, or your next family gathering, address the situation with the purpose of reconciliation rather than reprimand.
“Peace on Earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.”