Daily Devotions

Act Like Howard Stern

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Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:13)

Eighty-plus years is a long time. It gives us plenty of time to make mistakes, make transitions and even remake ourselves. I was reading the Washington Post the other day and learned that Howard Stern is embarrassed by his previous life. He had a wildly popular, long-running radio and television show where he would degrade people. He would ask women to strip on his show, call people horrible names, and do outrageous acts wherever he went. The more popular he became, the more rude and outlandish he acted. Stern admits, I tried to watch some of my old Letterman [appearances], Stern said on a recent morning during an interview at his SiriusXM radio studio. “I couldn’t get through two minutes of it. It’s just not me. I don’t know who that guy is.”

I feel sad for Howard Stern. Sure he remains a huge celebrity, with tens of millions of dollars, but I still wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. It is bad enough that he is embarrassed by his previous actions, but he must live with the memories every day on the internet, television, and in the minds of most of the world’s people. Yet, this horrific reality is also its own blessing. Because he cannot deny his previous life, he cannot hide, but must face the world with honesty and humble reflection.

Stern has written a book that I hope will not just reflect on his vulgar antics, but will provide the opportunity to apologize and share why his previous life decisions were hurtful, not only to others, but also himself. If Howard Stern is able to pull life transformation off with integrity, he may find himself with even more fame, only this time with integrity. It is worth the effort.

 

I would venture to guess that all of us have done things in our lives that we would give anything to take back. Sadly, do-overs are not reality. For perhaps the first time in his life, decent people can say, “Act like Howard Stern.” If there is something about your past that is haunting you, take the time to face it. Make your mends, your apology, or your prayer. The goal is to receive forgiveness, so you can live the rest of your life beyond the burden of previous mistakes or sins. Please remember, God is grace-filled, and wants to forgive and heal each one of us, even Howard Stern!

No More Dead Time!

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Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. (Colossians 4:5)

Control is an illusion, but we can work to utilize our time well, so we are able to accomplish more, amidst the unplanned challenges that rear their ugly head. Ryan Holiday, in his article, “Will You Choose Alive Time or Dead Time?” describes his own process of discerning time. “Then I remembered a piece of advice I had gotten from the author Robert Greene many years earlier. He told me there are two types of time: alive time and dead time. One is when you sit around, when you wait until things happen to you. The other is when you are in control, when you make every second count, when you are learning and improving and growing.”

While I have made many mistakes in my life, one of the commitments I’ve made in life was bringing a book with me wherever I go. This has been made much easier in the last decade with the smartphone. Even when I am stuck in a line, or waiting in the doctor’s office, I can get my reading done. For the past thirty years I’ve gone from listening to books on tape in the car, to streaming audible books on my phone. I mowed the lawn today with my noise cancelling headphones on. Rarely am I stuck wasting time.

Resting and relaxing is not Dead Time. We all need time to rest. The same way it takes eight hours of sleep to prepare ourselves to live with energy for the next 16 – when we push ourselves excessively mentally or physically –  added rest time is necessary. Rest can be Active Time. Dead Time is living a life on autopilot because you hate your job, or worse, your life.

If you have chosen to live your life in lazy Dead Time, instead of Active Time, ask yourself why you are living a life of avoidance. Why is your life so unfulfilling? If so, can you make a job change? If you cannot, can you focus on an aspect of your work life that brings you fulfillment. I know someone whose work is brain-numbing, but she focuses on those she works with daily. She takes the time to listens to their joys and frustrations. She makes little gifts for them in her off hours. While the work isn’t fulfilling, caring for those around her, in her workplace, makes her work hours fulfilling. Pray, that no matter what your work or life situation, that you will Choose Alive Time and make a difference in the life situation in which you are involved. God will bless your involvement and your time will bring you joy.

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