Every generation has the challenges associated with change and the ever evolving culture. Some change is incredible. I love how technology has made learning more available. I love being able to record live television and watch it when I want to – without commercials. I love that my phone has ten times the technical capacity of the Apollo missions combined. I like indoor plumbing, heating, and air conditioning. And there are a few things that I don’t like.
I hate that technology has been used to capture more and more Americans into the dark filth of evil activities, from the privacy and comfort of homes and offices. I hate that more and more couples find themselves in my office for help with children dealing with drug or alcohol addictions. I hate that more couples are being pushed to the brink of
Addictions, divorce, hate crimes, bigotry, racism, terrorism and economic uncertainty all add to the already lessened civility in our world. You could go on a safari, hunting the world’s best stories of kindness, redemption, and faithfulness and come home empty handed. If you watch and read enough news, you’d think that this world is about to implode. I’m so glad that election news has ended, and yet there seems to be plenty of shootings, rapes, and evil to keep the story alive.
In 2009, Kenny Chesney released a song that still chokes me up. The lyrics go like this:
Well, me an’ my lady had our first big fight, So I drove around ’til I saw the neon light. A corner bar, an it just seemed right. So I pulled up. Not a soul around but the old bar keep, Down at the end an’ looking half asleep. An he walked up, an’ said: “What’ll it be?” I said: “The good stuff.”
He didn’t reach around for the whiskey; He didn’t pour me a beer. His blue eyes kinda went misty, He said: “You can’t find that here.
’cause it’s the first long kiss on a second date. Momma’s all worried when you get home late. And droppin’ the ring in the spaghetti plate, ’cause your hands are shakin’ so much. An’ it’s the way that she looks with the rice in her hair. Eatin’ burnt suppers the whole first year An’ askin’ for seconds to keep her from tearin’ up. Yeah, man, that’s the good stuff.”
He grabbed a carton of milk an’ he poured a glass. An’ I smiled an’ said: “I’ll have some of that.”
We sat there an’ talked as an hour passed, Like old friends.
I saw a black an’ white picture an’ it caught my stare, It was a pretty girl with bouffant hair. He said: “That’s my Bonnie, Taken ’bout a year after we were wed.” He said “Spent five years in the bar, When the cancer took her from me. But I’ve been sober three years now, ’cause the one thing stronger than the whiskey
Was the sight of her holdin’ my baby girl. The way she adored that string of pearls, I gave her the day that our youngest boy, Earl, Married his high school love.” “An’ it’s a new tee-shirt saying: ‘I’m a Grandpa’. Bein’ right there as our time got small, An’ holdin’ her hand, when the Good Lord called her up, Yeah, man, that’s the right stuff.”
He said: “When you get home, she’ll start to cry. When she says: ‘I’m sorry,’ say: ‘So am I.’ An’ look into those eyes, so deep in love, An’ drink it up. ’cause that’s the good stuff. That’s the good stuff.”
This Tuesday before Thanksgiving, take the time to make a list of your “GOOD STUFF.”
I know, you’re too busy. You don’t know of anything good, or this exercise, Chuck might be right for you, but my brain doesn’t think that way. So, here is my attempt at The Good Stuff from home and office. I trust that it might encourage you to build your list as well. Chuck’s Good Stuff:
A marriage that includes fun, laughter, partnership, and love. I’m glad Jenny is my girl, because she’s the good stuff, in every possible way. I love you, Jenn! Coming home to Jenn is The Good Stuff.
Kids that have seen me at my best and my worst, and still love me. I’m beyond grateful to be loved, even though I’ve let them down so many times in so many ways. Still being able to help and be loved is the Good Stuff.
Grandkids that are beautiful and healthy. I never imagined loving being a Pop as much as I do. I love my five grandbabies. I love the fact that I’m young enough to enjoy years with them. I can’t wait to reach them to fish, throw a baseball, skip rocks, play board games, camp out, and watch their own little personalities blossom. Watching these grandboys and grandgirls reach out for Pop is overwhelmingly Good Stuff.
A Church that allows me the privilege to serve them as a shepherd. I’m so grateful that the vast majority of Sugar Hill Church loves me and sees past my failures and foibles. The privilege to serve our community and our faith family is really the Good Stuff.
Good friends that make life fun, that keep it all real and let me put my pastor hat on the coatrack and just be Chuck. Thank you for always being honest with me, supporting me, even when it was hard, and loving my family. That’s the Good Stuff!
Reliable vehicles are a real blessing. After years of band-aiding 15-20-year-old cars, this is something I will never again take for granted. Being able to know that your car will start when you get in it is the Good Stuff.
Watching people come alive in their faith and living in the freedom offered by Christ alone is something that never grows old. I still can’t get over that fact that I get to do this day after day. That is the Good Stuff.
There are dozens more that I could list, but I hope this might prompt you to focus on your “Good Stuff.” The Divine has plenty of Good Stuff for you. Allow Him to saturate your soul with His Good Stuf today. He is always good, and you are always loved!
Stay Cool, Chuck