Four Lessons from Amsterdam, by ACHUCKAllen
I recently spent a few days in Amsterdam with Jenny, Samantha and Abby. While there, we were able to spend some quality time with our oldest daughter, Amy, her husband Ben and our grandsons, William, Ford and Bo. It was a quick trip that also included a few days in London as well (Five Lessons from London in tomorrow’s post).
While the visit with grandsons and the charm of the Old City was awesome, I was also reminded of four lessons from my time back in Amsterdam.
1. We all need a superstructure for our foundation. The city of Amsterdam is built on top of water…quite literally. The original builders drove wooden piers into the water and muck until they hit solid ground, some 25 meters or more. Then built four and five story homes on top of them. Which worked great until the water receded over the years and exposed the water logged wooden piers to oxygen, thus creating sinking homes. You can tour the canals and see homes that at several feet out of square, but have had the superstructure foundation rebuilt at great cost to stop the slide. That’s so true with us as well. With no rock solid belief and faith system as our foundation, we tend to slowly rot and slide into oblivian, often at great cost to those we love the most and at the expense of our own good.
2. The CHURCH has slipped away into nothingness. As our tour boat floats softly thgrough the canals, the tour guide points out that we are entering”the red light district.” It’s much ado about nothing really, but it is the Netherland’s version of sin city. And right at the end of the red light district is an ancient church where our guide says is known as “a convenience.” “You, can sin all you like and find forgiveness right here at the church nextdoor, although I know nothing about the church.” God help us from hanging on to faithless tradition and man made foolishness at the cost of irrelevance and insignificance.
3. Family should always matter. The time to travel from Atlanta to Amsterdam was costly, and came at an inconvenient time. Honestly, I was sweating bullets as we prepared to leave town for the ten-day trip. The reality was that everything will be waiting upon my return and I have a great team of leaders that I serve beside to more than hold the fort down! But the bigger reminder was that once I got to my daughters home and wrestled around with the grandboys, everything else took a backseat. You know why? Because family matters! Now, to remember that back home!
4. I love my country! The Netherlands and the United Kingdom are beautiful, but there is no place quite like the USofA. I know we have a divided country. I know we are fighting our demons and most of them we have created, but this land of the free and homne of the brave is still the greatest place on planet earth. I need to remember that. And! I need to remind many of you of that fact. We are far from perfect, and we are treading on so many slivers of thin ice these days, BUT, we are still free. We are still relivent, and we are still standing for freedoms that greatly frustrate me. BUT, we are the United States of America. Seeing how Europe has struggled with so many issues should remind us that our founding fathers had a reason to build this republic as they did. It was for the purpose of FREEDOM!