Pastor's Weekly Newsletter

Each Friday, Dr. Daniel Hagmaier posts his weekly newsletter. Catch up on what's happening and plan ahead.

Finding yourself; real to the core | Wednesday Inspiration | 5-27-2020

Dear Church Family and Friends,

Dave Cowens, one time star basketball center for the Boston Celtics, disappeared one day. Without warning, he walked off the practice court, showered, dressed, and drove away, alone. He kept driving to….somewhere. His only explanation was the familiar comment, “I need to get my head together.” He told his coach that it could take as little as two weeks or as much as ten years.

The sportscasters, management, team, spectators, and fans couldn’t imagine what he was looking for. The rock group U-2 had a blockbuster hit called, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” The song is a quest to scratch the itch inside, to find a purpose, a meaning for life. Maybe that’s what the Boston superstar was trying to say. He had everything imaginable, fame, possessions, job security, a strong body, and lots of money.

But apparently, Dave Cowens lacked something in his life that was far more important. Something like a sense of purpose and inner fulfillment. Something which basketball and all its benefits could never provide. To “find yourself” requires that you take the time to look. It’s essential if you want to be a whole person, real to the core.

There has to be more to life than just doing. Well guess what? There is! It’s being which means you are becoming whole, believable, purposeful and lovable. The word is real. It takes time and it usually hurts. The Velveteen Rabbit is a classy book for children with a message for adults. In it is a revealing nursery dialogue between a new toy rabbit and an old skin horse. As they are lying side by side one day, Rabbit asks the Skin Horse:

 “What is REAL? Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?” “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin
     Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then
     you become REAL.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. 

     “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are REAL you don’t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at
     once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long
     time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept. Generally by
     the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.
     But these things don’t matter at all because once you are REAL you can’t be ugly, except to people  who don’t understand.”

Take a long look inside you, suggests the Skin Horse. Going through a lot of activities? Staying busy? Spinning around the squirrel cage? Seldom pausing to ask why? Still reluctant to be loved…to be real? Still substituting doing for being? What does God suggest? Having a heart of compassion, being kind, tender, transparent, gentle, patient, forgiving, loving and lovable. All those things spell REAL!

Dave Cowens was searching to become real. Did he find it? Most certainly he did as he became the Founder of the NBA Retired Players Association in 1992 to help retired players who have no money, no health care, and no purpose. You know the Skin Horse is right, losing your hair takes time and it’s pretty painful when your eyes drop out and your joints get loose. But in the long run, that’s the only way to be. REAL.

Have a blessed REAL day,

Pastor Daniel

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Pastor Daniel writes and posts a weekly newsletter that keeps members and friends of the congregation up-to-date. His earlier newsletters are also online, so if you missed something, check those past editions.

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