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OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Remembering Summer Days As A Youngster

By Gary Miller

As a youngster, I spent every day outside during the summer. I don’t even remember the rain keeping the crew from Ford’s Woods at bay. I’m sure we were shut down sometimes but evidently I refused to enter those days in my memory bank. What I did enter were the days when each of the boys in that neighborhood wanted to turn his bicycle into a two-wheeled, super chopper. Since we lived in the days of banana seats and sissy bars, it wasn’t hard to modify each bike into a unique mobile machine. Some of the guys added a high sissy bar. Others extended the front forks. Some did both. And I’ve said nothing about the handlebars. The only prerequisite for them was they must be wide and tall enough to fit your best friend if he needed a ride. We all complied. Most of the time, our modifications were short-lived, but what we lacked in engineering ability we made up in creativity.

It doesn’t take long to see that humans start early in the process of design and development. It seems we were made to look at something, analyze its configuration, and begin to mentally figure a way to do it different or better. My wife says this about God and man. She says, He created man, looked at him, and said “I can do better than that,” and then proceeded to create woman. I’m not sure about that but I am sure about when and when not to argue with my wife. I think I’ll keep my mouth shut.

The desire that we have to make something better is not always positive – especially when it comes to our faith. Many people spend their entire Christian life trying to improve. But while making themselves better is an admirable quality, it is also a very egocentric one. In fact, what do we call someone who is constantly enamored with themselves? We call them narcissistic. The same goes for a Christian who is constantly thinking about themselves. The truth is our focus is not to be on ourselves but it is to be on God and others. When we focus on God through His word, we come to know Him and as we come to know Him, His Spirit works out those things in our life that make us “better.” When we focus on others, we become the hands and feet of God for those in need. The result of our service is that others are made better. So stop constantly trying to do what you are unable to anyway. Spend your time on getting to know God more and in investing your life in the lives of others. It will be a lot more fun for you and others around you as well.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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