Live. Learn. Love. Lead. by Stewart Perry

Most Friday mornings I check the golf scores after watching the morning news. I have all the PGA tournaments set to record… I know it’s a bit sad isn’t it… This morning’s broadcast began with a statement by the USPGA about the recent shootings that has again horrified the world.

The commentator was explaining that the players would be wearing maroon coloured ribbons in memory of the children who had died. He also explained why some of the players might also be displaying the letters “LLLL”.

The school motto for Robb Elementary School is:

Live. Learn. Love. Lead

As I heard the motto, I couldn’t help but be moved by the poignancy of this motto in light of the tragedy… but also I could not help but see the irony as I asked myself if we can’t learn & we can’t lead then those children could not live… & all that is left is for us to do is love… but is that enough? Particularly in situations like this.

I don’t pretend to be an expert in American Gun Control… the situation does seem ludicrous to someone who has grown up & lived the entirety of his life in urbanised Australia. I do know that it is an incredibly complex & fraught issue for Americans & very much tied to their sense of identity.

As we sat around this morning before morning prayer, our small gathered group were trying to make sense of it all (only to realise there is no sense to be made). One of our group, Arch Harrison, who is amongst the most wise & knowledgeable people I know made a comment. He said:

“You know I’ve studied American history & I can’t find a period of time when American hasn’t been at war with either itself or someone else”.

Last Sunday I preached on peace & so perhaps it was because of that, a thought came to my mind… if we are not at peace within ourselves, then how can we bring peace to others.

Last week I described the peace that Jesus leaves his disciples as “Shalom amplified by grace” & so when I say peace within ourselves I don’t mean that everything has to be completely perfect in our lives, our well-being, our sense of self & purpose.

I think the Christian understanding of being at peace within ourselves is knowing that it’s OK that we are not OK & that despite us not being OK, God’s grace is still gifted to us. Being at peace within ourselves is the synergy between God’s active grace & our realisation of brokenness.

Jesus has entrusted his followers to make disciples of all nations but how can we do that effectively if we are not at peace within ourselves. We will be quickly found out as hypocrites & the message of hope & peace will be lost.

Our world needs people who can learn from what is going on around us. Our world needs people who can be moved by what they have learned to lead others in a way that brings life to others.

Love & prayers isn’t enough unless we learn, lead & bring life at the same time.

Live. Learn. Love. Lead

This might be a school motto but it strikes me that it is a profound statement of what Christians believe is the good news.

Let’s absolutely pray for all those impacted but also let’s be challenged to: Live. Learn. Love. Lead.