2 Tim. 4.10 - "for Demas, having loved this present world..."
The book of Colossians indicates that Demas was traveling with Paul, everything good-to-go. But by the time this second letter to Timothy rolls off the parchment, Demas has deserted Paul, having loved this present world. There's not a lot more to the story of Demas. His scriptural epitaph, sorta like Judas, is that of deserter; he's an sermon illustration of who not to emulate. Nobody ever preaches sermons on how hard it was for Paul to keep friends.
Having the laptop on the blitz for almost a month afforded me early mornings to sit and be. They're usually filled with blogging, such is your demand for my prose. On more than one morning, in the half-light of an oven bulb, and accompanied by a cup of coffee, I had the distinct feeling that I love this present world.
I love the way my youngest daughter always comes outside to walk me in after a hard day's work. I love the way my wife cries when Americans are on the medal stand at the Olympics. I love the way my son sleeps in a sleeping bag beside his dog every night; his bed hasn't been slept in for months. I love the way my coffee maker sputters to life each morning. I love tuning to the easy listening AM radio station on the commute to work, maybe even catching a Glen Campbell song on lucky days. I love it that our Beagle awakes each day, wagging his tail like there's no tomorrow, whacking everything from my legs to furniture. I love the way at least some of our Olympic medal-winners actually sang the words to the national anthem when it was played, instead of just standing there. I love watching my kids talk to their grandparents on the phone while standing on top of the dog house. I love rain. And the sound of lawnmowers.
I love getting emails from friends throughout the week. I love going to the library. I love dusk, always have. I love going to the ice cream shop in a little town nearby. I love looking at photo albums my wife has created over the years. I love blue jeans. And cowboy boots. I love reading books, my latest good-read being A Death In The Family by James Agee. I love the smell of cedar. I love feeling the presence of my wife beside me at night. I love that old train that rumbles by at 2:30 am tooting his horn to alert all that potential traffic on the tracks at 2:30am. I love the geese that fly over our house quite often, honking praises for this present world. I love coming to a stop as that crosswalk guard courageously leads those kids safely across harm's way. And I love the way those kids walk across without a care in the world, such is their trust in the defender of crosswalks. I love chocolate.
Sure, there's plenty of things I don't like. It doesn't take much smarts too find what's wrong. But there is much, my friends, to love in this present world. We miss far too much of it, careening down the interstate at ungodly speeds or scrolling across our blackberrys while someone else is talking or being so heavenly-occupied that we're not earthly aware or blogging every morning instead of being still once in a while.
Demas: Hey, Paul, did you hear those geese?
Paul: What? What are you talking about? 'Cmon, we've got to a missionary journey to complete.
Demas: That may be the most beautiful sound in the world.
Paul: Man, wake up.
Demas: You know what? You go ahead, Paul. I'm gonna climb this sycamore tree and listen to the geese. Then I might go get a milkshake and watch Shawn Johnson.