Posts Tagged ‘The Tikker’

Sermon 11-08-15: “What Can We Learn from a Scoundrel?”

November 9, 2015

choosing_sides

The following is the third and final stewardship sermon of Hampton UMC’s 2015 stewardship campaign. In it, I find a few characteristics of the “shrewd manager” that we disciples of Jesus can emulate: his generosity, his resourcefulness with money, and the urgency with which he acts. Unlike him, our salvation and our future is secure. But what about those who haven’t yet received God’s gift of saving grace? People that we know are facing the crisis of their sins separating them from a holy God. God is calling us to help save them using, in part, the money he has given us. Given this urgent task, how can we not be generous?

Sermon Text: Luke 16:1-13

[To listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

I’ve always worked well with deadline pressure. When I was in college I was an editor for my college newspaper. It came out every Friday. Which meant that I had a weekly deadline every Wednesday night to get my section done. At least that was the official deadline. The truth is, the drop-dead, “it’s got to be done by this time or else” deadline was Thursday morning at 7:00. So you would find me, many late and lonely Wednesday nights at the newspaper, burning the midnight oil to get my section done by the deadline. And when I was an engineer I had deadlines for the projects I worked—which meant burning the midnight oil to meet deadlines. When I was a student at Emory, I had lots of deadlines for all the papers I had to turn in—which also meant burning the midnight oil to meet deadlines. And of course now, as a pastor, I have a weekly deadline.

Deadlines… That’s a funny word when you think about it. It suggests that once you cross this line, you will die.

Speaking of death, there’s a new watch from Sweden called the Tikker, which purports to keep track of our ultimate deadline. Seriously. This watch not only tells time, like all watches do, but it also tells you how much time you have to live. Of course it can only guess—based on information it gathers from a survey about your life, your health, your family history, your habits. So, for example, one question on the survey asks, “How many times a week do you go to Speedway Doughnuts?” “How often do you order the bacon and maple doughnut when you go to Speedway?” So these habits will deduct from the time you have left.

The inventor of the Tikker says that the purpose of the watch is not to depress anyone—or to be morbid. Quite the opposite. He calls the Tikker the “happiness watch” because “if we were more aware of our own expiration,” he said, “I’m sure we’d make better choices while we are alive.”

Hmm. There might be something to that! Read the rest of this entry »