Leaving Las Vegas…

 (ignore the “by Donna” signature above – this is Sean!)

Gee, a guest blogging spot!  Seems like there should be a rule that you have to be a normal blogger to be a guest blogger.  But either that is not the case, or my fabulous wife doesn’t know about it yet.  So, anyway, here goes…

Say It Loud Sunday… As I understand it, this is supposed to be a time to share about my faith journey, my spiritual walk, things I’m learning, etc.  Well, it just so happens that I have been in “Fabulous” Las Vegas, Nevada this week.  I went out for corporate purposes, and that was great enough in and of its self, but after hours were all mine! 

So, I was lucky enough to be staying at Caesars Palace (no apostrophe there; look up the reason if you are inclined) and I had only been in a few of the actual casinos before.  The weather was pretty good and I had wanted to go to the MGM Grand for a few years.  I decided to walk the half mile (approx) from Caesars crosswalk to the front door of MGM. 

I’m not sure what it says about me, but I had managed to find one cross on a steeple while driving down the strip on Tuesday afternoon.  I remember thinking to myself just how odd it looked and out of place.  So, I immediately thought to myself, “It’s really hard to see Jesus in Las Vegas.”  Now, you may read that and interpret it as, “It’s really hard to see Jesus spending time or coming to a place like Las Vegas”, but that is not what I meant. 

What I was really saying was, “Being in Las Vegas, with all the lights, larger than life buildings, showgirls, alcohol, gambling, etc…; it sort of blinds you and makes it hard to see anything that really matters in life.” 

So, I start out on my walk by coming out of my “tower” at Caesars and enter the main casino floor.  Not that I was looking at the time, but I can assure you that everyone in there was either having a good time, or, if they were losing, had just gotten done having a good time!  Either way you look at it, they could AFFORD to pay for a good time.  Now, I’m not saying that none of those folks never see the doors of a church, but, to me, you don’t think of winning a large pot or hitting the jackpot on a slot machine as something that Jesus would have been doing.  (Never mind the fact that being Omnicient, there would be no point in Jesus gambling!) 

So, I go out through the front doors to head for the crosswalk that gets you to the other side of the street.  Vegas is so nice, you don’t walk up the steps, they have escalators!  Up and over to the Flamingo, brought to you by the mob and Bugsy Siegel.  (Bugsy actually started “all” of Las Vegas, again, look it up!)  Well, walking through the Flamingo was a lot like walking through Caesars, just not quite as nice of architecture.  After picking up the souvenir deck of  cards that I went in there for, I headed down the strip towards the MGM.  First step, another set of escalators.  As I get to the top, I look ahead.  There, sitting in a wheelchair under a blanket in the chilly November air, is a homeless person. 

I didn’t add anything to his coffers as I choose to support the agency’s and organizations that help them as opposed to giving them a $5 or $10 and them buying something I’d rather they didn’t.  But there were two ladies that had given him something and then got in line in front of me crossing the crosswalk.  I’m not exactly sure what they were saying, but I could tell it was about him.  So, we head down the escalators on the other side of the street; and I couldn’t get him out of my head. 

Now, I don’t know his story.  I don’t know if he’s homeless because of something he did that was bad.  Is he just too lazy to work?  Is he a drug addict?  Who knows.  Either way, I knew I had a nice warm comfortable bed to go back to and he, most likely, would just sit there all night or head to his nice comfortable box, brought to him by Frigidaire. 

He may not have been Jesus, but Jesus sure used him to get my mind back into the “real” world and real people. 

So, the story here, for me, is that it may be nice to “escape” on vacation, but don’t ever go on vacation in your mind.  Just because you go out of your normal, everyday surroundings, and enter a fabulous resort, cruise ship, mountain summit, or some other exotic destination; please keep in mind that there are still people in the world that need you.  They need your love and your compassion.  EVERYONE needs to know that they are important to God. 

So, that’s it for me and my guest blogging.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!  And, just to hammer it home, Jesus really is everywhere.  As long as you look for Him, He will reveal Himself.

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8 thoughts on “Leaving Las Vegas…

  1. Sean,

    I enjoyed your story very much. It painted a picture that will help keep me focused on what’s real. If you stay in this type place too long, I imagine your mind does go on vacation from the real world’s needs.

    Yesterday, when my husband and I bought groceries, I couldn’t help but think that the price of canned goods has risen so much that many folks who like to give to the poor are less able to do so. I imagine donations are way down and shelves are looking bare.

    When I was last out Christmas shopping, I looked at all the decorating items to choose from and thought how much we spend on unnecessary items–me included. Stories like this bring home that we can’t be “me” centered if we follow Christ.

    Thanks for sharing. Come back again. Fantastic job, guest blogger.

    Linda A.

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    1. Hey Linda – Donna here. 🙂 I totally get what you are saying about spending too much on unnecessary items. I did it this year, too. I need to be ever mindful of the road ahead and those walking it with me. I need to stop so much “belly-button gazing” and keep my eyes on the Lord. Yes…to be Christ-centered should be our goal. You are absolutely right!

      (I think Sean should guest blog at least once every few weeks, don’t you? 🙂 )

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      1. Agreed! Bring Sean once a month or so. Is he motivated by 14-Layer Cake, like some of the rest of us?

        Linda

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  2. He stares at me with desperate eyes-
    That shouldn’t be a big surprise.
    Life’s handed him a dreadful hand-
    I really need to understand.

    (Chorus)
    Lord, lead my actions to behave
    In ways that keep the vow I made-
    To honor you with every breath
    To help your people every step.

    (V.2)
    If I profess to follow God
    Hold Jesus’ teachings dear-
    I’ll enter Heaven’s realm someday
    See Christ’s face crystal clear.

    I’ll say “I’ve waited for so long
    To see your handsome face”.
    He’ll say “You saw me on the street
    And chose to look away”.

    “I had a sign and thought you’d see
    I needed help that day.
    I think you felt your heart go out
    And then you looked away”.

    For when you help the least of men
    It’s me your caring for-
    It made me sad to see you look
    Then choose to shut the door. 8-6-05 vf

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    1. He is, isn’t He? It sickens me to think of all the times I’ve missed Him in the face of someone else. *sigh*

      Good to know he loves us all…and covers us with His abundant grace, no matter what station of life we are in.

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  3. Very insightful, Sean. Jesus IS reflected in both the stately steeple and the leathered faces of poverty. Makes me stop and ponder, is He really reflected in me?

    Grace & Peace,
    Jean

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