Important. Have you ever been cut off in traffic and been totally incensed by it. Dropped the f-bomb and then considered chasing them down and giving them the true sign of gratitude? If you haven’t then move on because I just don’t believe you and I have little time to figure out why you are fibbing.
Anyway, this blog is not about getting cut off or the ensuing day dream of kick their ass…it is about why we think everything is an affront to us. About why we consider everything that happens a direct result of that person purposely doing that “something” to us.
Truth is, you or I are just not important enough to be considered. That guy that cut you off doesn’t know you and most likely didn’t not even consider how you would feel. That person who made the insensitive comment about gays, overweight people, or one of my favorites is the person who rails about abortion while standing next to the person, who may be Christian, and realizes it was the worst decision they ever made.
Want to know how I know. I have been the jerk off driver, the insensitive person who made inappropriate comments about weight or sexual preference, but to be truthful the one that taught me the most important lesson was the comments about abortion. For that I am still sorry to this day…
I realize that to that person I am inconsequential and it is something I have to get used to. Unfair? Yes, but do I really care? No.
Next time you are outraged or even upset about some slight are action you consider antagonistic just realize you are not important to them and most likely they have no idea of your feelings or who you are…even if you really are important.
Take a moment to look at your car. Are you offending someone with a bumper sticker? Are you driving like an ass with your Jesus fish on back? Have you made someone realize they are not important today? Don’t worry yourself, you probably aren’t aiding someone in feeling unimportant today…
I realize that I have things that I am good at and things I am NOT good at. I would even say I suck at them. I try not to voice my opinions about what I am good at or am not so gifted at because there are two types of people…
The ones who if they find out you are good at something they pigeon hole you into that skill or activity and you will always be that person for them. This grows old pretty quickly. The other type is the person who refuses to believe that you actually suck at anything. They think with enough practice and desire you can be good at whatever you try to do in life. This is simply not true… That is why there are things called career fields. Pay someone else to do it!
The first person…give it a rest. We don’t really want to be THAT person for you all the time. Whether it is a computer repair nerd, a math wizard, a counselor, a school teacher or any other profession. Think about it…we may want to pretend that you actually like us for our personality.
The second person…give it a rest. I realize your attempts at persuading us that we are great and have all these hidden talents is actually you trying to encourage us. Really though if you notice that a person is good at personal interactions and has an inate ability to help people work through problems then please don’t encourage them to be a CPA.
Seriously, put down you pom poms. When they suggest they hate doing finances just suggest a good book keeper for them. It would be easier and much more appreciated.
This is just an opinion but…this might be a short list of people who should not seek other opportunities…
singer – seamstress
math major – counselor
designer – carpenter (I watch enough HGTV to know this!)
movie star – anything normal
kid – adult (even though we try to dress them this way)
adult – kid (it is called midlife crises…been there…still there)
software developer – converstationlist
If you are offended at this short list there is a self help book out there for you…if you need suggestions ask the second person mentioned above.
We have started attending a large church and yes you could call it a mega-church. We are not really big on changing churches but if you read my last blog you will know why we are attending another church.
With that said I have never been much of a mega-church person and always looked upon them with disdain. I think mostly from the perspective that I think they are wasting God’s money by putting in a coffee shop or some other convenience that seems ridiculous. Yet here I am. In a church with a coffee shop, a huge youth pavilion with XBox, and a giant stage and auditorium that can hold big concerts.
I actually like it for now. I don’t buy coffee from the bookstore/coffee shop, but my daughter does enjoy the youth programs. She seems to be thriving if not entertained by what is happening. The preaching is pretty good and I feel a little relief that I haven’t been bombarded with the words you commonly hear at a smaller church. Such as “you have the power”, “stand up and resist”, “don’t let the devil get you down”.
Instead all I am hearing is the relatively mundane scriptures. No great proclamations of how much power I have (in God) or how fantastic my future looks if I just believe and pray. I hear about how if I get off my butt God can use me. Probably not in a spectacular way but in a mundane sort of way. I feel relief in knowing that God has a task out there for me that doesn’t require moving a mountain or making great proclamations.
I know this may only be a season in my walk but thank you God for it. I need it intensely.
The other thing I really like about this mega-church… I don’t know any of the internal workings. I don’t know if one pastor is mad at the other or if someone is offended and threatning to leave the church and take their tithe. I don’t know why they sing the songs they do or if there is a music ministry power struggle. I don’t know crap about crap and it is wonderful.
So if you know me personally and you go to my new church don’t repeat an ounce of “gossip or insight” you might have about the church because it will be a short conversation with you see my back almost instantly.
Leave me alone.
Let me hear God and how mundane his next task might be for me. I need it.
The pastor at my church stepped down over the weekend due to personal sin. For this particular person I have to say I was pretty surprised, but not the most surprised I have ever been. Someone else owns that title.
Today I am writing about how this affects me as a person. I am not a follower of people and most often if I see something that appears perfect or someone that just seems to have it all together and their life is great I just shake my head with doubt. I know there is something that I cannot see so I am careful.
Sounds a bit depressing, but for the most part I can say that it keeps me pretty safe in my heart AND this weekend was not an exception. So what is it about this weekend and other leadership failures that bother me?
Of all people I understand moral failure and while it depresses me a bit I do not judge those people in leadership who fail. I have been there and done that.
So to get to my point…how do I feel when leaders/mentors who are leading or mentoring me fail? I feel a bit aimless for a while. I am not a follower of people so I don’ t think that God has failed and I don’t find any doubt creeping into my Christian walk, but what I do feel is that I am left without a rudder or direction for a short time.
Most people will quickly quip that you just need to keep your eyes on God. Really? Last time I looked around I didn’t see God and He wasn’t yelling at me to stop some sin before I get in trouble. No that was the FRIEND/MENTOR/LEADER that God put in my life that was saying that. Yes there is scripture for us to read and the Holy Spirit to listen to but it helps to see a visual reminder of what it looks like. And that visual reminder is usually a pastor or a mentor.
If it is winter and someone is walking in front of you and they bust their ass on some ice that you can’t see you stop. You reconsider if that is the right way to go. Not the right direction but that exact path. I still need to get where I was going; but now I have to reasses the direction of travel.
My pastor busted his ass on the ice. So I am most likely going to stand here for a second, a little aimless and a little surprised, before moving on. It look like it hurt and I am in no hurry to take that fall…
Know how I feel. Seems like a simple question and probably should be prefaced with do you really care? There is so much small talk today that I am lost sometimes as whether to really tell someone the answer to the question they are asking or to treat the question as part of the “I am being polite and asking you how you are doing question but don’t really care and don’t want to be rude” dance.
I would actually prefer that we skip past the dance routine and have you just say hi and move on. See being an introverted person it takes a lot more energy to make small talk than most people and a lot of that is trying to figure out how to answer questions. Don’t get me wrong I love an in depth conversation and feel invigorated when I have the chance to be involved in them.
What kills some of the fun of the deeper conversations is all the “false starts” that come along with finding one. What’s a false start? It is when someone says hi and starts a conversation that might be going somewheres and then suddenly the person needs to go pee or suddenly needs to be somewhere else. Or when you are 10 minutes in and your realize you are talking about the weather or some other inane subject that neither of you really care about.
You know what would help us all. Even those on that dating scene. Each person should be required to carry a blue and a red token. When you start talking to someone you can give them one or the other. Red is for serious conversation and blue is for idle chit chat leading nowhere. Example: Red for how is your family questions or any other conversation that you want to pursue in depth. Blue would be for any of a myriad of shallow conversations that start shallow and finish in the same pond.
What tokens are you pockets full of?
We have a fascination with shiny cars and making them shine brighter and sound better. I assume that I am not the only crow who likes a shiny object!
I was thinking this weekend about Christianity and why our witnesses are not so affective any more. There are multiple ways to improve our delivery and even some IPhone applications to provide a map of how to take a person through the gospel. How can we mess this up?
Well, it occurred to me that we are shining up our Cadillacs and making them sound better. I/we spend a good deal of time learning the right presentations and the best words to use to present the Gospel to the world. Whether it is a seminar or the preacher on Sunday, I am getting better at presenting the gospel. I can pretty much take you through the salvation message and then present your opportunity to accept Christ… Yet it has only worked on occasion.
The most affective I have ever been at presenting the Gospel was by simple being who I am. An old rusty pickup truck which backfires (swears) every now and again and that has somewhat balding tires. We as a people understand old and rusty. You can lean against it and even ride in it when your dusty and dirty without much worry. It is just comfortable.
Think about it… who would you call if you needed help moving something that was sure to at least involve a scratch or two. The guy with the new truck or the old one. What are you comfortable with? Shiny is good to look at, but old and rusty is useful.
Which type of Christianity are you driving around?
I have good friends. I know we often hear about integrity and what it means and how important it is. At the same time we are also pressured by society to let our level of integrity slip. By slip I mean to degrade, a slow and almost unnoticeable downward spiral that we hardly notice until we are untrustworthy.
At some point we may start to keep the extra change given back to us from the cashier, or maybe we start going from our yes being our yes and our no being our no to where our yes is just another way to say if it is convenient to me I will do it. I feel this tug almost every day and sometimes from people I have acquaintances with, which often gives me pause about considering them friends and it should, but most often I would say it is from an overall pressure from my surroundings. How often do I have to watch TV or listen to a pop song (religious included) to become accustomed to seeking what is best for me?
But as I stated in first sentence I have good friends. I do not feel this pressure from them. As a group I think we live by a code of integrity. If you say yes and shake hands on it then you can rest assured that is as good as putting pen to paper. I am not advocating not doing legal paper work when needed but I am saying that a handshake among my friends is binding. Their solid guys and to be truthful we come upon this trust of each other because we answer to God.
While I may not always toe the line when it comes to be a “good” Christian I can assure you that I make the effort and so do those that I trust. And as far as my friends and concerned they would be the first to agree and encourage me in doing the right thing especially when it comes to integrity in my life and in my word. That makes the whole thing a lot easier.
Honestly, I say yes and no way less often than I previously did. Something about having to live up to your word that reduces the amount of words you use…
I coach sports. Sometimes it is at the high school level and sometimes it is adults. I enjoy it immensely and look forward to it a lot. Recently I was coaching a close friend in Crossfit and he achieved a huge lift (deadlift) and I was excited. I mean excited in the way the I felt like I had achieved something!
As I was sitting talking with my daughter (another blog you should read www.threadbaresoldier.com) about a lift that she had completed which was also huge and that she was not as excited. During our conversation I realized that I had not felt the same way over her success as I did my friend. Not because I didn’t want to but because I didn’t get to. She is a lot like me and pretty much unwilling to celebrate much instead looking ahead to the next goal or dismissing achievements by being humble.
That is what I have stolen… the opportunity for my friends and family to rejoice with me. To enter in to a part of my life because I am unwilling myself to celebrate achievements. I receive such enjoyment from the people I coach and their achievements and I look forward to high fives and saying “that’s freaking awesome!” to them.
So next time I do achieve something that deserves a celebration and I act like I am enjoying myself feel free to join in and I will high five you. I want to see what it feels like.
I need to sin… What happened to the friend who would put a foot in our ass when we started going the wrong way? I think we often get headed in the wrong direction without realizing it, and I really rely upon my friends to let me know.
There are many slippery slopes to slide down, and in today’s society of “live and let live” we need friends and mentors with the will power to step up and lend a foot or hand, depending. I have been the recipient and the dispenser of this type of action, and I do realize it is often embarrassing to be on either end… but it is needed.
Others may disagree, but I love to be around crotchety old men who tell it like it is. I need these people. They are becoming more of a oddity than the norm and that is sad.
If someone can’t say to you that you are being stupid or that you are doing something wrong without taking offense before you consider if it is true, then you should pause and think about it. An old man once said to me, “There is a bit of truth in every correction whether you like the person saying it or not. It just depends on whether you can put aside your feelings and dig for it.”
On the comments of one of my previous blogs a comment rang true with this sentiment… “its funny how people mince, mix and spin words – me included – in order to defend actions they know are far from Christ-like. Sounds like “if it feels good then do it” allows folks to continue to do it rather then examine what they are doing and perhaps just simply stop doing it.” That comment was directed at me and he was right… partially…I dug for it.
So if you are watching a friend walk in a direction they shouldn’t, then speak up. And if not now, then later. They will appreciate it. It may be a lot later, but that is fine.
Just a short blog this time but a very important question. Who said that it was ok to wear pink for guys? I often hear it looks good on you or it shows security as a man to wear that. What a load of crap. It is not MORE manly to wear girls colors. Seriously! If you want to be more masculine try doing it with something other than your clothing.
Guys if you are the one saying these things in response to the questions from other guys then you need to realize that we all know that you are repeating something you have heard either from a girl, read in a girls magazine, or you have just lost your sense of masculinity.
I have never once in my life thought to myself “he must be really secure to wear that pink shirt” or “wow how masculine”. I have worn a pink shirt before and used some of those lines to defend myself. I sure wish there was some old dude there to say “what the hell are you wearing?” then laugh at me as he picks that old gnarled calluses from his palms.
So here it is guys… STOP WEARING GIRLS COLORS!