Archive for June, 2012

Jun 30 2012

One Dating Answer at a Time

Published by under Life,Relationships

We give up on things far too easily.

It’s popular these days for writers to encourage people not to give up on their dreams. I’m all for it. Trying to accomplish things that have a low likelihood of success requires all the encouragement you can get.

But there are other ways we give up on things.

Here’s a popular one. You’re having a disagreement with someone. You’re both growing increasingly frustrated and one of you says something outrageous, heavy with sarcasm. “Yeah, that’s right. I’m an idiot. I’ve ALWAYS been an idiot. I’ll always BE an idiot. I know you’ve thought that about me since you met me. Yeah, I get it.” That’s the sound of someone giving up. It’s saying, “I can’t think straight anymore so I’m going to say something so crooked it defies logic.” It’s giving up on trying to control your emotions and constructively solve a problem.

How about this, single people? How you feeling about marriage these days? Now that I’m into my 30s, here’s what it seems like (NOTE: this is a general theory, not a law. NO HATING!!!)

* I did this in MS Paint. That isn’t my real handwriting. My real handwriting isn’t much better, but better than a toddler’s.

For every year beyond 25, marriage seems less and less likely. That may not be the REALITY (statistically it’s not true – average marriage age is past 25) but that’s how it’s felt to me. Some of us less faith-filled singles start saying outrageous things like, “There’s no one out there. I’ve been out with tons of people. I’ve KNOWN thousands of people. I’m telling you, there’s no one out there for me.” We start sinking our own ship and poking holes in our kite. We think (or maybe just _I_ think), “Marriage has such a low likelihood of success. Half of couples divorce. Who knows how many are UNHAPPY but stay married. That’s not a life I want. Maybe staying single isn’t so bad.” The odds seem stacked against us.

If you’re a runner, you’re used to this feeling. “I can’t do it,” says some sad, resigning voice deep inside you as your body suffers on any given day from various types of fatigue (aerobic, muscular, joint, or mental).

One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.
_Unknown

Almost everything worthwhile in life requires us to push through pain. Sitting on a couch, wishing to be fit, never gave anyone a good body. If you give in to the voice that says, “I can’t do it,” you won’t. Period.

The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
_Proverbs 13:4

Hey bros out there… wanna get married? Don’t just wish. Stop saying outrageous things and sabotaging yourself. You’ll get nothing for it. Make something happen! But there’s probably gonna be pain. GOOD! Nobody rejoices over exercising with a walk to the refrigerator. But if you stand at the finish line of a marathon you’ll see runners cry their eyes out after they’ve slogged their way through 26.2 miles. Pain makes breakthroughs overwhelmingly awesome.

And for my other bros out there… DON’T wanna get married? I feel you. Truth be told, I don’t necessarily want to get married either. I generally like my life. BUT. I DO want to live the best life possible. What if that means getting married? It very well might! Because as I sit here on a Friday night, by myself, eating a bowl of Campbell’s Chunky Chicken Dumpling soup in my room and writing a post about dating, there’s a sneaking suspicion life could be better right now. Don’t gloss over this.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
_Proverbs 31:10-12

There’s value in awesome babes! They’re super hard to find but they bring GOOD, not harm. We fear marrying a lame girl who’ll take all our fun away. We think she’ll steal the value from us. Not so. The good ones make life better, not worse.

It’s been a year since I asked a girl out. That’s a LONG time for me. I’ve been sinking my own ship with outrageous statements of pessimism, giving myself complex excuses why not to ask anyone out. Maybe the end goal of dating isn’t just marriage but a better life. Let me admit: I don’t have a bunch of answers. And that’s the point. We give up on things far too easily. Stop all the speculating. If you don’t have an answer, find out! That’s what I’ll be doing when I ask out this girl simply because she goes to my church and I think she’s beautiful. I’ve said one word to her five times over the past four months: “Hi.”

I’m gonna add another four later today. “Wanna get some sushi?” One answer at a time.

UPDATE 6/30/2012 10:12PM
Just so no one thinks I’m only a talker, I asked ol girl out earlier today. Le sushi tomorrow night. Winky face.

3 responses so far

Jun 29 2012

Ants

Published by under Life

Dominoes is a game. An actual game with real rules. But most people first learn to use dominoes by standing them vertically very close to each other and then pushing the first domino over and watching them all fall over one at a time.

Life seems like that. Stable, orderly, almost beautiful one minute. And then pieces all over the place the next.

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
_Proverbs 6:6

One thing we learn from an ant, is they don’t stand still. Watch one and see how often it stops just to hang out. Not long. They’re always moving.

I watched a tiny ant tonight. He picked up something huge and started walking with it. It looked like the equivalent of a 6-foot human carrying a king-sized bed by themselves. Then I saw a huge ant that looked like it was from a different ant species – about 10 times the size of the tiny ant. The tiny ant had carried this “king-sized mattress” about 10 feet (probably 2 miles in ant distance) when this big ant tackled the small ant and took the cargo. “Ain’t that some crap!” I said out loud to myself. I looked back at the tiny ant. He was motoring along like nothing happened. The ant is programmed to work.

If you’re in a season of life that’s still and you’ve been stuck for a while, go watch an ant. Consider its ways and be wise! Start moving. For those of you with depression or anxiety, this isn’t simple. But know this. Human beings ARE programmed to work. Not 80 hours a week, but something. Has someone cheated you? Stolen from you? Does life seem like a pile of dominoes? That tiny ant went and got another “mattress.” Pick up your pieces and do your work one-by-one. One-by-one. One-by-one.

7 responses so far

Jun 27 2012

Life’s Cool Stuff

Published by under Life

Slow your life down. If even for 2 minutes.

One time, Jesus healed a blind man. Immediately after the man’s sight was restored…

He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’
_Mark 8:24

That’s cool.

Pick one of your senses and do something soon that makes you experience the world new like this.

  • Sound: Roll down the windows in your car. Turn the music off. Listen to the wind hit your ears.
  • Sight: Don’t look at the ground beneath you or the horizon in front of you. Look up. At the sky, clouds, stars, trees and other stuff you don’t normally see.
  • Smell: Go outside and take really deep breaths for two minutes.
  • Taste: Chew your food for more than 4 bites (for all us impatient eaters)
  • Touch: It’s supposed to be 108 here in Nashville on Friday and Saturday. For those of you here – GO OUTSIDE. DO IT! Most of us won’t feel 108 many times in our lives. Be amazed and enjoy it.

Life is full of cool stuff. We just forget sometimes.

 

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Jun 26 2012

Judging Others

Published by under Life

With microscopes and telescopes – from the subatomic to the astronomic – we’re able to see a lot in the world.

One thing remains very difficult to see. A heart. It’s not impossible. Our lives often give indications of what’s in our heart. But it’s impossible to see perfectly. We have a hard time understanding our OWN hearts, much less others’.

Jesus spent very little time judging. He encouraged normal people (“sinners”) to live good lives. Yet today, it’s easy for us to judge others. Republicans judge Democrats. Heterosexuals judge homosexuals. The rich judge the poor. We judge people for being too skinny, too fat, too narcissistic, too bossy. We judge a lot. Why this difference between us and Jesus? Of all people you’d expect to be upset about the way humans were living (i.e. sinning all the time), wouldn’t it be Jesus – someone without sin? But he rarely was. Why?

When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless…
_Matthew 9:36

Jesus saw the people. Not only with his eyes. He SAW them. He saw their hearts. He saw they were harassed and helpless. That evoked compassion in him. Not judgment.

I can see your hair. It’s easy to say what color it is. But how can we judge people so severely when we have such limited visibility into their hearts? We’re bound to be frequently wrong.

To the extent we judge people, I think we fail to see them. We struggle with a hundred sins in our own life. We know the feeling of wanting to stop doing things, but being powerless to do so. We know what it feels like being harassed and helpless. But we never think another person – who struggles with DIFFERENT things – is also harassed and helpless. They are.

“Recognizing the bind we’re all in together, I decided to experiment with practicing non-judgment of others…”
_William Powers – 12 x 12

We’re not Jesus. We can’t see people’s hearts. Our default is judgment. So how can we hope to be compassionate? Maybe partly in knowing we’re blind. Blind people don’t make outrageous claims about things they can’t see. If they do, they probably seem a little foolish. Maybe we do, too, when we judge other people. Maybe we just need to take Jesus at his word and trust all of us humans are harassed and helpless.

The world needs more lovers. Not judgers. The world needs more people who say, “I decided to experiment with practicing non-judgment of others…”

6 responses so far

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