Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Button pushed? React of stop and think?

I don’t know about you but I consider myself to be a patient individual who can usually determine whether a situation is worthy of getting bent out of shape. I know that my mom was clearly a proponent of never crying over spilt milk. Yet, the world that has evolved is so far removed from reality. Why is it the case people get their button pushed over the craziest and silliest things?

I almost lost it a few days ago when I pulled up into an almost empty parking lot except for a mom watching her kids. I admit that I pulled up in my Truck and must have appeared like a drug dealer or a misplaced older white guy. I was picking up a group of teen guys who had played basketball at the park. I mistakenly pulled into the area parallel instead of perpendicular to the court. I was on the phone talking so I couldn’t really hear this mom. She seemed to scream at me that I shouldn’t be parking this way. I attempted to explain I would be gone in a few minutes and did this really matter?

I was fortunate to have a wave of common sense come over me, thank you Lord, instead of reacting to this demanding individual. I responded by saying SORRY and then turned my truck around. Just as I did this the guys jumped into the truck and we were off. I can’t fathom why this was so life threatening that this required the lady to engage in a war?

If this wasn’t enough in the next minute or so I was at a light getting ready to pull out after the green appeared only to be HONKED at by the guy behind me. As I pulled away from the light this guy rushed around me. As usual we ended up at the next light right next to each other. Did the honking of the horn really help improve the flow of traffic that afternoon?

I have memories of pulling out of a parking lot with no oncoming cars. Just as I get into my lane I see this car literally whip around me and then crazy enough actually stops and almost causes me to hit him. Initially I’m thinking he’s in this small little car and I’m in a truck with a big bumper. Does he really want to play this game? Yet, he was totally serious and almost seemed as if he wanted to fight. The incredible thing was that the light changed as all of this was happening. My decision was do I engage this crazed individual or just let it go. My blood pressure was still up because of having to slam on my brakes so it wasn’t an easy choice.

Again, there was a supernatural force that stopped me from becoming a statistic! I can’t fathom being so wacky as to engage into a cat and mouse fight with a truck when I’m in a little car? What in the world is happening? Why is there so much anger, bitterness and apparent hatred that pushes someone to make a nonevent into a life and death emergency?

Life lesson for the new year is to stop reacting to the people and ‘stuff’ around you and purposely learn how to catch your breath and walk away. Why let your button be pushed?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Eating a meal together will change the world and your life!

I have to admit that most often my wife, better half is always correct, especially when it comes to life values and goals. I know that there is a huge transition as your kids are now all grown up and the likelihood of the family sharing a meal together is infrequent at best! As the new year is upon us and too many resolutions are now a thing of the past one of the simple goals I believe that will make a difference is the intentional choice to eat a meal together with your spouse, family, friends and community. I know that it’s too easy today to go out for a dinner but my two cents is make a goal that at least once a week you prepare a meal at home.

It’s an incredible gift to your family or friends to sit down at your dinner table and share great food and the amazing interaction of listening to one another. The sad tragedy of today’s high-tech society is that too many are not eating at a table but playing video games and snacking. The real test, which I often fail, is to purposely put down your smart phone and turn off your iPhone so you can tune into your spouse, family or friends. How is it possible to carry on a conversation while the T.V. or YouTube is blaring out noise?

I know that the generation of my parents never gave an option about eating meals together. It was an assumed part of family culture to know that you couldn’t miss dinner especially on Sundays. Yet, as we have evolved into a society that is too mobile its’ so easy to become too busy and to be honest lazy to plan, shop and cook a great meal at home. I was very fortunate to have a mom and dad that were both incredible cooks. I learned so much as a kid growing up because I was never given a choice about cooking but watched and helped as my dad created awesome dishes.

One of the downsides to a totally high-tech society is that we have created online friends that are far from being part of our real lives. I confess that even as a sixty something I’m too geared to seeing responses, likes or shares of my various posts. What’s most important in the new year is to cultivate relationships of substance. This isn’t going to happen via texting, twitter or snapchat but through sitting down at a table and chatting, listening to another eyeball to eyeball.

What’s incredible today, thanks to the internet, is the ability to get recipes and instructions on how to put together an amazing meal. So why not impress your family dad and actually plan, shop and then cook a meal that will turn everyone’s eyes and delight your taste buds!!

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year is for the young to learn from the old!

New Years is so much more than whether Mariah ‘bombed’ or Ms. Spears goes out in glory in Vegas. Often, we talk too much about starting over or giving it another shot instead of thinking about finishing well! Yesterday I had the privilege of being with old friends, remember I’m old now also as they celebrated the era of a church that was closing after 30 years. I know it’s so easy to brag about new year resolutions, which is important to consider but what’s more important is what you did yesterday and how that impacts today.

What has touched me so much about this group of friends is their ability to care about others in such a way that they make you feel special and loved! What’s so amazing is that this group has chosen to give away the assets from the sale of their building to impact the future for others that share their passions! Please don’t misunderstand this isn’t about money but a glance into another’s heart and how they have left a legacy for others to follow.

This week I was also able to love on a few of my grandma friends by giving them a ham or a turkey. What again struck me is how much a blessing it is to hear someone not only say thank you but actually show their heart in how they choose to live. It’s so easy for the youth of today, who will be the seniors of the future to treat the elderly as if they don’t exist.

As I listened to a few of my friends weep as they shared the journey of their church together it touched my heart because I had been impacted by a small group of Christ followers who walked their talk and finished well! This past year sadly has been about big names finally being held accountable for their abusing and hurting those underneath them. Instead, I listened to a pastor friend reflect on rather simple advice for the new year and how we treat those close to us and even those we don’t like.

I life reflecting on the words of King Solomon who asked for the gift of wisdom when he talked about their being a time for everything. A time to be born and also a time to die. I have learned so much from these friends about finishing the journey well. I know that their pastor will hear the great Shepherd say to him that his flock finished well!