While watching a friend’s kid perform, her father and I naturally started talking about competition — the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat — and how some parents go to extremes.
It drives me (and him) crazy to see games where “everyone gets a trophy” just for showing up. The fact is someone wins, and someone loses.
We fail kids by putting them in an environment where they think they’ll win just by showing up.
- If one hundred people apply for a job, 99 of them lose, one wins.
- In combat, the winner lives, the loser doesn’t.
- In sports, one wins, one loses.
That’s real life. I know it’s not popular or politically correct, but frankly I don’t care. I’m more interested in reality than Fantasy Island (da plane, da plane!).
Photo by Darrin Yeager. All rights reserved.
Anyway, my friend has become … ahem … youth-challanged a little and can’t quite do what he used to anymore. Since I’m way past that point, we talked about it a bit.
My problem remains simple: I only have one speed, and that’s all-in. Once you get to my age, competing is no longer about winning, because Taekwondo sparring against people 35 years younger means I don’t have much chance of beating them.
So it’s not about winning per se (though that’s more fun than losing), it’s about a personal best, it’s about driving and pushing myself a bit harder than I did last time, or thought I could.
He agreed, and I reminded him of an emergency sports injury facility, because I’ve got a frequent visitor card — after the 9th injury the tenth is free (ask for Lew, he’s a cast artist).
He’s probably going to need it as he ages, because guys like us can’t slow down and listen to what their body says, as we continue to push the limits of ability.
If you’re going to engage in anything, don’t do it halfway. Do the best you can, for as long as you can.
Too many people sit in church and never engage, and on rare occasions when they do, only put forth a minimal effort.
That must not be.
Get in the game, you might surprise yourself with how far out your limits actually exist. How much better would this country be if everyone in church pushed themselves to the limit and said no more.
- NO MORE liberal theology
- NO MORE allowing heresy in the church
- NO MORE accepting ridiculous “science”
I’m all-in. Are you?
The Horse’s Achilles Heal
I’ve been learning to ride a horse, and as part of my education I went to a horse competition. I have much to learn, but noticed all those highly trained and skilled horses share a common weakness.
Maggie photo courtesy of Tatum Stables.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Yep, that’s the Maggie.
Weakness? Some of the strongest, fastest animals on earth have a weakness? Yep, and if you haven’t been around horses much, you might not know what it is.
Ready? They can’t back up.
Well, they can, but it’s not pretty. In fact, it’s downright ugly.
We share the same weakness as the horse — did you know you’re not designed for backing up or retreating either?
Go ahead, look it up. See what General Paul says to the Ephesians as he describes the armor God provides you. You’re prepared for anything, with one exception.
Retreating, or turning around.
God provides no armor for your backside — you’re designed to advance only. And why not? You’ve got the creator of the universe with you.
The lesson from the disciples as they shrank in fear during a storm was not they didn’t understand who Jesus is. That can’t be for one simple reason: they woke Him up.
They weren’t in a hurry to wake up Peter, or John, or anyone else. No, they rushed to the one guy they knew had the ability to solve the problem.
So why did Jesus rebuke them? Not for failure to know who He is, but rather failing to understand the mission: Jesus said “let’s go to the other side,” not go out to the middle of the lake and drown.
What they missed was a simple truth: what He says, He means.
What they heard was we’re going on a cruise to the other side. Jesus provided no information on their condition when they arrived, or if the boat would make the entire trip with them.
Never quit, never give in, never back up.
Help Me Conquer My Fear
As I lay in a hospital bed sucking oxygen, the nurse looks up at my dad and in her best McCoy voice says “He’s dead, Jim.”
Then everyone shuffles out, and says what a great guy he was, we’re sure going to miss him.
Does it matter? Simply put, did I make any difference?
That’s my problem.
I teach every month, and the only issue: did it make a difference? Sure, people may say what a great message, but did it make a difference?
If not, frankly I’d rather play golf.
Here’s where you come in — I’ve spent decades studying some of the strangest stuff imaginable.
- Liberal/progressive theology
- Quantum Physics
So the question today is, what bothers you today? What unsolved issues keep you awake at night?
Stop horsing around and get serious.
Take Action NOW!
You and I need to stop horsing around, so let’s make a pact — you tell me what questions you’ve got, and we’ll discuss them until you’re confident of the answers.
Then go out and do the job, and never back up — you won’t need to.
I study piles of doggy poo-poo so you don’t have to waste hours of boring research.
Win-win for both of us. You get answers to your questions, and I solve a big fear — failure to make a difference.
… Because it’s 2:59am.