WWYD: What Would You Do?

Last weekend, my oldest asked me, “Dad if you could change something in your past, what would it be?”  That was definitely a random question from him but, not unusual.  He’s definitely the analyst between he and his brother.  We had just seen the latest Terminator movie so, I am going to assume that this is where the question came from.  Anyway, as we pulled into Target to waste some time before going home, I thought about his question so that I could give a halfway intelligent answer.  I said to him, “I don’t think I would change a thing.  If I were to go back too far, then you and your brother wouldn’t be here.  If I didn’t go back far enough, then I may not be where I am at this point in my life.  I’m cool where I am.”

That conversation made me think a little more.  What if we were able to go back and change some things in our lives?  I’m not just talking about the bad stuff.  I mean, anything.  If I could change the fact that I got out of the Army and stayed in, I would have more than likely been deployed to God knows where for God knows how long.  More importantly, there would be a question of would I make it out alive?  If I could change the fact that I was laid off more than once, there’s a possibility that I could have been a decent job making good money.  The flip side is that I could have missed out on some of the experiences that I have had that, quite frankly, have given me some life lessons that I so desperately needed.  I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that the things that have happened in our lives have all be for a reason.  Yes, some of them have been bad choices and other good ones.  If you’ve made some bad choices in your life, I pray that you have learned from them so that you can be better than who you were back then.  If you’ve made some good choices in your life, I pray that you can appreciate them and hopefully cherish them over and over.  Here’s the rub:  The bad choices are only relative to the time that they occurred.  I’d like to think that the so-called bad choices enabled me to grow, learn more about myself, push abilities to their limits and, more importantly, learn how to rely on God.  If every choice I made was good in my eyes, then what would have really learned? How could I grow as a man, father, etc?  How would I learn how to rely on God?  Definitely something to think about, isn’t it?

The next time someone asks you “what would you change?”, think about where you are now and what you could lose if you did change it.  I’m pretty sure you’d be happy where you are.

Thursday Rant

Well, here we are.  Approaching another summer.  So far, things are pretty much even keel for me. Definitely some challenges that I had to overcome.  Still, new challenges are ahead so for that, I am grateful.

I think I’m really going to try something new this time around.  I’m really going to rely on my faith.  Now, I know this is probably sounding strange coming from me but, let’s face it; we ALL have issues with faith and its lack of use.  The Bible teaches us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb 11:6)  This being said, we have to learn to adjust our faith so that it is at the forefront of our decision-making.  Lately, I have tried to use my faith but, I got in the way.  Too early, in fact.  God will always do things in His time and, when we deviate from that, it can prove disastrous.  You end up missing out on things that you could have very well had, if only you would have just waited.  I am a true witness to this.  I lost what would have been mine but I rushed it.  I was way too eager to seize the opportunity.  Was it fear? Was it pride? Was it selfishness?  Was it even all three?  Those are questions that we have to ask ourselves when we’re faced with this type of situation.  What am I afraid of if I wait? What happens when it doesn’t happen and how will that make me look?  What’s wrong with me having this? Everybody else does.  I WANT ONE TOO!!

Last time I spoke about removing the bandage in order to heal.  Well, this goes hand in hand with that.  The healing process has to begin but you have to trust God that He will heal whatever pain you have, regardless of whether it was self-induced or not.  Paul told the church in Corinth that he had a vision as well as a thorn in his side.  Apparently it was pretty annoying since he asked God to remove it three times.  This is when God spoke to him in verse 9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor 12:9)  This means that, even though I am going through a period, even though my heart may be aching, and even though I feel like it can’t any better, God’s grace is sufficient.  It always has been, it always will be.  We just to trust and have faith that it is so…

Bucket List: A Review

A friend of mine had been hounding me on seeing the movie, The Bucket List. “It’s a great movie. Trust me, you’ll need tissue”, she says. I told her I would check it out because I’m always up for a great movie. Well, being the procrastinator that I am, I hadn’t gotten around to watching it–even though she kept reminding me. Well last week, I come to work and find a copy on my desk. She has actually gone and bought one! Now there was no excuse…lol. So, I made it my business to definitely watch this movies that will supposedly jerk my tears and pull on my heart-strings. Here’s where it gets interesting. I had to attend a funeral for a friend and classmate of mine this past weekend. Sometime on Saturday afternoon I got a phone call from my friend “apologizing profusely” as she put it, about trying to make me watch this movie that apparently had some dealing with death as part of the premise of the movie. Since this was Easter weekend, and since I had to work late on Monday, I decided to watch it Monday morning.

I watched the movie and was definitely not disappointed. In fact, I really enjoyed it! To answer your questions, no I did not need tissue because, like I told my friend, “I cried when Bane broke Batman’s back in Dark Knight Rises and not for stuff like this” (insert snicker). I did admit, however, that I was very moved by the movie and was definitely worth her investment. Actually, I was very appreciative that she got a copy for me because I probably would not have bought it. She gets major Kudos for this.

Now, back to the post. After watching this movie, I realized a few things. First, EVERYONE should have a bucket list. Second, everyone’s list will be different. Third, the list itself does not have to be big but should be powerful enough to have some meaning to your life. Last, do your absolute best to complete it. In the movie, Jack Nicholson’s character had a list that was mainly fun and was to be exhilarating while Morgan Freeman’s character had a list that was more rehabilitative (think 12 steps). Jack’s character wanted to skydive while Morgan’s character wanted to “witness something majestic”. By the end of the movie, it was as if their lists traded writers. One thing that stood out though, was that they each had a respect for each other’s list. I don’t want to give too much of the story away but I will say this–each one of us wants to adventure and each one of us wants closure. While one may be greater than the other, sometimes the two can be intertwined or, relative, as it were. If you take anything from this, make sure it’s the part about making The List. It may do you some good…