random musing

Participation Awards

I have some words.

First, if you cannot make your point without misrepresenting “the other guy” then you need to sit back and re-evaluate your point before you make it. But that is not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about the Participation Trophy.

Some people, when they want to smear those younger than them (especially those in the 18-30ish age bracket) discredit what that they have to say by pointing out that these kids are entitled and therefore what they have to say is irrelevant. “Those entitled millenials”. It’s been said enough that’s considered a fact, and whenever you point out someone who isn’t entitled? “Well they are the exception.” Low hanging fruit is the participation trophy. It goes like this: “kids today! They think they are so entitled because they grew up getting a trophy for losing!”

Lets back up and point out a fact: Every generation has thought the new generation are “young punks”. This is not a new thing. Every generation has pointed out how much harder they had it than the younger generation. (One of the greatest mysteries of my life is how even the friends whose parents and grandparents grew up in Southern California said how they walked to school uphill both ways in the snow.)

The participation trophy isn’t rewarding kids for losing or “not trying hard enough” or to “spare their feelings”. It’s to acknowledge hey you participated in this thing- good for you! Sometimes you can give your best and not win. Why should we not encourage kids to try again next time? “That’s what the trophy is for! To have them try harder next time so they’ll win!” you may say. Sometimes no matter how hard you try you will never win. There will always be someone faster or smarter than you. That doesn’t mean the effort you gave is worthless. And that is what the participation trophy is about. To show,  you showed up and you tried.

“But, kids need to learn that in the Real World sometimes you just lose. You don’t get the job, you get dumped, you miss out on the promotion.” Yes, and it stings and is horrible. But technically? Each of those times you get a Real Life Participation Trophy. You learned something. Each job you don’t get, you learn a bit more on interviewing for the next time. Each time a relationship falls apart, you learn how to be a better person next time or see the signs that this isn’t going well.

And those are my words on that topic.

Of Having Thick Hair

thickhairedit

Source: Pinterest

This is all so true. When my hair was long, I could be out in single digit temperatures with just my hair down and I did not need a scarf. And styling it? HA. It will do it’s own thing. I have limited say in the outcome. As Laura once said, it ‘evolves’ throughout the day. As for how long it takes the dry? I wash it every evening…and there are many days that it never completely dries.

 

tl;dr

I want to talk about tl;dr.

When did this become a thing? I started seeing it, looked up what it meant, and shrugged and moved on with life. But recently I’ve been seeing comments on blogs that start with ‘tl;dr’….and then proceed to write a couple paragraphs in response. I may be old fashioned, but how can you respond to something unless you know what the person is saying? What am I missing here?

I’ll admit, I don’t read everything on my feed. Or in detail that my friends write. But when I’m in a hurry and I don’t read a friend’s 1000+ word thesis on their favorite topic, I don’t comment with my thoughts. If I’m not going to going to the give the author my time to read what they took the time to write, why would I write a response based purely on the title and maybe a skimming of this first paragraphy? This trend of ‘this is what I think! But I won’t take the time to read what you actually said because what I have to say is more important!’ is not helping in adding to the reputation of the internet that people behave differently online than they would in person.

My two cents for this Wednesday morning.

 

Edge of Excitement

Do you ever see the beginnings of a possibility? Something you tried and it looks like it will work, the first glimmers of actuality? And it is so incredibly exciting….then you just sit there. The current level of excitement is so wonderful, that it’s difficult to push more into the unknown. This is comfortable and happy, why keep pushing? This is more than you thought possible!

I find myself sitting in that spot often. Part of it is scary, knowing the work that it will take to go the next step. Fighting through the ‘good enough-itis’. But I want to take advantage of all the opportunities. Which means I should finish up this short post and go finish what I started!

 

Death

So, I was just writing on death.

I was answering a kid’s question and breaking down the difference between physical death and spiritual death (and used the term ‘worm food’, because, yes, I am almost 30 years old) and stopped in my tracks at the amazingness of it.

We will all die. (Unless Christ returns first). Our bodies will stop working one day, either from old age, disease, or injury. But those things can only affect our physical bodies. Who we were, the stuff that makes us unique and different, and love and curious….that will never end. Our spirits are eternal. Technically we will never die in the sense of ceasing to exist. And as believers our salvation is sealed.

Whenever I think through this topic I come to the same conclusion that what do we have to fear? Pain and loss in this world will be temporary, as unbearable as it can feel.

This should make me a braver person, and someday it just may. But for now, it’s a good reminder.

Stubborn Thoughts

I’ve been thinking alot about love recently. I used to think I had a firm grasp of exactly what it meant, filed it away, and generally didn’t think much about it. Life went along like normal, and to be perfectly honest, I didn’t need to dig down into the definition.

Then life changed. Constants that had always been there went away, and I went through a falling-out with a friend who was dear to my heart. Of all the changes and trials, this shook me the most.

I spent a couple years fixated on grace. I have noticed that I go through phases where I fixate on a specific word and it’s meaning. First it was hope, and it’s unmoving, undeniable nature. The hope of the gospel, a solid rock. The wonder that burned in my heart settled into a comfortable knowledge and I moved onto grace. Grace, undeserved merit. This carried me through that dark time when I was wrestled with my thoughts and my sorrow and pain at my falling out with friend. God’s grace is there, completely undeserved, unearned. Amazing.

Now in the last few months my internal focus is shifting from fixating on grace to love. This has startled me. Love is something that I acknowledge, and I love my family, and my friends, and my dog. I understood it, ‘love is a verb’, didn’t I know everything I needed to know from dc Talk and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7!? I don’t need to process this!

Apparently, I was wrong.

I’ve pulled up the roots of all my ideas of love and rebuilding the foundation in my soul. And as with hope and grace, it has come alive to me. I think I had an academic understanding before, but now I feel I understand. I think to love you have to feel. (Which, I realize for most people is not a problem.)

Love is a choice and an action. A choice you make in your heart and once you make that choice to love that person, their actions or behaviors should not shake it.

I realized in my deepest of feelings I had bought into an idea of conditional love. Stay with me, while I said that I do think to love you have to feel, that is not the root or the core. When you choose to love that person, that choice trumps how you feel about them that day.

Without unconditional love, it leaves room for fear…fear that the wrong word, or if your appearance changes too much…that love will go away.

I’m still working through my thoughts on this, and I will likely be writing on it again. But for now, for those reading, how would you describe love?

 

End Times

I was listening to a sermon on the end times, which is on my list of least favorite topics. But, it was next in my podcast queue, so I played it while I worked anyway.

The reason I dislike this topic is it is so divisive on something that the details we cannot know exactly the correct interpretation. There is alot we can know and interpret and be aware of what will happen, but the Bible is incredibly clear that we cannot when Christ will return. (See Matthew 24:36)

And isn’t that the most important part? That Christ will return? All the other details, are just that- details. Christ will return, we won’t see it coming, and no one but the Father knows the date.

Which imagine if we actually, truly, knew the time and date when Christ would return. Let’s say it was the last verse in Revelation, with the day and time clearly stated that we could count down to, how would we live differently? And would all our focus be on that day, or on the Savior who was coming? Speaking for myself, I would fixate on the day, especially if it was in my lifetime. I would be calculating ‘well there’s time’ or ‘why bother with something, times almost up’.

Fear is tricky, horrible enemy. And often times when I see an obsession over ‘well, this has happened in the World, means the end times are here!’ it is born from fear. And if not born from fear, fear takes hold. Constantly watching the news, seeing what will happen, trying to piece together how much time is left.

I think we should be careful to not land hard on a ‘side’ in the end times debate when we cannot undeniably know if it is correct. And especially should not use the study of the end times as a reason to live in fear, or tear down fellow believers who have come to a different conclusion about details.