Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Whipping Out My Phone

I had a feeling someone was going to say it sometime. (OK, my wife has been after me about it for awhile now, but I've been putting off dealing with the issue...)

What a great blog post by Chris Wejr here. So timely for me, and perhaps for you, too.

Chris shares his conviction that we are all missing too many of the moments going on around us and among those we love, all in the name of our minute-by-minute commitment to electronically document those very moments.

Sounds like me!

One of my most telling examples of this is a piece of video I captured as a souvenir:

It was a great night.

Just me and Kristi, enjoying a concert we had looked forward to for months.

The awesome Gavin DeGraw opened the show, and when he took his performance into the audience, the crowd went nuts! Without even realizing it, we all divided ourselves into two groups:  Those who moved toward Gavin to try and get close enough to interact with him, and those who whipped out their phones to try and get a picture of him.

Those who lived a special moment, and those who documented it.

Can you guess which group I fell into?

Don't get me wrong. I think there is room to do both in almost any situation, and I think we are tremendously blessed by our gadgets that let us capture images so easily. 

But I have to shake my head when I watch this video and remember how Gavin DeGraw walked right by me, within just a few feet of me, with no one between me and him, and I didn't even reach out to shake his hand.

Later in the concert, Gavin performed his new hit, "Best I Ever Had", and one lyric in particular stood out:

"I'm looking at the crowd, and they're staring at their phones..."

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Singing Satisfaction When I'm 40

"I don’t want to be singing 'Satisfaction' when I’m 40."

My Dad once told me about this quote from a young Mick Jagger, in the Stones' early years.

Apparently, Mick couldn't see himself in his 40's, still performing the same hits that made him a star in his 20's. While there is some variation in the accounts of what exactly he said, and what his exact age cutoff was for singing "Satisfaction", the quote has always made me laugh.

How could Mick have known he would still be rocking well into his 60's?

Whether we're singing the song or not, we all want satisfaction, no matter what age we're turning. So, what does satisfaction mean for you?

The right achievements, the right compensation and recognition for the work you do, the right relationships in your life? The right body? The right looks? All of the same in the lives of your children? The right number of blog hits, retweets, Facebook birthday wishes? (Aren't they great, by way?)

I think most of us would have to confess that we want most or all of the above.

An intimate walk with God? Yes, that too, right?

Some of us convince ourselves we can walk with Jesus while still craving all the same sources of satisfaction everyone else does.

I have fought hard to think this for a long time, and I think it's time for that to change.

Jesus is enough. His grace is sufficient for me. He brings satisfaction.

And if I ever lose the relationships, achievements, compensation, health and vitality that I want to have, Jesus is still enough. Whether or not the lives of my children end up being filled with everything I hope for them, Jesus is still enough. Whether or not anyone notices or respects me, or gives a rip whether I'm here or not, Jesus is still enough.

I am passionate about launching young people into successful adult lives, and I plan to keep rocking that music deep into the future, as long as I possibly can. It's what I believe I'm here to do, and I'm grateful to have a purpose.

But even if that purpose is ever taken from me, Jesus is enough.

And that's why I'm singing satisfaction when I'm 40.

Monday, January 7, 2013

"We All Got Bruises"

Lately I've been enjoying the song "Bruises", by Train.

It's a sweet song, a dialogue between old friends who cross paths after ten years and reflect back on their past relationships and experiences, many of which have left bruises.

The song strikes an optimistic note about how these bruises "make for better conversation", and are simply a reality of life for all of us. I'm no exception, and I'm sure you're not, either. Just like the song says, we all got bruises.

But this song has also reminded me that, while I surely carry my share of bruises left on my heart by others, there are people out there right now carrying bruises of their own, bruises that were left there by me.

Some of these bruises I have completely forgotten about causing, and others, I never knew I caused. Some I still remember all too well, and these hurt more than the ones I carry myself.

So, tonight I'm saying a special prayer for people out there carrying bruises I caused.

Father, please ease whatever pain they still feel from things I said or did.

Father, please let me remember bruises I caused that I could still heal, and help me see the opportunities I might have to make things right.

Father, please let me forget the things you're taking care of, and want me to forget.

And God, please help me to be kind.