My bride and the kids had left town for a couple days to see some family and I was faced with a considerable challenge. I’m blessed with a wife who makes coffee for me almost every day. After I had recovered from the morning emotional distress of missing the presence of my family, I was faced with the reality that my coffee was not going to magically appear. I’m ashamed to say that my chosen path was to get in the car and drive a few miles and find the drive-thru window for my morning cup of black gold.
Aside from walking up to a pregnant women and telling her how big her baby must be… teaching on marriage and parenting can be one of the most dangerous mine fields. It is so touchy because none of us carry the title Master of The Universe when it comes to marriage and parenting. To even further complicate things, it is one of the most personal topics that we could possibly discuss.
Books are full of maxims about ‘what you measure.’ You are what you measure. You get what you measure. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. There are some principles of truth within these maxims which apply to our spiritual journey. We do not like to talk about measuring anything when it comes to spiritual things because we do not want to create a performance mentality. Just as dangerous, we do not want to malign a biblical definition of success with one that is convoluted by measuring man-defined performance.
I remember late in my college career I got this wild idea to run a marathon. The most I had ever run was about 10 miles and the marathon was about 6 weeks away. I was young and stupid. I’m so stubborn it took me a couple weeks of trying to jump into the training schedule as wells as some knee issues to realize it was too late. It was just too late. I didn’t continue running after that realization. I felt like if I could not do things on my terms I could not do them at all. Again, young and stupid.
I hear this same logic in parents often times. The dreams they had for their own parenting journey had been confronted with the realities of life and the opportunity had passed them by. Because things had not worked out exactly as they had hoped, they have, in a sense, thrown their hands in the air signaling their surrender.
I have to begin by saying that I am no expert. As a matter of fact, I am about as far from an expert as I could be in this area. That being said, I have come a long way over the years. Some googling could probably take you to some really great thoughts by people who are so much better at this than myself. However, maybe I can save you a little bit of time by sharing some of my rookie lessons learned so that you can push ahead on your journey.
First, as I mentioned in Intoxicated by Connectivity there was a transition that needed to happen for me before the practical strategies for disconnection would even be useful. If you are not at that place of peace and trust yet then I would urge you to stay there wrestling with those truths and praying for that kind of peace. Without it, nothing here will be of any lasting help.
I was on vacation the week of July 7th. In a recent post I described some goals for the month of July. Lori and I had a GREAT time going to Chicago and taking in the beauty of the city as well as catching two (yes, two) wonderful baseball games at Wrigley Field. Lori enjoys baseball almost as much as I do so it was a blast for us to experience such a historic ballpark. Since arriving back I have been deep in planning, working out the sermon and church calendar for the next 12 months.
We are all so different, thank goodness! I know that the world would be a very scary place if everyone was just like me. If that was the case everything would stay broken, there would be a lot more road signage (as I’m always lost), AND professional baseball would be a year-around sport! I could go on… but that probably sounds horrible enough to you. I would also venture to say that the world be a little quieter.
I was a senior in high school when my family purchased our first home computer. At that time in history the Ctrl+Alt+Del command was bitter sweet. It was bitter because it meant you had reached a road block and things were locked up. Sometimes, you were even staring at that horrible blue screen which strobed in front of you in a tantalizing way. It was sweet because it allowed you to pull out of the immediate symptoms and be rescued to a fresh start.
I remember as a student beginning a new term with lofty goals of studying a little bit every day to reap greater benefits and to avoid the last minute cram. Every time, without fail, those lofty goals would meet the reality of sitting the night before a test or paper due date needing to accomplish everything in the few remaining hours. To be honest, I did learn how to function pretty well in that routine and ended up depending on that ability.
In my home we have an ongoing debate of the quality, or lack there of, that is found at Luby’s Cafeteria. I understand that Luby’s can be a pretty polarizing topic… and I may lose a few friends and readers over this one. If you are not familiar with Luby’s it is usually the only eating establishment in which the parking lot is full at 4pm.
I have a theory, it is not trademarked yet so feel free to use it as your own, that the food served at Luby’s is based on a predigested menu. What once began as normal food is pre-chewed and then pre-digested so that it is in the most comforting state for the aging members of any local community. Let’s face it, this segment of the population is plagued by everything that is needed to chew and digest their food effectively. How wonderful is it that they have a local establishment which removes these obstacles and even offers great discounts. I have yet to mention the creative marketing which produced a cultural icon like the Luanne Platter.