Smartest Guy In The Room

When I was young, I thought I wasn’t very smart.  Read through the bible a few times and got my degree and, all of a sudden, I’m the smartest guy in the room.

Then I meet a kid who is explaining advanced differential equations to a PhD. I hear a pastor saying to his staff that God has revealed himself to the pastor in a way that they couldn’t handle.

May not be the smartest, but I’m not the dumbest.

Only then do I realize that my arrogance, the arrogance I see revealed in others and our collective intelligence is pitiful in comparison to the true smartest guy in the room.

Yet I hold on to my pride, my shame, my fear, my self-sufficiency and rage against my God who sees through it all. And then find myself on my knees, claiming dependence, my desperate need of Him.

And, He sees through that too.

I can’t argue people into heaven. I can’t impress them with my intellect, my giftedness, certainly not my spirituality. I have no delusions about condemning others or criticising their efforts to understand.

But can I introduce you to my friend? He’s funny and amazing. He really wants to meet you.

And He is super smart!

You can ask Him anything.


Don’t Quit

As my head emerged from the water, I knew I was in trouble.

Stupidity, meanness had brought me to this place of cold and death.  Pride and humiliation had combined to make me step off the bank into the icey depths.  But, I don’t think I thought about dying until I resurfaced and saw them standing on the bank.

It dawned on me then that my brother had maybe been in the same situation all those years before.  He had stepped into a November river, been shocked by the cold, and then died.  Maybe he saw us figuratively standing on the bank.  He certainly died alone.  Maybe he saw nothing but his pain.

For me, the sight of my children there, watching me die, was enough to bring me back, to not submit to numbing lethargy, to not give up.  I swam back to the bank and pulled my soaking wet, frozen body out of the water.

I know God gave me strength.  I know I had a choice.

I think maybe there is someone out there who needed to hear this story today.  Someone addicted, someone struggling with pride and fear, with stupidity and anger, that just needs to hear, “Don’t quit!”

Pride and fear, being stupid and mean toward others are forms of quitting.  So is giving in to addiction.  Love, courage, understanding, humility, kindness, they take work,strength that is beyond our human frame.

God will give you strength.  You will have to choose.

I know I need Him every second of every day.  I know I have a choice, every second of every day.  So I say to you, and to myself.

Don’t quit.

Married and Boring


Yesterday, I was awakened somewhere in the wee hours of the morning to the screams and cries of my grandson.  They are staying with us for awhile so that my son-in-law can get his visa.  It hasn’t been easy on any of us with him in Mexico and mommy and baby up here without him, but they’re making it.  We’re making it.

We wonder where our time is running off to.  So many things happening, marriages, babies, yes and funerals too, practices, church, work, business and we feel like we never get to slow down and breathe.

So then I read this post where someone said her friends were married and boring and it got me thinking.  Now she was only kidding but we tend to classify things that way.  Kids are less intelligent, incapable of doing some of the cool things that we can do so we compartamentalize them.  Young teens are full of hormones and don’t have a clue what they’re doing, box them up and there you go.  High schoolers and college people think they know everything but don’t have any common sense, roped off, dealt with.  Young adults making huge decisions without any experience to know the impact of those decisions.  Middle aged, married and boring.  Old people, really boring, plus they’re dying and smell bad.  Taped them all up and put them in their place.

We often do this because we can’t see through their eyes.  Sometimes, it’s because we’re proud.  Sometimes we wish we were there and it makes us jealous.

I am married and boring.  I admit it.  I work a lot.  I write.  I play guitar and sing.  I jump and dance.  I hold hands with my grandson.  I still get to hear my teenage sons tell me that they love me.  I listen to rock.  I laugh and do crazy things sometimes.

I rode a mechanical bull recently and actually did ok.  My wife was shaking her head and wondering when the next ER visit was coming but I survived and patted myself on the back.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think every age is pretty cool.  There are opportunities and blessings that every season brings us.  I hope I’m never too old to rock but should that day come, I know God will give me something else cool to do.

Life can be a blast.  Maybe it depends on what you choose to make of it.

HA!  Maybe every day can be something amazing if we just look for it.

Then we don’t ever have to be boring.