Friday, February 22, 2013

The almost moments

You have had them haven't you? Those moments when something almost happened but it didn't. Today I was driving in Seattle and it was rush-hour traffic. It was raining and there was a lot of traffic. I wasn't going very fast but suddenly the car in front of me steps on the brakes.

Of course this caused me to step on my brakes. I have relatively new tires but because it was wet I slid a bit. You know how it goes from there. That type of thing causes a chain reaction. The pickup truck behind me slid to a stop. He just missed me. I was literally inches from the car in front of me.

I remember a Family Circle comic from a long time ago. Billy was about to step into the street and a car was coming. There was a large "invisible" hand that protected him. It kind of feels like that at times. I know accidents happen to good and bad people. That is just the picture I see in those moments.

It's those almost moments that remind me how fragile life truly is. We have no idea if we are going to have 100 years on this earth or if today is our last day. That may sound a bit morbid but it is reality.

These moments also cause me to think about is what is important. My family. My marriage. Being a good Pappa. Jesus. Telling others about God's love and forgiveness. Living my life in a way that builds others up and encourages them. How I use my words.

It also makes me think, "Why am I still here? What else does God have for me?"

What was your last "almost" moment?

Monday, February 04, 2013

Chick-fil-a and the Gay Community

I clearly remember last year when Campus Pride and the LGBT community decided to protest and boycott Chick-fil-a because of Dan Cathy's (COO) stand on marriage. I remember watching the news and reading all the blogs and tweets about what was happening. It was a pretty big controversy. I think it may have also been a record breaking day for Chick-fil-a as they had lines around the block of people waiting to get their own number 1 with lemonade.

I confess, I LOVE Chick-fil-a! I do not typically eat fast food anymore (ever since travel became more part of my life and watching Super-Size Me) but if there were an In-N-Out and a Chick-fil-a near where I lived I am sure I would have a problem. They didn't invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich and they have done an amazing job at perfecting it. The waffle fries and the lemonade. I even get the diet lemonade and it is fantastic. And don't get me started on their shakes! One time, in Chandler, Arizona, I went to Chick-fil-A that shared a parking lot with in and out and I actually had both meals with Scott Erickson & Colby Martin! Heaven.

Enough of that and back to the story at hand. I just finished reading this article in the Huffington Post by Shane Windmeyer, who is the founder and executive director of Campus Pride. I was blown away. I really get upset when I read stories of people who get bullied because of how they live, whatever that may be. It is heartbreaking to hear about someone who commits suicide because they were bullied because they were gay or someone who has to move to another school because they always get picked on by a certain crowd. I get mad.

I think I would get mad no matter what, but perhaps the reason I get most mad is because I can identify with those kids. You see, when I was in middle school I was bullied as well. Back then I think we just said "picked on" but it was bullying. I was pantsed when I was wearing my swim shorts in front of the whole neighborhood. I had crabapples thrown at me and one time it hit my ear so that it was ringing two weeks. I was forced to put my tongue on a stop sign pole when it was freezing. Yeah. I get it. Kids can be mean. Interestingly, today I would call those guys friends at some level, for sure on Facebook.

Back to the story at hand. It is worse when I see these things done in "the name of Jesus." People who come off as representing what I believe in and then mistreating people because of a different opinion or belief. Then I read an article like this. Dan Cathy reached out to Shane Windmeyer and listened to him. He didn't waver from his beliefs, but he respected him and listened to him. They talked on the phone and even met in person. Dan asked him about his life and his family. He cared about Shane. He invited him to the Chick-fil-a bowl on New Year's eve. There, on the sidelines, stood Dan and his family and Shane. Enjoying the game and each others company.

This made my heart happy. This is a great example of how we should live our lives. I am encouraged and challenged.

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