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Things I Learned from Watching The Bachelor

August 26th, 2011 Posted by 1 comment

I am always happy to share writings from people I know. This one is from a very favorite person, my daughter. Jana is married to a police officer, they live in northern Washington, and she is the worship leader in her church. She is on the board of Blossom Ministries [http://www.blossomministries.com/] and this is what she wrote in their latest newsletter:

Things I Learned from Watching the Bachelor

Groan.  I know, I know.  Some of you may ask why I would want to watch that show?  Well, call it a guilty pleasure or just spending time with a friend who was watching it but I actually walked away from the final episode with a lot more on my mind than just who ended up getting a ring and a proposal.

The first thing I learned from watching The Bachelor is that everyone desires to be loved.  Why else would an presumably sane person actually chose to subject themselves to the scrutiny and competition of finding love played out on national television?  What some people might call an act of desperation, I call an honest desire to find someone, anyone, to truly love them.  People do crazy things for love!  That being said, how often do I go on autopilot in my world, ignoring the silent cries of people around me to feel loved?  The simplest gesture can be enough to change someone’s day for the sake of feeling loved.  I need to open my eyes and see all my “neighbors” as people in search of love remembering that I know how to introduce them to the ultimate lover of their soul.

Second, I noticed that sometimes people don’t recognize love when it is being shown right to them!  The 2nd runner up this season lost her chance with the Bachelor because she was too self conscious to accept the love he was trying to offer her.  She came to mind when I was in a Bible study going through the book of Romans recently.  The entire book of Romans points out that Jesus is CONSTANTLY showing his love for me and I constantly miss it!  Sometimes the overwhelming awareness of my sin keeps me from accepting the unconditional love offered by my savior.  Ultimately, his love is a free gift that is always available to me but I must accept it.  I must take it.  That might feel that I must risk rejection to get that love.  I think the young woman had been hurt so many times in previous relationships that she had a hard time believing the Bachelor when he said he wanted to be with her.  She was unwilling to risk her heart again for fear that she might be wounded yet again.  But Jesus NEVER wounds.  He ONLY heals.  What feels like possible rejection is always the enemy lying to me and helping convince me that Jesus might not be trustworthy after all.  I cannot make this eternal mistake!  I HAVE to risk my heart in order to receive the love of Christ but in the end it is really never a risk.  It’s a guarantee if I will just believe that Jesus wants ME!

Finally, watching the Bachelor teaches me a lot about how selfless love must be to last.  Between the Bachelor and the Bachelorette there have been something like 17 seasons of match-making and as of today I think only two matchups have actually lasted.  Gosh I wonder why!  You throw a bunch of people together to compete for the attention of one person and what you get is a reality-show competition not unlike the Amazing Race or The Apprentice.  Potential suitors (contestants) are eliminated based on looks, whether or not there is a “spark” of feeling or for no reason at all. Love has nothing to do with a situation like that!

At a marriage conference Ken and I attended last year I heard several times that over the course of a life together you are inevitably going to have moments when you don’t really “like” your spouse but the marriages that last are the ones that simply chose to stick it out no matter what.  Hmm, so feelings don’t always tell us the truth?  Imagine that.  After only two months of the most unusual dating the world has ever known there is no way that those two people who propose to one another on the finale can really selflessly give themselves to one another for a lifetime!  Instead they have merely whittled down a list of 20 potentials to one” winner”.

Romans 5:8 says But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Christ loved us so selflessly that he actually DIED to get our attention!  He says in John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

And finally 1 Corinthians 13 teaches us most about love in verses 4-8: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.  This does not sound like a reality TV show to me.  This sounds like the spiritual, sacred thing we call love that could only come from a superior being like an Almighty God.

Love is a choice and it is a verb.  It’s not a feeling.  And universally, everyone is looking for it.  It is my goal in writing this little tongue-in-cheek article to get us all to remember to view those around us as individuals looking for the acceptance that only a relationship with God can bring.  And the best part is that he offers it to us freely with no strings attached and THAT is something we can always rely on!

Procrastinator — with a capital P & that rhymes with T & that stands for Trouble!

October 23rd, 2009 Posted by 2 comments

At the weeping rock in Zion National Park

At the weeping rock in Zion National Park

I am a class-A procrastinator. I could teach evasion tactics to black-ops (yeah, a lot of my time is spent reading espionage thrillers if you couldn’t tell). Which of course explains why it took me two months to get a new program up and running on the website, not to mention why I just got my box of winter clothes stored away – just in time to take them out again, and why my Fourth of July decorations stayed up until September 1st.

Despite what my family and friends believe, I do not like being a procrastinator. I long to be organized; an on-top-of-everything woman. So in search of a solution, I logged onto Amazon to search for a book I could order (someday) and read (later) to help me curb this problem. I found, The Now Habit — A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination. I punched the button on my new Kindle reader. In less than 60 seconds the book was downloaded and ready for me to read. Well, how is that going to help a procrastinator? Having it right here means I need to read it right now. So I did — or scanned it, I guess I don’t need to add lying to my problems.

Imagine my relief when I learned from the book that I really was not lazy. Yes! I am actually a perfectionist who avoids completing tasks in order to stave the inevitable poor self esteem that will result from not completing said task perfectly.Obviously that was not the whole theme of the book. It did have some helpful hints for me, and I am glad I paid $4.99 for it; it was worth my time.

However, the popular glossing of unpalatable truth brought to my mind how un-Politically Correct the Bible is. The Bible reduces problems to their bare essentials, strips away subterfuge and, in my case, identifies my personal procrastination problem succinctly as lazy [Prov. 6:6-10].

Unfortunately for me, the Bible is right. First of all, I know beyond a doubt that perfectionism is not something with which I struggle. I procrastinate because I’d rather: smell the flowers, read a book, take a walk, go for a drive, surf the internet. It is true I also procrastinate when too many things pile up and I am immobilized because of the weight of what awaits me. And there are strategies to help me, however, most of the solutions start with not procrastinating, so you see the cycle I’m dealing with here.

However, when you’re really ready to deal with a problem, it is comforting to know that the advice you receive is direct and true, whether it’s couched in pretty language or not. Excusing a drinking problem with explanations of stress or abuse with excuses of a bad childhood yourself, keeps us locked in our destructive cycle. God’s Word calls it what it is and offers the solutions. How comforting.