Tag Archives: childhood

Ironic Thought of the Day

There is a story that I have heard many times in my life from many places about some things that are supposed to happen one day after you’ve died.  The story isn’t always the exact same but it generally goes something like this….When you’ve died and you go to heaven before you’re let in Jesus is going to replay every moment of your life.  And you will be incredibly ashamed of the things you’ve done when you thought nobody was watching.  The moral of this story is that you weren’t supposed to do things that were sinful because you will be exposed one day.

I haven’t thought about it until recently but it seems like kind of a ridiculous story.  I mean God goes through all of the trouble of taking the ultimate punishment for sin but then suddenly he has to shame us one last time before we go off into eternity?  That is frankly one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard and frankly I wish that when I heard this as a child that I had the mental foresight and analytic ability to tell the people who told me this little story that it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Think about it for just a second.  The insinuation is that God is so vindictive and thin skinned that he can’t just let it ago and that once he poured out his wrath on Jesus on the cross to judge sin that it just wasn’t enough?  That says more about human beings than it does anything else.  Because people are so flawed and insecure that they can’t let things go and they can’t truly forgive.  God says that he forgets sin when we repent.  But we project our own precious qualities onto God sometimes.

Just a side note but I always pictured this little meeting happening in a white walled office.  The apostle Peter walks in and pops the story of my life vhs in the vcr while they give me nasty looks.  Hahahahahaha.  Oh Lord what a life I’ve led.

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When You’re Angry Do You Still Love Me?

I learned some very valuable things today.  I got the opportunity to spend some time with my only son today.  It was a day that his Head Start preschool put on a county-wide celebration for all of the kids to play games, play in the bouncy houses, have fun with each other and have lunch.  It was packed with children and parents and was a really great time.

Aaron and I got to play Frisbee, do a “cake walk” (unsuccessfully I might add), play games, get some sunglasses and do a lot of awesome things.  I was able to get Aaron in the zone and he just thought he was as cool as the Fonz.

Aaron

I too got in on the action by jumping into a picture of Aaron and Ronald Mcdonald.

mcdonald

It was an absolutely gorgeous morning aside from the fact that I had to put on a sweater to keep from getting too chilly.  But we had a really great time for a dad and his boy to spend some time together and learn some things about each other.  For example, I learned that Aaron doesn’t really understand the concept of knock, knock jokes.  He would say knock, knock and I would reply who’s there?  And he would say something that you absolutely couldn’t play off of the word “who” and would laugh like crazy.

After Double A would make one of his crazy knock knock jokes he would stop and ask me; “Am I hilarious Dad?”  I told him that he’s the funniest guy I know and he would give me a big grin go on to his next knock, knock joke.  Trust and believe me when I say he’s got a million of them.  Because if his eyes can see it, it becomes part of his joke.

After we got home, I sat down here in my computer chair and made myself comfortable.  Aaron turned on a fan and then walked up to me and put his little hand on my arm and said “Dad, when you’re angry at me do you still love me?”  That hit me suddenly and unexpectedly because I have never considered that once in his little life that he wasn’t always sure that daddy loved him.

I never considered that, just like the knock, knock joke Aaron wasn’t able to always connect events together in his head in a way that made sense.  He just knew what he saw daddy do.  When he made a knock knock joke and daddy laughed it was funny.  To him it didn’t matter what he said, he just knew that daddy laughed and told him that he was a funny guy.  And just like when daddy’s mad at him about something, all he could see was that daddy was angry.  So in his mind he thought there were times that daddy might not love him.

But because my boy loves me so much, and because he wants me to love him so much he was compelled, out of the blue, to ask me just so that his mind could possibly be at ease.  He, like many of us, want and need to know if we’re loved.  The way my boy felt, is the same way I felt this morning after driving the kids to school, staring a beautiful blue Ohio sky.  Does God still love me even when he’s angry with me?

The voices in my head tried to fill me with fear and despair.  They told me that it could be too late for me.  But my mind had to be put at ease.  So I looked up at that bright blue sky and I said “Thank you God for giving me another beautiful day in this world”.  It was a statement, but in my heart it was a question because I was throwing it out there to see how the inner man would respond, and would God speak back to me.  It’s like being in a relationship with someone and you are wondering if they’re going to speak to you so you say something, anything, hoping that they will say anything back to you so that you can get some kind of status of how things are between you.

When my son asked me that question I almost cried because I don’t think he thought this thought on his own.  I feel like God was prompting him to ask me so that I could give him the answer that God wanted to give to me.

So, I picked my boy up and I sat him on my lap.  Then I picked him up almost like I would my 5 month old daughter and laid him back so he could look into my eyes.  I said “Daddy loves you all the time, even when he’s mad at you.  And usually when dad is mad at you it’s because he loves you knows and sees things that you don’t know and understand.  Your daddy wants what’s best for you and I want you to know that Daddy loves you no matter what, and there’s nothing in this world that can ever make your daddy stop loving you.”  He smiled at me and said “Okay.” as he hopped down to the floor and went to play a couple of video games.

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What Do You Chase and Why do You Chase It?

What is your motivation for doing what you do?  What do you chase after?  Why do you chase after it.  Some people chase after power.  Some people chase after love.  Some people chase after glory and fanfare.  The list goes on but one thing that I am certain of is that everyone is chasing after something and it is revealed through their actions.

One of my favorite movies of all time is the “Silence of the Lambs”.  There is a very powerful line hidden within the movie that is so true.  It is a hidden truth of human behavior and analytic people such as myself use it when trying to dissect the behavior of those around us.  The line in the movie is when agent Starling is meeting with Hannibal after she betrayed him.

“What is the first and principle thing he does?  What needs does he serve by killing?”

People seldom, if ever, carry out actions for no reason.  Everything that we do, we do it with the belief that it is necessary to get something that we desire.  Are these assumptions we make accurate or inaccurate?  It’s such a subjective question and very hard to answer because there is more than one road that gets you to town.  There are many paths that can lead to the same place, but not all paths lead to the destination that you believe it will.

So it sometimes becomes really difficult to say that your actions will obtain the desired ends.  But it is probably accurate to say that we can know the probability of whether or not those actions will bring about the desired result based upon historical data of others who have used those same means to achieve an end and look at the success rate of that action in those specific circumstances.  I know this might sound like it’s some boring spiel but this is really good information to have at your disposal.

Some people chase power but that’s not me.  I lost my love for power many years ago.  I don’t want to control people.  These things are like drugs to people.  The love of power makes them feel something beyond the mundane.  They get a thrill out of being able to dominate someone else.  I see this all the time.  Most relationships fail for this very reason; because both parties involved wish to assert their will over the other.  A relationship only works well when there is a mutual respect and we can negotiate what we have to have and what we’re willing to give up.  The love of power to me is a sickness.  It’s the God complex.

Just as dangerous though is something I have struggled with for years, since I was a child really, is chasing after the love and adulation of others.  I want fans basically.  I have for years built up a reputation among some people as having a legendary status by being willing to take on tasks that they themselves love.  I feel like if I master these things that I will garner the love and respect that I wanted.  It’s not power, but it is just as dangerous because eventually your self worth is built upon how much you can impress others.  When your self worth is determined by what others think of you it becomes a very slippery slope.  Because when I lose the fanfare and the people are gone I fall into a terrible pit of depression.

I have been like this since I was a child.  When I wasn’t trying to entertain others I would make up my own pretend worlds where I was loved and adored for being the greatest.  This is just another way of chasing for something that I believe I needed to make me a whole person, but in all reality it is just another pitfall to keep me from sustainable joy and peace which, in my opinion, only comes with a relationship with God.

Some people chase other people.  Some people chase other people because somewhere along the way they have been injured mentally, emotionally or of course even physically.  What they try to do is they try to keep someone in their lives that may or may not need to be there.  They do this because what they are trying to do is create a substitute for whoever scarred them.  It may not even be a romantic acquaintance.  It could be a parent, sibling, a friend that they might have been close to that harmed them deeply.  Sometimes the wounds are deep and just like with physical wounds they sting when they are touched and often times we lash out in anger or emotional pain when we are confronted with the prospects of trying to deal with our feelings.  But we chase these vain relationships, which are clearly just not working, because deep down we think that there is a chance that it can fulfill whatever need we need filled.

Some people chase physical highs.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an alcoholic high.  It doesn’t matter if it is a prescription drug related high or any other type of narcotic for that matter.  It doesn’t matter if it is a food based high.  What I mean is that some people are just as addicted to food as some people are to pain meds.  We chase these highs down because we think it’s going to serve some kind of purpose to help us feel something more.  We think that it will help us to feel better.  I know that I have struggled with food addictions and borderline alcohol addictions.  I know from experience that I became a manic depressant because I felt like such a failure (probably related to my need to be adored) and I tried to drown myself in alcohol, food, video games, etc.

Often times we can tell if the thing we want is some sort of idol that we’ve created by how we try to protect it.  People will try to lie, cheat and steal to protect the thing they’re chasing.  People will even go to the extreme of lying to themselves to justify what they do.  I won’t do that anymore.  I have to be honest with myself because when I close my eyes in bed for the night; I am the only one that has to live in my head and I can’t live with myself knowing that I am being disingenuous to myself.  I would rather die than not be able to be honest with myself.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t do wrong.  It just means that I am honest with myself when I have done something wrong.  I try not to make the same mistakes twice and I forgive myself and move on.

The point of this whole thing is to say that you’re chasing something.  Think about why you’re chasing it.  Ask yourself some hard questions and if you have to try to figure out an excuse for why you’re doing it then you are lying to yourself.  If you have to go around and around in your head justifying your actions then something isn’t right.  I’m not saying that if you don’t feel bad about it that you’re fine because there comes a point where a person’s mind can be seared like meat on a grill.  When you sear meat on a grill you have hardened the outside so that it becomes more difficult for the inside to receive things.  God help us to be honest with ourselves.  Because if we can all learn to be honest with ourselves about why we do what we do, this world would be a better place.

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I Miss the 90’s

I was born in the early 80’s but most of my memorable childhood was spent in the 1990’s.  It was, in my biased opinion, one of the greatest decades in American history.  We had a government that worked together, an economy that was strong, fantastic arts such as music and cinema.  The list could go on and on.

When I was young we lived on a hill in the country.  We had a gigantic hickory tree in the front yard of our small house with an old tin roof.  You could see storms blowing in from far off and when they did I would open the front door, grab a blanket and lay there watching through the front porch as the wind bent the trees over.  The lightning would crash and the thunder would boom as I fell asleep there in the doorway listening to the raindrops ping the roof.

One of my favorite movies was “Twister”.  I must have watched it 100 times.  I would watch it and dream about going out west one day and seeing a tornado for myself.  For awhile I would tell the kids on the school bus that I wanted to be a storm chaser one day.  I lost the desire to have a career as a storm chaser but I would still like to do it one time.  But it was more than wanting to chase a tornado.  It was about the simplicity of Midwestern life.  It was lure of wide open spaces and big beautiful skies that made me get lost in euphoria.

twister

My brothers and sisters would go outside and play all day.  We made up some of the most ridiculous, games that are too embarrassing to me now to even mention.  But looking back in retrospect the complexity and originality of the games we played showed a tremendous amount of potential in what we could be in the future.  We played outside until dark and then we would come in and have dinner.  We were poor and we didn’t have much but to be perfectly honest we had some of the best tasting meals a few bucks could buy.  My dad was and still is a tremendous cook.  Mom could cook too, but my dad just seemed to be a culinary master.  Even the most ordinary foods he made them come to life.  Bologna, hot dogs, hamburger, sausages; it didn’t matter.

I spent much of my days on a mission.  The missions varied but there were days were I would be writing a book.  There were days were I would take an old cassette stereo and listen to radio stations for music to record.  I waited with bated breath for the moment a song would come on the radio so I could hit record.  Perhaps those days haven’t left me.  I now have a talent for knowing a song on the radio just by hearing the first note or two.  I also am on a mission daily.  I write screenplays and blogs, and other things because it is still a passion.  I took these things from my childhood.  I love them dearly.

Once a year, during the summer, I would visit my grandparents with my brother and we would stay there for a week.  My Grandpa and Grandma did this with all of their grandchildren and frankly it is an idea that I will use when i have grandchildren if I am around this world that long.  It was like my own little vacation.  We would wake up at 7 a.m. in what can only be described as the most wonderful smelling house in the history of the world.  I floated to the kitchen being pulled in by the smell of pancakes, bacon and sausage.  We washed these babies down with maple syrup and big cold glasses of milk.  After breakfast we would go down to grandpa’s leather shop where he would make me a belt with my name on it.  He recently bestowed his leather shop to me and I have began to make leather belts myself.  It is a truly relaxing and gratifying skill.  We would go to church on Sunday with Grandpa and in the afternoon we went to Lake Logan and ride around on the Pontoon boat fishing.

Hocking-Hills-Marina-at-Lake-Logan1

I remember watching the Hale Bop comet inch through the night sky and staring with awe and wonder.  I remember thinking about what it would be like to be in space and watch it fly by.  It was almost a supernatural experience to me.  It was soon after that I saw on the news where some weird looking guy talked others into committing suicide because they believed they were going to ride the comet away from earth’s destruction.  It turned out to be the Heaven’s Gate cult, but I remember thinking about how could anyone ever get tricked into killing themselves.  Weird.

Hale-Bopp2sm

It was in the late 90’s that I got a sweet dual band cell phone which made me incredibly popular whenever someone needed to make a phone call.  I was making money at 16 years old collecting urine samples from race horses at Scioto Downs racetrack.  What a job.  Hahahaha.  It wasn’t nearly as glorious as it sounds.  But it bought pizza from Stardust pizza and it paid my cellular bill.  Pizza and cell phones are pretty important to a teenage boy.

There are so many things that made the 90’s an incredible time to live in.  Wiindows ’95 anyone?  Watching the Buckeyes basketball on television when they were disgustingly awful and praying for a miracle win.  Sometimes we’d get that win.  I’d savor the victory with a cheeseburger from Rally’s and a strawberry milkshake that mom would buy me on pay day.  Those were the days baby…..those were the days.

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