Thursday, August 13, 2009

Total Emersion

I have spent two of the last three days at the pool with my two wondeful children. On Tuesday I hopped into the pool and was welcomed by the inevitable chill that all pool entrants receive. Any time that one enters a body of water, be it a bath tub, hot tub, lake, or swimming pool there is always some adjustment period. Our YMCA is always bustling with kids during the day and this means that there is not a moment in the pool where someone is not getting splashed. After the first three splashes that had me clinching my fists and attempting to dodge every molecule of H2O, I came to realize that I had to simply emerse myself in the pool to truly enjoy the swimming experience. Doesn't it always seem that we are far more annoyed at things like splashes and squirt gun blasts when we are attempting to stay dry? Are you seriously going to load up the oversized pool bag, slip on the suit, even enter the pool only to be annoyed by the splashing? Why did you come to the summer cement oasis if not to get wet? Once you have submerged your body in the drink, even if it is only 90%, your experience goes from annoying to splendid. The more I have thought about this pool problem the more I have come to realize that there are numerous activities in our lives that we need to take the same philopsophy.

Last fall while running the Twin Cities marathon I began by attempting to avoid all puddle and pot holes so that my shoes would stay dry. Well, once the skies opened up and the deluge began, I embraced the heaveny showers and was able to enjoy what they had to offer. Playing on the beach one can attempt to stay sand free, but be annoyed. I say embrace the sand and take your beach bash to a new level. Think about eating ribs. If you want to eat ribs and have clean fingers, you need to choose something else off the menu. In the same way, I think that people who attempt to live the Christian life part way, are going to always be frustrated. Once you choose to dip a toe in the Christian life, you need to go all the way to fully experience the abundant life that Christ has planned for us. Those Christians who are only willing to get their shorts wet will live a life of annoyance and frustration as they try to avoid the uncomfortable splashes that WILL come their way. Dive in, get wet, live life! Stop living your life halfway. When you choose to go, go all in. The best life that is waiting for you is one that involves total emersion!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Buttons

I like to think that I am a very low key, calm, patient, and reserved individual. There are not too many things that get me going and ruffle my feathers. The last two years the family and I have headed to northern Wisconsin for some camping and berry picking with our good friends. This weekend has become a highlight of my summer and this year was no different, but we had to modify our weekend slightly due to some other plans we had on our usual berry fest dates. So the wife and I decide to bring two of our nephews with us in order to free up their parents to join us a day late at our already established camp. Things seemed to begin to unravel as we departed an hour later than our desired departure time, but I was hopeful. The construction that stopped us on the interstate added to the future derailment of my mental train. When we stopped in Duluth to enjoy some pizza at the park it was coupled with a Baby Ruth in Wyatt's Handy Manny drawers to further aid in the eventual train wreck. The wheels really fell off though when we drove through three different campgrounds that were ALL full! We have NEVER had a problem finding a campsite in Bayfield, let alone the twenty mile radius around Bayfield. After we drove twenty minutes down some gravel to a National Forest Campground to find NO VACANCY, I was mentally off the track and in a pile of burning rubbish! We ended our night at a roach motel in Ashland Wisconsin where the guy behind the desk had to be awoken by the doorbell and needed a couple minutes to button his shirt before checking us in. The blankets were not even pulled off the beds. So there is button #1 of mine that results in toxic melt down: "No place to stay on vacation and having to spend money on a roach motel when it was not planned."

The second button was pushed on I-35 south near Rush Lake Minnesota. When traffic that is supposed to be going 70 mph grinds to a screeching halt four miles before the actual construction my blood begins to simmer. Boiling takes place thirty minutes after we have been stopped and have moved about two miles. Why are their no detour options? Why did I not get off on the last exit that was just before the parking lot that is the interstate? We left early because we had to get to the airport to pick up a friend I hadn't seen in over two years. The worst part of it all was that we had sent our food with friends because the car was too packed and we didn't think we would need the food in the car. I was irate and wanted to drive through the ditch and be anywhere but on the southbound side of I-35.

So there it is, two of my buttons that were pushed this weekend and sent me over the edge. It was not a pretty site, but it was reality. Just a little full disclosure on my end!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Really, you like this?

So I am currently enjoying some time in Ames Iowa at my mom's house. As we crossed the border into Iowa, and chuckled at "Fields of Opportunities," we began to feel the oppression of the heat and humidity. The Land of 10,000 Lakes has been exceptional for weather all summer and devoid of humidity. What is better than 72, sunny, and a light breeze? You wake up and slip on a sweatshirt to only transition into shorts and a t-shirt after lunch for the most glorious of all weather experiences. It has been San Diego without the millions of people. I have lived in southern Missouri, eastern and western South Dakota, and southern New Mexico, but cannot seem to get used to this sticky mess we call humidity. (It could be referred to as the "insta-sweat" if that is more up your alley.) How can people actually like this garbage? Do you get excited when the forecast calls for higher humidity? If so, you have some DSI's! (Decent Sized Issues) There is nothing like a low 70's degree day with no humidity and a light breeze. It is prefect to do anything and everything on one of these days. You can sit outside and enjoy a perfect picnic or light walk without sweating through your Degree, body spray, and two t-shirts. Today has reaffirmed my dislike for the humidity and made me wonder how one can really "enjoy" high humidity. If you do I would like to know why and what screw is loose!