Saturday, March 22, 2008

Crazy Kids

So Roman and I stumbled into the American Eagle this weekend to check things out. I found a shirt I liked and the price was good so I went to purchase it. While waiting for the barely out of high school clerk to ring me up I got my billfold out and began to prepare for the process. I knew the drill, scan the card, punch in my top secret password, take the receipt but STOP… this time was different. The clerk’s first question to me was one I had not heard before. It was a question she had probably asked several customers that day and countless number of people throughout her career at the American Eagle. Little did she know that her question to me would change the way I viewed my world. She said to me, “Do you have an All Access Pass?” I’ll be honest; I think she was a little smug when she asked me. Immediately I felt the need to dig into my wallet as if I had to prove my youth. I felt as though if I could not find an All Access Pass I wouldn’t be able to purchase the shirt or worse yet, I’d be kicked out by some 19 yr old guy named Chris wearing this seasons American Eagle polo shirt and cargo shorts.

While looking for this elusive pass I began to think to myself, “Dave… you have never signed up for this pass and everyone in line knows it. The card is not going to mysteriously appear in your billfold. You’re too old to be in the American Eagle store anyway, turn around and walk, no run out. Don’t forget Roman.” Anxiously searching my over stuffed bi-fold, why I didn’t opt for the tri-fold is a mystery to me, I found my allergy shot card, miniature laminated minister’s license (laugh but I bet you don’t have one), and a Kroger card. No All Access Pass to prove I was still young enough to shop AE.

Much to my surprise the gal behind the counter thought nothing of the fact that I was without the All Access pass. In the back of her mind I am sure she knew I wouldn’t have said pass. She was probably just glad I took my screaming toddler out of her store. Roman hates going into stores. He protests by yelling at the top of his little lungs. Maybe Roman knew my AE shopping days have passed me by. The writing was on the wall when I didn’t know who the radio friendly pop band blaring over the store was.

Back to Macy’s I ran. Good thing Roman and I didn’t attempt to get into the Hollister. They purposely built steps into the entrance to prevent baby strollers from coming in. As if to say, “If your to old or unable to climb the three stairs into our store you should be here in the first place.”

Friday, March 7, 2008

Breaking Point

Why is anger such an easy emotion to express when emotions like love, joy, or kindness are difficult? Is it that we are all born on the edge of pissed off and it only takes a slow driver, wrong number call on your cell phone, or a carwash to push you over the edge? Car wash? I saw on the news today where a mom was washing her car in a carwash when she grabbed her 2 year old daughter and started spraying her with the high pressure carwash hose. Crazy you say but we do not know what we are capable of doing when we live on the edge of pissed.

Have you ever said, “If he/she _____ that one more time, I’m going to _______.” We may not always follow through with the threats but the fact is we do not know what we are capable of when we break. If you are like me your breaking point varies from day to day. I think this raises the level of unpredictability which is fun for those around me. If someone says something that hits me the wrong way Monday, it may not evoke a response but Tuesday, look out. What pushes my buttons may not come close to what pushes yours because our breaking point all vary but there is one person who is good at the whole, “long suffering” thing, That person is God.

I am thankful for scriptures like Psalms 103:8 that say that God is slow to anger. .If God were as quick tempered as I am this world would have been obliterated long ago. People would be randomly blowing up everywhere, limbs flying this way and that. It would look like the first few minutes of Saving Private Ryan all of the time. But the word of God says that He is the opposite of me. God’s secret, the Bible says that God abides in love.

So it is impossible for us to avoid the carwash, traffic, solicitations calls, or what ever pushes our buttons. However, we are still required to walk in love or as I like to call it, walk less pissed off. How do we go about this? To me it seems virtually impossible. In reality it is impossible in our own strength but the key is to live more selfless. How profound. We live our lives looking out for number one. We refuse to let someone get something over on us. We are constantly on guard. We have all known people who are so sweet and kind and we think, Man, I bet they get run over all the time. People probably trample on them because they are too kind. I have said that myself but what is too kind? How can we be too kind? See, when we live a selfless life then life stops becoming about who stole our parking spot, our promotion, or our car.

Jesus modeled a selfless life for us. Many times Christians think that Jesus simply couldn’t wait to be nailed to that cross and hang there. We think Jesus just skipped right up to the cross. After all, don’t we all want spikes driven with a mallet through our wrists and feet? Scriptures tell us that Jesus struggled with the task. Matthew 26:39 says, Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me." But Jesus did not stop there. See Jesus lived a selfless life. He continues by saying, "Yet not as I will, but as you will.” At any point He could have called down from heaven and stopped the process. Jesus was not living His life for Himself. He didn’t live here on earth to shop the Green Hills Mall, drive the finest car, and have the iPhone which would have given him the ability to sync all of his contacts with his PC or Mac as well as listen to His voicemail messages in what ever order He wanted.

We must get up ever single day and die to our self. This sounds exciting doesn’t it?
It is only when we stop making this life about us that we are able to live for others.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Finally I took the opportunity to spend some quality time with my wife. Yes wife. Not mother to my son, chef, housekeeper, gardener, youth pastor’s wife, friend, babies momma. I spent time with the love of my life. The women I fell for seven or so years ago in that karaoke pizza joint. Truth is I forgot how much fun Margie is. I mean its fun to watch her chase naked Roman through the house as he runs from a tooth brush wielding mom. But this past weekend was different. After all, everyone keeps telling me I married up but I had forgotten.

It is amazing to me that one can drive twenty minutes down the road and feel like you are in another town. Margie and I celebrated our anniversary by… staying in Nashville. After all, we have lived right out side of Nashville for over a year and, up until now, have never been downtown together. Most of my downtown trips are spent with Aaron and though he always treats me nice it’s just not the same. Close, but not the same. Wait, no it's not even close.

Sunday Margie and I walked the pedestrian bridge, a very romantic scene I had previously only shared with Jeremy. What? He took me to the Titans game so I felt like I owed him the bridge thing. Then Margie and I checked into the Gaylord Opryland Hotel where Jesse took great care of us. He surprised us by putting us up in a nice room. Margie and I then ate at the German Town Café. Finally we topped off the weekend by spending some time in West End. Needless to say it was great to make memories. Memories with the women I vowed to love and cherish until death do us part. Cliché coming up, wait for it. Wait. It truly will take death to pull us apart.

Reality hit us hard when Roman decided to stay up most of the night we returned. At first I was mad. Well, I was mad mostly because in the pitch dark I tripped trying to get to his room to put him back to bed at 3am. My anger subsided and I realized Roman is the product of my love for my wife. I thank God that he will grow up in a loving home with parents who take the time to spend together.