Things Happen When You Do Something

I’ve noticed nothing usually happens unless I go do something. Then something happens. Not always something BIG, but usually something interesting.

Case in point, I just got back from a relaxing bike ride. I needed the fresh air and not much was happening here at the ol’ apartment (except for school, and how fun is that?)

While biking through one neighborhood I came across three little boys riding their bikes up and down their street too. They were pretty excited to see another fellow cyclist and as I passed by they showed off some of their “tricks.” They could ride with no hands. They could ride standing with no hands. They could pull their back tires off the ground. They were good. It reminded me of when I was their age and spent countless hours practicing just such techniques.

It was an absolutely beautiful day… Cloudy, misty, cool.

Moving on with my story… later in my cycling adventure I found myself moseying through a lazy neighborhood with ponderous trees spanning the road. Moist leaves lightly falling across my path, it was quite idyllic. As I approached one particular intersection – VROOOM! this crazy SUV flies up behind me, screeching to a halt right before a stop sign. He got way too close for comfort though I had been keeping an eye on him and wasn’t in danger of getting hit.

“Watch it bud,” I thought, as I coasted through the neighborhood intersection minding my own business. Honk! Honk! The guy in the SUV was waving at me to come over to him. I rode back and saw he was a police officer in uniform. He wasn’t happy. I know this is an over generalization, but really, have you ever seen a happy police officer? I wondered what he wanted but didn’t have to wait long to find out. I got the second degree for not having come to a full, complete stop at the stop sign. Did I think I was exempt from traffic regulations just because I was on a bicycle? Did I WANT to get hit by a car? How would I feel if I WERE hit by a car? I appreciated his concern for my safety but felt he was blowing the situation out of proportion.

I felt like saying, “Look bud, let’s make a deal. You don’t run into me with your SUV and I won’t run into you with my bicycle. And please, quit driving like you own the entire road and we won’t have any more problems.” Of course I didn’t say that but rather just smiled and offered something to the effect, “You’re right, I probably wouldn’t enjoy you running into me with your car.”

He glowered and said he’d let me go this time with a warning. I was surprised he didn’t get on to me for not wearing a helmet or not having my bicycle registered. And my aging bike doesn’t shift into the low gears very well, that’s no doubt a violation too.

Anyways, as I again ambled on down the road, once more lost in contemplation, I thought about the difference between the young boys who were still excited about life and enamored with the wonder of their bicycles versus the gruff old officer who seemed low on joy and appreciativeness for the simple pleasures in life. Granted, he was concerned about my safety but honestly, I was paying attention and wasn’t bothering nobody. Look, I’ve been riding a bicycle my entire life and never once been hit by a car, or even came close. (only once have I ever ran into a car, driving with no hands and looking behind me hit a parked one)

Unfortunately, I’m afraid I often lean more toward having the attitude of the serious police officer instead of sharing the joyfulness of youth. I’ve been told I’m too serious.

Here’s what Jesus had to say about it: “And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matthew 18:3)

So in conclusion, I went out and did something and something happened: I met some nice kids and got pulled over by a policeman.

Photo Credit: Bicycle route sign

Some Motivation From Rocky Balboa

So this isn’t an overly religous quote, but it spoke to me:

“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward — how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hits.”
-Rocky Balboa

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12)

Photo Credit: Rocky Balboa

The Fine Art of Procrastination

Last week my professor informed our class of a large assignment that would soon be due. I clearly recall her sternly warning us all, “Now don’t wait until the night before to start on this project because it’s going to take longer than that!”

Well, I took her words to heart. I followed her advice and didn’t wait until the night before to start like she advised. Unfortunately, I actually started even later than that… I started the morning it was due. And class starts at 9:50 AM!

Nevertheless, against all odds and despite her nay saying, I still got it done in time (submitted it online before class started). My final product was a seven page paper. We’ll see what grade I get. Nothing like running things down to the wire though to cause a little heartburn.

I guess it’s like my older brother Seth says, “If you wait until the last minute to do something, it only takes a minute to do.” When my Dad hears that, he likes to wryly remark, “And it only takes a minute to grade too.” We’ll see.

In my defense, I had been thinking about the assignment beforehand so some of the “brainwork” was already done.

But I wonder, why is it human nature (well, at least MY nature) to procrastinate? Why is time management so hard?

Photo Credit: Procastination Cat

UPDATE: July 27th

I just got my grade back on this paper. I received an A. I guess I pulled the wool over her eyes.

UPDATE #2: November 16th

Boundless had a relevant post here on procrastination: Craving Crisis

Can Guys and Girls be Just Friends?

Friends Laughing

This question has been on my mind recently so I’m going to take a stab at answering it. Although I should be working on school instead. I have an assignment due tomorrow morning which I’ve hardly started yet so will keep this post short.

Ok, disclaimer: I’m not backing up my thoughts here with Bible verses.

Regarding the question in the title of this post, the answer at first glance might seem like an obvious “yes.” And I would agree, guys and girls CAN be just friends – but I would suggest perhaps best in particular settings, like in the context of healthy groups.

Let me reword the question differently and see what you think: “Can a guy and a girl who are both single, both adults, both dedicated Christians, both of similar age who share similar interests, hobbies, and religious convictions ‘hang out’ with each other exclusively, regularly communicating with each other, nurturing a ‘special’ relationship while sharing personal struggles, successes, and desires all while both maintaining a purely platonic friendship?”

Maybe, but in my experience it’s difficult for one or the other to not start wanting more.

This e-how article lists specific steps guys and girls can follow to be just friends. Check these out: (emphasis added)

  • Step 2 – Discuss your friendship. Don’t let the topic of your existing friendship be something you avoid like the plague.
  • Step 4 – Be a friend, but not too good a friend. You might end up giving mixed signals that will not be good for you or him/her.
  • Step 5 – Spend time with your friend, but not too much time. The two of you have other friends that you can spend time with.
  • Step 10 – Watch out for them and be protective, but not overly so. Stand up for them, especially in the face of nasty gossip. However, point out flaws and weakness directly to them. Only a friend can do that.
  • Step 11 – Remember birthdays, nothing more. Little things can lead people on.

    Only birthdays? Not Christmas? Is it ok to comment if they get a haircut? Just not too positively.

    The e-how article continues with some “tips and warnings” :

  • Do not lead them on.
  • Do not flirt with them.
  • Do not act possessive of them.
  • Do not give mixed signals.
  • Do not be “touchy-feely”.

    To me, this advice seems wishy-washy and vague. Don’t lead them on? How do we define that? Be friends, but not too good of a friend? Spend time, but not too much time? These raise the questions, “How good is too good and how much is too much?”

    Can it become like walking on a tight rope? I think so.

    Regarding Step #2 above (“discuss your friendship”), let me comment that with my guy friends we rarely (probably never) “discuss our friendship.” We “avoid it like the plague.” Discussion is superflous because our friendship’s are based on the similar interests we have, not on each other. Thus, the friendships are what they are.

    I think this e-how article illustrates how tricky it can get trying to keep guy-girl relationships “just friends”.

    Here’s another thought from here which may be relevant:

    “Will your libido silence while spending pleasant time and having fun and sharing interests and activities, attitudes and values with just a friend of the opposite SEX?”

    Photo Credit: Having a good laugh