Posts Tagged: confession


19
Aug 10

Reunion Tale – Retold (continued)

Yep, me again, with my Monday Thursday musings on life.

I have good news (drum roll please).  This should be the last blog that revolves around the topic of my wife’s class reunion (and the crowd goes wild).

So here goes.  As those of you who read the last blog entry know, I began putting a serious capstone on this reunion topic with three learnings that I believe are important to share.  I titled them an Insight, Reflection and a Question.

On Monday I talked about a personal insight.  Today is a reflection and a question.

Reflection

On the second day of the reunion during the main evening gathering I found myself drifting to the edge of the crowd away from the energy vortex of memories, stories and laughter at the center.  I just enjoyed sitting and watching the people.

Pretty soon two refugees from the crowd gravitated to the edge for a needed break.  We sat and talked for a good bit of the evening and these two became central to the learning that I am about to share.

They were members of the class and had remained active friends since high school although one lived in the south and the other in Texas.  Both were delightful and obviously successful.  The fellow from Texas had a particularly interesting and varied life and career.

As we talked they casually reminisced about their high school days.  I told them about my fantasy to break the class up into the three groups of the “IN” crowd, the “EDGE” crowd, and the “OUT” crowd and ask the questions that I listed in Monday’s blog.

They indicated that they would be considered in the “EDGE” crowd.  As the conversation flowed and they reflected on the past they tended to talk about themselves in high school as if it were another life or person… almost in 3rd person.   I asked them, knowing what you know now, how do feel about that kid in high school and what would you want to tell them?

I could see their minds flashback the years (as did mine) and process the implications of the question.  Their responses were fascinating.  (I will share just the essence of their statements because I don’t want to violate an unspoken trust.)  Basically one felt kind of sorry for that kid back then and they both said things like – don’t worry as much, have more confidence, trust yourself, etc.

I answered the question too.  (Ugh, full disclosure again) I said I felt sorry for that kid.  I would tell that kid that he is better than he thinks he is and that he has a lot of talent.  I would tell him that he has extreme value and lots potential.

Side Note: It is amazing how a moment of trust and vulnerability instantly unites strangers into a kindred spirit.

Then this conversation then led me to the Question.

Question

After our individual disclosure my mind for some reason flashed forward twenty years.  And asked them if twenty years from now we looked back on who we are today, what would today’s person need to hear to take them successfully forward to a fuller life?

This question spurred a level of responsibility.  There is nothing we could do about the kid in high school but we have total control over the person today.  Their responses were just as fascinating as before.

Here’s what I say to the Jerry Rushing of today.  Keep on opening yourself to new things;  Don’t worry about what others think;  You have more talent and potential to discover;  Your best days are ahead of you.

The Challenge

Now if you have been hanging out with me you know that I feel obliged to bring you into the learning.  I would like to challenge you.  If  twenty years from now you were looking back to present day, what do you need to say to the person you are today to take you further than where you are?

I just want you to know… there is more for you to do and be than you think.  You are smarter and more talented than you believe.

Thanks for hanging out with me.

See you Monday.


16
Aug 10

Reunion Tale – Retold

Howdy, good to see you again.

I was reluctant to refer to the reunion again because I didn’t want to ride a good horse into the ground.  But as I reflected on the last two blogs and the reunion I needed to put a serious capstone on the event.

As you know I have had some fun with my wife’s reunion and of course embellished it to my amusement and liking.  But there were several important life insights and learnings that I don’t want to get lost in all the fun.  I believe they are worth sharing and hopefully you find them challenging to you as they were to me.

Typically I am pretty much a free spirit when it comes to the written page.  I just write what pops in my head and sometimes it flows nicely and other times it is a shotgun of ideas fired in hopes that some of the mental buckshot hits a target.

This blog is going to be actually somewhat organized.  There were three things that impacted me during the reunion – thus three points.  (Wow, three points, I know… scary).

I have an insight, a reflection and a question.

An Insight

At the reunion I wanted to get the class in the front of the room and cluster them into three groups based on their high school experience.  I wanted to group them into the “IN” crowd, the “EDGE” crowd, and the “OUT” crowd.

Then I wanted to compare the groups by finding out things like:

  • Who ended up the most successful in business? Marriage? Etc?
  • Who’s most fulfilled?
  • Has your life turned out like you imagined at this point?  Is it better or worse?
  • What would you have done differently, if anything?

True Confessions: Here we go again.  I hate true confessions because it may make me look bad.

The insight was not about my wife’s class but about me.  My mental scenario of grouping the people was not from the standpoint of an academic sociological study of a group of people (which would be interesting) but probably a morbid curiosity to see where people ended up.

In high school I was definitely one who would be grouped in the “OUT” crowd.  In my mind, if my high school classmates were asked where they thought Jerry Rushing would end up in life they would say, “Who?”  The few who did know me would probably say that I would have an ok vanilla life but nothing remarkable.

I think it would surprise most of my classmates that I have had a great life thus far.  It has been anything but vanilla and by the standards of some people… somewhat successful.

Before I get to the insight that impacts us all I feel compelled to make an important clarification.  I am not sharing this grouping scenario and my life as it is today out of arrogance or a “in your face” chide at anyone.  I share it out of thankfulness.

The insight for us all is this.  It doesn’t matter which group you were in at your high school.  It’s irrelevant.  The point I want to make is that at every point in our life we have expectations of the future.  Rarely does reality match our expectations – good or bad.

And the important thing is that…

Where we are doesn’t dictate where we will be.

If things are not going well for you now it doesn’t mean that you are doomed to be there in the future.  You do not have to be trapped by the present.

Conversely, if things are going well it means that we cannot casually expect the good things to be entitled forward.  Good things must be continually cultivated and earned. And even with that… there are no guarantees.

My, my, I had more to write on this topic than expected.  I will need to hit the other two points in the next blog.   No, this was not a ploy to get you to visit again on Thursday.  I don’t play those games.

Just so you know, the reflection and question points are powerful insights to how we best navigate the future.

See you Thursday.


5
Aug 10

Hard Work, Heavy Shovel and a Kick in the Ass

Have you ever had one of those days where you just didn’t feel like working?   Good.  Now I don’t feel as bad.

Everything I do today feels like a chore.  And to top it off, it seems as though even the simplest of tasks require much more energy.  Believe it or not I have stopped and paused several times and I’m only on my fourth sentence.  Pretty sad huh?

Don’t you feel sorry for me… uh… NO!

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I am certain of one thing.  The people that I know personally who read this blog are shouting at their computers,

“STOP YOUR WHINING AND COMPLAINING AND GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING!”

They have a good point and have articulated a very important truth – Action has power.

“Life’s rewards go to those who let their actions rise above their excuses.”

- Lee J. Colan, Orchestrating Attitude

Have you ever been in the situation where you had something to do and the more you thought about it the bigger and more difficult the task became?   Stop thinking and step out.

Honesty Alert: Uuuggh, I hate it when I have to be honest.  Especially when it is something that makes me look bad.  But once again… this is the journey I started in January and at times it may mean me sharing stuff that makes me look bad.

 

The statement above is very very true.  The sad fact is that all too often I don’t even take my own advice.  At least I’m admitting it.  It is very easy for me to put off the chore at hand and instead put on some classical music, grab a best-selling non-fiction and curl up in a chair and read.

My wife while reading this will burst into laugher.  The only thing I got right in the last paragraph is the chair part.  It’s more like chips, chair, TV.  Oh well, so much for image.  But all’s not lost.  I do get a bit of intellectual stimulus because I frequently visit the History Channel.

Side Note: The History Channel is the only place that has the TV shows Pawn Stars and American Pickers.  Don’t judge… they’re really educational… kind of.

Now you understand why I mentioned a heavy shovel in the title of today’s blog – I have dug myself a pretty deep hole and I’m not sure how to get out.

Question:  How’s the best way to get out of a hole you dug for yourself?

  • Stop digging and climb out?
  • Change my ways and do better?
  • Ask for help?

I’m not sure of the best way to get out but the easiest is to pull you in the hole with me and take the focus off of myself.

Okay, fess up.  What do you do when you’re having a rough day?   What is your tendency?  Who do you take it out on?

Just kidding (unless I struck a cord ).  All I know is this… there are day’s when you do great things and then there are just days.  I don’t think this blog will make it to the great list.

Hopefully I will see you Monday.

Adios


23
Apr 10

Jumpin’ In Head First

Some people are “risk takers”.  I’m pretty good at taking risks overall.  I don’t bungee jump but I do drive fast (according to my wife) and I enjoy doing different things.

There are risks… then there are RISKS.  And these vary from one to another.  What may be a big “R” risk to you may not be anything to me, and visa versa.

But I took a big “R” risk today.  It wouldn’t be for a lot of people but for me it was a RISK.

I just spent time re-reading some of my writings from the past few months.  Just as one sweeps their arm across a cluttered surface to remove debris, I had to do this before I started to read.

The debris I had to sweep to the side was my insecurity about writing and the embarrassment of awkward wording and bad grammar.  But once I brushed those aside I was pleased to find some nuggets of thought and the occasional sparkle of a well turned phrase.

I don’t know if anyone else likes it… but I did.  And that’s the important thing.

Side Note:  Just the above statement alone is a fairly significant step for me on this journey up the mountain.  In the not too distant past I would have never admitted that I thought what I wrote was any good.

Once again I must keep in the forefront of my mind that writing is not for anyone else but me.  But even with this fresh in my thinking the slimy arm of inferiority begins to reach from its shallow grave and try to capture me in its grasp once again.

The moment I try to write to appeal to others… the self is lost.  One loses themselves when trying to be accepted by others.

Personally, this is one entry that I hope not many people read because it makes me feel so exposed.  But… if you happened to have read to this point (thank a teacher).  Sorry for the poor attempt to lighten the moment.

But if you have read this far, I have to ask you a question.  What have you tried to bury but keeps re-emerging from its shallow grave?

I tend to believe that everyone has a makeshift burial ground close by where dead things are buried out of sight.

There, some things are legitimately dead… these are things that have been put in their place and possess no life to re-emerge to haunt us.

Other things are crafty, they pretend to be dead but wait for the moment to reach out and grab us when we least expect it or when we are vulnerable.

The most dangerous are those we naively pretend to be dead with the belief that doing so will remedy the issue.

There is a difference between pretending something is not there and ignoring it.

Pretending is the denial of reality and hoping that when you open your eyes again it will have disappeared.

Ignoring is intentional and strategic.  You know full well the presence of the issue but a decision is made to destroy by neglect.  You decide not to focus energy on the issue.  Putting energy toward something feeds it… positive or negative.

So I have decided to just ignore the old feelings that try to trap.

See you Monday.


21
Jan 10

The Big Confession

Hi!  If this is your first visit to my blog… welcome.

This blog is about a rather frightening journey that I have decided to take.  I’d love to have you walk along with me if you wish, but as I said in my first blog entry, this is a journey I must take whether anyone joins me or not.  If you want to know where it all started you probably need to take a look at the first couple of blog entries.

Also, you need to be forewarned.  My journey buddies and I have started walking up this high mountain to get a lay of the land to determine where we want to explore and identify what dragons we want to slay.  Along the way we’re just chatting.

In my last blog I mentioned that I had something to share that may cause some of you to stop walking along with me.

I can assure you of this… somewhere along the journey I will offend you.  Not intentionally, but it will happen.  The question once again, as it will always be, “Is the call (or for some the longing) you have to learn, grow, and explore greater than your immediate irritation or discomfort?”

Okay, here goes… my confession.

What I want to share with you about myself is that I am a Christ follower.  I can hear it now, some of you just said, “Oh SHIT”.

In two sentences I have successfully alienated those who do not follow Christ and most of the ones who do.   I don’t know much about blogs but this is not a great way to build readership.  But once again, this blog is not for you… it’s for me, and what I must do in response to this journey to which I am called.

But before you stop reading, please hear me out.

To the non-Christ follower: I needed to share that I am Christ follower so you will know where I am coming from because it shades my every idea, thought and belief.  If we are going to hang out with each other it must be a transparent relationship.

My agenda is not to make you believe what I believe, think what I think, or love Christ the way I love Christ.  If I have an agenda it is that my blog be a safe place for anyone to explore anything… without pressure.

Just so you know, my last statement really bothered a lot of my Christian friends.  It bothered them because many feel that I should take every opportunity to help you believe in and accept Christ.  Frankly I used to believe that way and most likely I turned more people off than helped.

The reality is, you will believe what you want to believe and no one can make you change.  I don’t know about you but I get really pretty hard headed when I feel pressured to think, believe or act a certain way.

Side Note: I believe in the depths of my being that if a person is a genuine seeker of Truth, they will find it.  The key word is genuine.

I have met many who say they want truth but only explore places they wanted and were not willing to openly look everywhere.  I continue to be a seeker of Truth and this means I have to be open to faulty beliefs I may have and be willing to take an honest look.

I am not here to preach to you.  I promise I will never do that… or make judgments.

Hopefully, I offer an insight or say something that is meaningful to you on your journey in this life.  And if  our journey together helps you see Christ in a new and different way… sweet.

Whether you realize it or not, I believe our paths have crossed for a reason and not by accident.

To the Christ follower: Get the hell over my saying ”Shit”.  Sorry… I just had to say it again.

It may be hard to believe but I am not a curser.  And I really understand why most of you might be offended.  I too would have been very bothered by it a few years ago.

The point I want to make is this…  for me (I am not putting this on you) …for me I love my Lord with all my heart, but was caged by the rules which kept me from a fuller and deeper relationship with Him.  Now I don’t believe that gives me a license to curse like a sailor but I also believe God is bigger than my using the “S” word.

In my time of devotions I pray for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.  If I felt in the slightest that writing the “S” word was not pleasing to my Lord – I wouldn’t.

I believe that many Christians are trapped in religious thinking and don’t even know it.  This is much too deep of a conversation for now but somewhere on our journey I’m sure it will surface.

But I promise the same thing to you that I promised my non-Christ following friends, I am not here to put anything on you.  I promise I will never do that… or make judgments.

If I offer an insight or say something that is meaningful to you on your journey in this life… wonderful.  And who knows, maybe something will be said that causes both of us to experience Christ in a new way.

And as I said earlier, whether you realize it or not, I believe our paths have crossed for a reason and not by accident.

Hopefully I didn’t scare any of my non-Christ follower friends or scar my Christ follower friends.  Maybe I will see you on Monday.

Ciao