Ten Dollars an Hour?

2 Dec

Every so often, even a loquacious guy like me can feel as if he doesn’t really have anything to say; and paying $10/hour for the internet in the airport, which gives me the ability to “say” it to an actual audience, seems ridiculous. Actually, I feel like I have a lot of things to say, but not very much on any of them in particular. My life has been a whirlwind lately, and I guess my thoughts are just trying to keep up. I am in the midst of teaching a real estate broker’s course, where I am taking the time to evaluate all of my professional decisions of the last several years. Unfortunately, I have learned that I need to be more vigilant professionally to make sure that I follow the correct laws, promote the proper image of myself, and position myself to be a success into the next decade. I should do it more often, but I am glad that these three guys are challenging every presupposition I have and not letting me skate through on anything.

The class was a nice surrounding to the Thanksgiving holiday that everyone knows I love so much. But that Thanksgiving holiday is also a great possibility for me. While it may not be my favorite holiday, and it seems incredibly random (what is the actual reason for holiday redemption that we have?), it is a holiday that consistently challenges me to look beyond myself. I appreciate the fact that there is an annual reminder that there are things we do that we may not want to do. As we rear our children, that seems to be occurring more and more, but that typically comes relatively easily for a father who loves his children. Getting a chance to be something for others when you don’t want to do it is a real bonus that I don’t get to do very often now that I make my own decisions. And for that opportunity, I am grateful, but I am also grateful that I get to step back into my life that I love so much.

We took a few days off from the aforementioned class for a weekend Bible quiz tournament that I was assisting to run in Wisconsin. Bible Quiz tournaments are always challenging to me for a few reasons. First, the students not only keep me on my toes, but they often exhort me to be better at the things I do. Whether it is organizing a tournament, keeping stats, asking questions, or even just attending chapel, I am frequently told that I am doing well, but I can try a few things to be better. These are things that not only motivate me and keep me humble, but they also serve to endear me to the students. So many of them are so vigilant in their desire to walk worthy of their calling that I cannot help but be committed to the task.

Then there are those airports, where as I discussed in my last blog, many people are irritated all the time. I walk in and am almost immediately tempted to get irritated. The passengers in front of me are carrying a dog in their luggage. It’s obvious that they are. I find it annoying that someone would try to sneak a dog onto a flight. It is a nuisance to the other passengers. My Aunt Pat recently forwarded me an article by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, where he talks about people like to discrimnate against kids on a flight. As irritated as that may make you, certainly a dog would have to be more annoying, particularly one stored in a carry-on bag stowed in the above seat luggage carrying compartment. But more than anything, I think it’s cruel to the dogs. As a non-dog owner there could be some kind of code of which I am unaware, whereby putting a dog in a bag and pretending like it isn’t there works on all flights less than seven hours, but come on. Spare the dog the misery and choose some form of travel that isn’t Air Tran! Nevertheless, applying the happiness principal I learned from my flight two days ago, I will rejoice in the fact that I will be home soon even if these nincompoops are on my flight.

At the aforementioned tournament, we were challenged by Pastor Scott and Pastor Fuller. They were quite motivating, as they challenged us to make sure that the verses we learn don’t just stay in our heads, but that we allow them to come into our hearts and transform our lives. That is something that I’ve been hearing since elementary school, and I never need to stop hearing it. As the closing service talked about the author of John (that’s John, just in case you needed to know), who does whatever he can to take the focus off of himself. He refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” As I begin to think about that, I realize that is the description that I want to burrow into my brain. If only one set of verses makes that 11 inch journey from my brain to my heart, I want it to be to mirror John. You see, describing yourself as the one who Jesus loves eliminates pretenses and presumed merit. The reality is that I, too, am just some schlob that Jesus loves. I am something not because what I did was meritorious, but because Jesus loved me. He loved me when I was utterly unlovable (a state some say I still possess).

If all these “challenges” that I am undergoing are doing something to sharpen me, I can be thankful that God put them there at the exact serendipitous moment, so that I could become less of that annoying person. That is the great thing about being someone who Jesus loves—it transforms you. He loves you when you are unlovable, but that love makes you more lovable. This is the great thing about all these situations I find myself in. I know that they are working for my benefit. I know that the situation where irritation comes my way is an opportunity. I know that people who challenge me are a blessing. I know that kids who want me to be better are a gift. The one thing I don’t get is why it costs $10/hour for internet at the airport.


One Response to “Ten Dollars an Hour?”

  1. Jenni February 24, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    One of the things that I have really noticed about you recently and that I respect a great deal is that you are always open to be made better. And THAT makes me better. 🙂

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