Monthly Archives: January 2012

Things Ugly People Say

You’re watching 25,000 Pyramid, and the contestant starts bellowing out the following:

“Being single helps me focus on my spiritual life.”

“Being single provides me with more opportunities to serve.”

“Being single helps me better myself as a person and disciple of Christ.”

“Being single saves me money.”

“Being single provides me with more opportunities to spend quality time with my children.”

Her partner just can’t figure it out. After the time runs out, Dick Clark leans over and says, “What if she said, ‘Table for one please!'” Quickly her partner responds:

 “Ummm…things ugly people say!”

That is definitely funny! But it’s just not true. I’m not going to complement myself right now…but I have several single friends who have made similar statements, and they are extremely attractive. OK…I changed my mind…I’m also extremely attractive, and I’m about to make similar statements as well.

Since my divorce, I’ve struggled with singleness. At first, I wasn’t a big fan of the single life. I missed my wife, our friendship, our common bond and partnership. I missed having someone who, as Reese Witherspoon says at the end of the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, “I can kiss anytime I want.” As the years have transpired, however, I’m finding singleness more and more appealing. Recently a friend of mine said the following when I asked her if she was dating anyone (I’m paraphrasing):

“I’m not dating anyone; I’m living for myself right now and loving it. It’s great! You get to spend more time on making yourself fabulous!”

I found what she had to say about singleness intriguing and appealing. The Apostle Paul wrote the following about singleness:

“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”

—1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Paul and my friend are amazingly insightful as to the benefits of singleness. Since my divorce, I’ve had more time to dedicate to my relationship with Jesus Christ, my relationship with my children, and my relationship with myself. I’ve grown in all these areas because I wasn’t distracted with—as Paul put it—“the affairs of this world.” I have to say—after years of counseling, self-improvement, and one-on-one time with my Lord and my children—I’m definitely more fabulous now than I was three years ago. I definitely wish I knew then, what I know now.

This blog post isn’t only an isolated encouragement to the singles out there. I’m also not—in any way—advocating divorce or never getting married. Singleness provided me with the opportunity to seek Jesus, the betterment of myself, and assess the things that—and the people who—are most important in my life. One’s spouse IS—and always should be—one of those individuals who are most important in your life. Hindsight is typically 20/20, and as a single guy hind-sighting—please take my clarity of vision to heart.

Someday, I hope to find another spouse, with whom I can commit my life, share my faith, and walk this world together. Whether God still has many years of singleness left for me, or whether that person is right around the corner is yet to be determined. At this point, I really don’t care…whether single or married…I’m thrilled to be living in His world and will continuously strive to fulfill my call as His ambassador to it!


Hungry and Thirsty

The mission of my former employer is the following:

“We equip churches to help children, youth and adults grow in their relationship with Jesus.”

That’s a mission I can really get behind…but that’s not what I miss! I can still carry out that mission…and I do regularly in all five of my current jobs.

My co-workers were incredible people, and I loved working with them. I visited with many of them two nights ago at Group’s Bombastic Bingo and it was great catching up. That’s not what I miss either. I can still meet them for lunch and chat with them on Facebook…and I do that regularly as well.

What I miss most since being laid off is a small group of guys who met every Friday morning for Bible study and discipleship. This handful of co-workers kept me fed; they helped me gain insight, wisdom, and understanding. They helped me grow!

The layoffs sent two of us walking. The others were left behind to pick up the pieces. We tried to continue by hooking our small group up to life support—meeting at a friend’s house every other Friday morning. Nevertheless, with the odd scheduling of our new lives causing various complications, we eventually “pulled the plug.”  I miss that weekly feast. Since then, I’ve been hungry and thirsty, with nothing to satisfy my desperate need to increase knowledge and wisdom—to dig into the Scriptures and let them reveal to me the glorious mysteries yet to be discovered. There are other ways to gain insight, and I’ve sought those out…this blogging site was one of them and remains one of the greatest modes through which I eat and drink. However, nothing compares to seeking wise teachers, to listen to them, to learn from them, to ask them questions, and to answer their questions. This is where the best learning occurs…this is how one increases in wisdom.

When Jesus was twelve years old, He traveled with his parents to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. On their way home, Joseph and Mary came to the realization that Jesus wasn’t with them…a sort of Home Alone reenactment. After searching Jerusalem for three days, “they finally discovered him in the Temple sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:46-47).

God is omniscient…He knows everything. There is no need for God to increase in wisdom. …and Jesus is God. However, when Jesus came to earth as flesh…as a helpless child…as a servant, He emptied himself of those things that made him equal to God (Philippians 2:6-7). When Jesus was twelve years old, He sought out wise teachers, He sat with them, He listened to them, He learned from them, He asked them questions, and He answered their questions. By doing this, Jesus increased in wisdom. In the final scene from His childhood, Jesus provides us with a model to follow. Jesus is showing us that no matter how educated one is…no matter how wise one is…even if you were—at one time—the Omniscient Almighty God, everyone could stand to sit among wise teachers, to listen to them, and possibly learn from them.

This new year, many of us have made resolutions to eat less fast food, drink less soda and beer, and exercise more. I’m loathing my trip to the gym this afternoon because every well-intentioned resolutionary will be monopolizing the equipment. If we DO stick to these resolutions, we will definitely end up hungry, thirsty, and sore…which is fine…because I know those well-intentioned resolutionaries will be gone by next week because of that very fact.

Perhaps this year, my resolution will be to eat and drink more and to exercise my mind…to find myself some wise teachers, sit with them, learn from them, ask them questions, perhaps answer some of theirs, and increase in wisdom!

2012 is SURE to be better than 2011. I’m sorry 2011, it’s just you majorly sucked! It just isn’t much of a competition!

Happy New Year, Everyone!