Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I’m entering the calm before the storm. The grand event takes place 16 days from now. I think that plans are going well, but what do I know…I’m only Father of the Bride. What I do know is that hundreds of people are about to descend upon my house for a week in 11 more days. Ok, so it’s more like dozens…. Well maybe only about 1 dozen, but for a recluse like me it’ll seem like more. I’m kind of looking forward to it though. 10 years of west coast living has seemed to mellow me out a bit. In preparation for the event, I have just completed the third installment of our new DIY reality show called “What the Hell Were You Thinking?”. This last installment involved painting the entire exterior of the house myself. If nothing else, these projects have firmly and not so lovingly established my advancing years and recently recognized mortality. This episode involved toying around with heat exhaustion, but at least I didn’t fall from a ladder. I will tell you that at one point, I was on the roof still painting at 1am. Don’t try this at home, I’m a trained professional…. Whatever.
My wife has joined me
down here at the beach this morning.
It sounded like a great idea last night when she suggested it, but after this mornings forced death march on the beach, I’m not so sure. I’m generally a drive down, walk in, grab my coffee and melt into my comfy chair kind of person. She’s a, let’s see how fast we can walk from here to that speck in the distance…and then back again, type. I guess that’s why she looks so fabulous. Anyway, along the death march, I was amused by the sight of 4 female individuals on the beach engaged in a curious exercise. It was called, one all bundled up female, standing and barking out orders to three other recreationally outfitted females who were engaged in a workout form of “simon says”. I observed that there’s a reason why it’s called “Simon says” and not “Simon does” because Simon wasn’t doing anything but watching the other three jog up and down the beach along with various stretching and lifting and bending exercises. It was amusing, although not very inspiring to realize that “Simon not doing” was probably actually getting paid to give direction to the three who were doing. Now don’t misunderstand, I’m sure that the three were more than happy to take part in this arrangement. I’m assuming that “Simon” probably knew her stuff. It just didn’t seem to be that inspiring an idea to participate in something that the leader didn’t actually take part in either. I can imagine her taking her fee and stopping off to grab a dozen Krispy Kreme’s on the way to the next gig.
It’s helping me reconsider my own leadership tendencies in the community o’ faith that I reside in and attempt to lead. My attitude has always been that I would not ask someone to engage in something that I wouldn’t be willing to engage in alongside of them. This works fine when there are people who will engage with you. This used to be the case in years past. A problem arises, however, when no one chooses to engage with you. For me, by the time I’ve asked someone to engage with me, I’ve already set the task before us and committed to seeing it through. When no one, or few engage in it, instead of deciding that the task isn’t necessary, I have lifted it on my shoulders and pushed through to completion. In the earlier days of my life it wasn’t as difficult as it has become lately. It pushes me to constantly try to distinguish between need and want. Does this need to get accomplished or do I just want it to? Maybe the sign is really whether or not people show up. I would bet that if “Simon” arrived at the beach one morning and no one showed up for the “doing”, she would realize that there was no need for her that day and she’d wander on home. Maybe she’s on to something.

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