“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.” – Albert Einstein
I love that Einstein includes “play” in his formula for success.
Play = work + play + keeping your mouth shut
I think our culture doesn’t value “play” enough. Although I’ve always believed play was important, as a father, I’m beginning to recognize it even more. My children are becoming who they are as they play. They learn how to interact with each other as well as how to interact with the world around them. When they play they develop their creative sides and grow their imaginations. They become inventors who search out solutions to problems and discover how things work.
If adults valued play more, I wonder how many would become innovators? If we “played” at our jobs instead of “working” at them, I believe our attitudes would be different and we’d even be more productive. We’d also have more friends at our workplaces.
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Unknown. (Sometimes attributed to Emerson & McAlindon)
Meridian State Park (Texas) is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s where I first understood the cross. (I guess I’m actually still working on understanding it’s magnitude, but. . .) Anyway, one of my memories of Meridian was a time when my friend Shayne Hackworth and I went exploring. We blazed trails all over that park. We found natural springs and uncovered fossils. We saw and experienced things the rest of our group missed. We’d take turns leading each other. We waved big sticks in front of us as we traveled in order to clear the spiderwebs from the trail. In spite of our efforts, I still remember getting covered in those webs. Cuts and scratches all over our legs were common as well as the occasional poison ivy rash.
Leadership was not glamorous or easy. It was a sacrifice.It was a way to honor those behind you. The leader may have been out front, but he served his followers. He was in the lead position, but he placed himself underneath them. He believed they were more important and understood that they could travel further and accomplish more if he served them by taking the lead position. He got more dirty, more bloody, and more sweaty than the rest of the group.
Summer is the season for road trips and so I thought this little post might be helpful – Or at least a little fun. I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I load the car, I start feeling a little like Clark Griswold. “We’re all gonna have so much . . . fun we’ll need plastic surgery to remove our . . . smiles.” I think it’s a dad’s job to make sure the family has some fun, whether they like it or not!!
Anyway, here are some of our rules for road trips. I’d also love to hear your ideas. You could make our family road trips better this year!
1. Daddy is in charge of music.
2. Kasen & Kesleigh choose movies which supersede any music choices daddy has. (Well, sort of. Daddy could override but chooses to give Kasen & Kesleigh preference out of his GREAT love for them. . . OK – maybe it also has to do with mommy and daddy’s sanity.)
3. Bathroom stops must be at least 2, NO! wait . . . 3hrs apart. Kasen is still being potty trained and so he can stop and pee on the side of the road whenever he chooses. Kesleigh can pee in her pull-up. Miranda can stop drinking Dr. Pepper!
4. Bucee’s is the best choice for apit stop. All other rest stops are inferior. (One exception: The Czech Stop south of Ft Worth on I-35. Their kolache’s are amazing.)
5. Cherry Sours are vital to daddy’s road health. Judson-Atkinson are the best! (Thanks to my friend Jason Hess for the introduction.)
6. If you must travel with your dog, one should use extreme caution when navigating the “mine field” found in the Bucee’s patch of grass.
7. Good food choices for places to stop include but are not limited to: Arby’s, Braums, and Chickfila if they have a playground.
PS – Louisiana Exit 80 on I-10 used to be on the list, but evidently has a new less cleanly owner.
8. NO STOPPING IF BOTH KIDS ARE ASLEEP!
Extra Rules added by Miranda: 1. Car must be loaded down with Capri Suns, Fruit Snacks, and Dum Dums for kids.
2. Milkshakes should never be placed on the center armrest and then immediately elbowed onto the floor! (My bad baby. I’m sorry.)
3. Country music must be allowed on beautiful sunny days. (Can I veto this one?)
“I have observed the power of the watermelon seed. It has the power of drawing from the ground and through itself 200,000 times its weight. When you can tell me how it takes this material and out of it colors an outside surface beyond the imitation of art, and then forms inside of it a white rind and within that again a red heart, thickly inlaid with black seeds, each one of which in turn is capable of drawing through itself 200,000 times its weight–when you can explain to me the mystery of the watermelon, you can ask me to explain the mystery of God.” ~ William Jennings Bryan, famous for his role in the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial
David Powlison says, “I’d like to propose that God’s love is much different and better than unconditional. Unconditional love, as most of us understand it, begins and ends with sympathy and empathy, with blanket acceptance. It accepts you as you are with no expectations. You in turn can take it or leave it. But think about what God’s love for you is like. God does not calmly gaze on you in benign affirmation. God cares too much to be unconditional in His love… Such real love is hard to do. It is so different from “You’re okay in my eyes. I accept you just because you’re you, just as I accept everybody. I won’t judge you or impose my values on you.” Unconditional love feels safe, but the problem is that there is no power to it. When we ascribe unconditional love to God, we substitute a teddy bear for the king of the universe… The word “unconditional” may be an acceptable way to express God’s welcome, but it fails to communicate its purpose: a comprehensive and lifelong rehabilitation, learning “the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
God loves us too much to leave us where we are or let us stay the same! The idea that God wouldn’t judge me or impose His values on me is crazy! I NEED His values! I NEED his discipline & judgment! I need a powerful God who meets me where I am, but also one who guides me into what He wants me to become. Yes, His love is unconditional in that He accepts me no matter where I am in my journey, but His love wants so much more for me. It doesn’t stop at “unconditional.” God’s love is beyond unconditional! It’s beyond our understanding! God’s love flows out of His infinite character. God doesn’t just love. He IS LOVE! And He is better than unconditional!
Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have – for their usefulness.”
– Thomas Merton
It has always bothered me that in this world I am valued based on what I can do for someone else. The truth is that my value should be based on my relationship to God. The most important thing I can “do” is simply to “be” with God. In this way He is able to transform me into His image and create new thoughts, dreams, attitudes, and desires within me. It is by “being” with Him that I actually become more valuable. My efforts, the things I “do,” often end up as a “chasing after the wind,” but I have never regretted my time of “being” with God.
“It is a great deal better to live a holy life than to talk about it. We are told to let our light shine, and if it does we won’t need to tell anybody it does. The light will be its own witness. Lighthouses don’t ring bells and fire cannons to call attention to their shining —they just shine.?”
“The next time you enter the sanctuary, look around. Think of it as a big, beautiful bus…. Instead of waiting for the world to come to us … we’re going to get off the bus…. We’re going to look for anything that doesn’t look like heaven, roll up our sleeves, and go to work.” — Jim Somerville, When the Sand Castle Crumbles
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. There will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”– Thomas Merton