Avoid the 13th Floor

Avoid the 13th Floor

What odd beliefs are you carrying around with you?

I considered this question as I stared at the buttons for a hotel elevator (weird things happen in my brain when it gets silent around me). As is common in many elevators, this one didn’t have a thirteenth floor. Now when you think about Americans culturally, we don’t seem like the superstitious type. Especially if you’ve travelled the world much. I remember a host family just about losing their minds when a friend of mine started whistling indoors when we were in Nepal. They equated that as him calling on demonic spirits. That’s superstitious.

But here we are, priding ourselves on being people of logic and reasoning, and we can’t include a thirteenth floor. Here’s the funny part, unless the building ends with the twelfth floor (as you can clearly see is not the case in the picture above), you still have a thirteenth floor. You’re just calling it something different. That’s superstitious.

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You Married the Wrong Person

You Married the Wrong Person

There’s something different about marriage these days. That’s probably the most understated sentence you’ll read all day! Consider some of the research:

In 1960, nearly 70% of the adult population married; today, only about half the population marries. According to the Pew Research Center, the drop-off is even more precipitous for the Millennial generation. In 1960, over two-thirds (68%) of all twenty-somethings married. Today, barely over a quarter (26%) marry. That’s a forty percent decline in the span of a single generation! And that’s where we’re headed: a “single generation.” For the first time in our nation’s history, the majority of adults (18+) will soon be single.

That’s crazy to consider. That’s why we need to commit time and effort into carefully considering our views on marriage and how we apply Scripture in this area. That’s why I’m so grateful for my friend Tim’s book You Married the Wrong Person. His humor and brevity make this a punchy little read that will leave you thinking and reset your eyes on Christ. If you’re not much of a reader, don’t worry, this one can be read in one sitting! He’s also a die-hard Yankee fan, so you know you can trust his point of view!

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Sonder: The Realization that Everyone Has a Story

One of the people I work with sent me a link to a very cool video series. It’s called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. It’s a bit of a bizarre name but an incredible idea. The creator makes up new words to describe unique parts of everyday life. Some of them are moving, some thought-provoking, some even a bit sobering. But they each capture the essence of what it means to be human and are thus beautiful in their own regard.

Above you can watch the video for the word “sonder,” which according to John Koenig represents the realization that everyone has a story. I love what this video highlights as it reminds us that although we see ourselves as the main protagonist of every moment in our lives, we are but a character in the stories of everyone around us. Do we care about their stories? Do we embrace the part we can play not in our world, but in the story of others?

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Not Responsible For Road Debris

Not Responsible For Road Debris

I was driving on a freeway this week when I noticed the sign on the back of this truck: “Not responsible for road debris.” That’s obviously there as some legal loophole to help prevent the company from being sued. But it got me thinking of how this might play out in a real situation.

Imagine you are driving behind said truck when it hits a bump and a giant piece of something flies up and over the back. Right into your windshield. You begin swerving madly to maintain control of your vehicle and both you and the truck pull off on the next exit. After finding a safe place to stop you get out to see the damage firsthand. You realize you are lucky to be alive. Another few inches and it would have impaled you. However, your car isn’t so lucky. The entire front of it is a mess and you can’t picture it living to drive another day.

Your heart pumps furiously. You stare in disbelief. Once your adrenaline finally levels out, you look over to see the driver of the truck standing next to you. Without saying a word, you give him “the look.” In response to your intense stare he simply asks you a question: “Didn’t you see my sign?”

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Happy Mother’s Day!

As the scene above aptly shows, for many people today is not a great day to celebrate. This causes me to reflect even more on how fortunate I am to not only have an incredible mother but to be married to an incredible mother.

IMG_7841One of my favorite memories of my mom was when I was dealing with girl issues in junior high. After attempting to go to bed around 8:30pm, she asked me if something was wrong. I spilled my guts and my mom dropped what she was doing (cleaning out her closet) and we sat together for a few hours while my mom poured value back into the depleted junior high school son in front of her. It’s such a simple, sweet memory that embodies how she lives her life daily. I always knew she’d be available to meet me in the moment and to love me no matter what. Now I get to watch her do this for my kids as their “Cici.”

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A Preacher of Peace

"A preacher of peace was executed for his revolutionary ideas. But have the ideas of Jesus somehow become less radical since a Roman governor sentenced him to crucifixion during Passover in the spring of AD 30? No. Two thousand years have not made the ideas taught by Jesus of Nazareth any less radical than those that so threatened Pontius Pilate and the imperial ideology he was aligned with. What has happened over the ensuing two millennia is that we who confess Christ have deftly (and mostly unconsciously) crafted a religion that neatly separates the Jesus who died on the cross for the radical ideas he preached—ideas that Jesus foresaw would lead to his crucifixion."

Brian Zahnd, A Farewell to Mars