Tuesday, May 17, 2011
This season was no different for our family, but the questions asked after Rob Mariano was announced as the sole Survivor were different than previous seasons. It seemed this season, perhaps more than others, the producers focused on the friendships and bonds that are created when strangers are thrown into survival mode together for 40 days. Were the strangers different in personality this year or did the producers allow us to see what they’ve seen all along—whether you are playing a game on the field, on the court, or at a table, people are fragile individuals who are real people not just actors in a show. When a football player goes out on the field to play a game, is his attitude different than the individuals who are dropped in the middle of nowhere with strangers to play a game of survival? Should we fault players who have won Survivor by lying, cheating, blind-siding or stabbing allies in the back in an attempt to win a million dollars? It is a game, right?
Boston Rob declared he had spend 117 days physically playing Survivor and 10 years of his life masterminding how to win the game—perhaps even at the expense of his relationship with his wife, Amber, and his daughters. He also stated he went into the game with the attitude that he would do whatever it took to win the money for his family—there were no lines drawn in the sand for him. I wonder how Rob’s wife, Amber, felt about Rob snuggling up to two of the young women in an attempt to gain their loyalty?
Rob’s plan worked. Rob even blind-sided Grant, with whom he had a bond, as Jeff Probst intuitively noticed "like none other he’s seen over the years." Yet Grant, even as a former NFL competitor didn’t look at Survivor as a game but as an opportunity—and being back stabbed was personal. Finally, everyone else thought Phillip was crazy, yet Rob saw something in Phillip no one else saw and befriended him. But, was befriending Phillip all a part of his mastermind plan or was he sincere in his friendship? I don’t have the answer to the questions—I guess for me it causes me to take a look at my life...at myself.
Now that Rob has won, what will he do now? Does he have integrity in ‘real life?’ What happens when someone ultimately is able to accomplish a major goal in their life? Will his life all of the sudden change for the better? Will the longing for something bigger in his life subside? Only time will tell. The bigger question for me is personal—I need to worry about me and not about everyone else. I need to be treating others as I desire to be treated not as I am treated. Only I am responsible for my behavior—not anyone else. What about you? Are you at a place in your life where the longing in your heart is being filled?
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
What is it in our nature that always wants what we cannot have? I have two pairs of North Face down slippers. One pair is old and the other is fairly new. Enter in our 9 week old yellow lab puppy who no fault of her own is the spitting image of Marley, from Marley and Me. Annabelle's behavior is unfortunately exactly the same as Marley, The other day I caught her in the closet grabbing my husbands expensive leather loafer. I know she understands she is not supposed to chew on it because she got a glimpse of me out of the corner of her eye and she took off like a bat out of hell. It probably only encourages her behavior when I take off running after her. It becomes a game of catch me if you can and as long as she is in the lead and continues to keep the item at large in her jowls then she is winning.
Rewind back to the two sets of slippers. Both pairs are down slippers. Both pairs are blue in color. Both smell like my feet-enough said. So, I figure I don't need to sets of down slippers and I decide to let Annabelle have the old set of slippers. Fast forward to this morning when the monster dog is let out of her crate for the evening. After doing all her business and we are all getting ready for school and work I give her, out of the kindness of my heart, my old slipper. Not fifteen minutes later she comes flying around the corner with...you guessed it....MY new slippers. Apparently the old ones are good enough for her, or...is it she just wants what she knows she is not supposed to have?
It's not a new problem. It dates all the way back to the beginning of mankind when God told Adam and Eve they could have ANY of the slippers in the garden...I mean eat of any tree in the garden—except ONE. Just one. If I gave Annabelle an REI store full of slippers I'd place wagers that she would still want the slippers that I've said are off limits. Why is that? What in our nature drives us to desire to have what we are told we cannot have? Is is the rebellion in us? The excitement of trying to get away with doing something we were told we shouldn't? Either way, it's obviously not only apart of my puppies life but I know it is apart of mine, too. So, I need to ask myself, What can I do in my life to make sure I'm okay with having the old slipper's?
Monday, May 2, 2011
Sitting in church this morning seemed like a normal Sunday...but, things changed when the pastor asked us to turn around and greet those around us. My husband, Tim, had decided to step out of our comfort zone and sit in a different section that morning. We've gone to the same church for 15 years and always sat in our "assigned seats." Ok, they are not assigned, but we sit in them enough that they seem like assigned seats. I don't like change unless I instigate the change. But, alas, here I was sitting in a group of people that I don't normally sit with on Sunday morning. And now I was having to turn around and greet them AND shake their hands. Seems like an easy enough task, right? What happened next kind of surprised me, though.
The gentleman sitting behind us was very quiet. I didn't recognize him and when I said hello and went to shake his hand he seemed rather timid. His handshake matched his demeanor and was soft and almost afraid...if you can call a handshake afraid. I had to ask myself what made this young man so timid? What has happened to him in his lifetime that seems to have rather sucked the exuberance out of him and kept him introspective while others around him seemed happy and carefree—excited to see one another.
While I chewed on these thoughts my mind jumped to another individual who wasn’t at church that morning. Probably a bad experience at church years ago was keeping him away. A person who was missing out on spending time with family and friends. All because of the past. But we cannot escape the past. Maybe the two individuals weren't all that different? Perhaps they'd both had bad experiences at church but one decided to step out in faith and give the people another chance?
What about those exuberant people sitting around me. Are they all just happy as larks or have they learned to put their masks on with their Sunday best and put their best effort forward on making sure everyone at church thinks all is well in their lives. I'm the kind of person that wears her heart on my sleeve. If I'm having a bad day, you know it! But it took me many years to realized that that mask I hide behind was really only hurting me. It hindered others being able to come along side me and help me get better. Getting better doesn't mean I get happy—it just means that I've learned not to hide how I'm really feeling and I deal with it.
Overall, I think there are maybe four kinds of people then... Those who show up at church on Sunday mornings that have an unpleasant history but they're willing to give God another try. There are those who refuse to leave the past behind and decide they're better off without all those hypocrites that say they love God but don't live like it every day of the week. Those who come to keep the pews warm on Sunday mornings. They don't know why they come; maybe it's because it's a cultural thing. Maybe it's because they're afraid of what people might say if they don't come. And finally there are those of us that come because we know we are messed up and desperately need God. We've long gotten past the place where we care what others think about us (at least most of the time). We know that we are hypocrites on a daily basis because we are human---we say one thing and do another.
Maybe there's even a 5th group—the group that is somewhere in between all of these...just not sure what to think about God and all this religion stuff. Or even the person that doesn't fit into one of the categories. Then again, God doesn't fit into a one size fits all package...why should I expect His creation to do so?
So, next time you are sitting in church (if you attend) or contemplating attending, remember that everyone is messed up, insecure and overall, human. Take a chance on God and on His children, a leap of faith as it may. You never know—it could be a life changing experience for you as today was for me.