Good Luck Chuck!

chuck1

Good luck Chuck. Hundreds of people are attempting to capitalize on MY good friend, Chuck Ramsey. Twitter memes, Facebook, social media, YouTube, you name it. Chuck has become an overnight sensation! Hero? Yes. Hilarious? Definitely. Needs to visit a dentist? Never!

In true fashion to myself, I want to present you several lessons that I learned from Chuck. If you have not yet seen the clip, I implore you to click the hyperlink at the top.

1. Good things can come from eating a McDonald’s Big Mac.

Who would have thought? I mean what I usually get from McDonald’s is a bloated stomach, diarrhea, gas that would cause a bhangmeter to to bazerk, and I’d be out three dollars. The last time I ever ate McDonald’s I was coming off an overnight shift at the hospital and ordered the breakfast platter: hotcakes, eggs, sausage and bacon all covered in three cases of syrup. It was heavenly! Until I made a bee-line back for my apartment (aka the toilet). However, ole’ Chuck here found that there can be some good that comes from this. So today, in Chuck’s honor, I’m ordering a Big Mac and fries. Follow me on social media and I’ll give you detailed reports as to how that goes down…and out.

2. It must be bad if a white girl is running into the arms of a black man.

I won’t lie, I laughed out loud at this. Why are racial topics so sensitive sometimes? I remember an old episode of The Office where Michael Scott impersonates one of Chris Rock’s stand-up comedy routines and everyone finds it extremely offensive (except for myself that is). However, I feel that Michael Scott, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and now Chuck Ramsey have showed us how race can be incorporated in comedy. Hey Michael Richards (Kramer) you could probably take a few tips from these guys.

3. Just cause everything seems normal doesn’t mean it is.

The lesson we can all learn is that what it looks like on the outside is not necessarily a true reflection of what happens on the inside. From this kidnapper and rapist to the Tsarnaev brothers and the list goes on and one, all of their friends and neighbors go onto say that they would have never expected this. I’m certainly not proposing that we all go out and spy on our neighbors, because deep down I want to believe that my friends, family and neighbors are good people. I want to direct it a different way…

This past month I’ve had some strangers, friends and even people I consider family to come to me with problems that they have, issues, or circumstances that they are dealing with or have dealt with for years. Did I know? Heck no! Everything seemed so perfect on the outside. This has really bothered me. Why do we make it seem so great on the outside when everything is really in the pooper? Is it because of our pride? Selfishness? Insecurity? Fear? Why is it that some people will never tell you what’s going on and then there are others who take the direct opposite approach and proclaim every little issue that they have on Facebook?

These events made me rethink my thought processes regarding how I view others and how I deal with problems that I face. I have friends. Good friends. Even better family. Why am I going to exclude people on some of the biggest things that I deal with? Alone. It’s not healthy, effective, efficient or productive. We need each other. We need to be able to confide in each other. So be prepared people. I’m planning on group texting everyone on my Iphone’s contact list and give you the amazing opportunity to be apart of my life and to make me a better man, even better than what I already am.

With that I promise that if I like you… Nay, even if I don’t like you… I will do my very best to be your friend, listen to your troubles. I won’t even give you some of my grade-A advice. I’ll just listen. Come peeps. Let’s take some cues from Chuck and start making a positive impact in the lives of the people around us.

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

Things I Learn From Calvin

calvin-and-hobbes

Congratulations. Congratulations to you who are reading this, not only do you have the privilege to read my blog but you have accomplished so much this year. You survived Hurricane Sandy, another presidential election, the Mayan apocalypse, a “blizzard”, Dick Clark passed away, marijuana was legalized in TWO states and we witnessed some of the worst shootings in America. BUT. WE. SURVIVED.

In retrospect, allow me to look at the great things in life, some of which I already mentioned, and I’ll let you determine that. I jumped out of a plane, made new friends, quit some old ones, started watching How I Met Your Mother and Modern Family, moved one year closer to getting another degree, and learned a whole lot about myself, both good and bad.

I’ve never made apologies for the person I am, cause let’s face it, like Barney Stinson, I’m pretty awesome. However, great things can always be greater. The last several weeks I have been spending time reflecting and contemplating over this last year, my strengths and weaknesses and where I want to be by this time next year. I’ve never, ever, ever formed a New Year’s Resolution but this year it’s going to be different. And to keep me accountable, I’m letting the world know of my projected accomplishments. Here it goes, in random order…

1) Participate AND Finish an IronMan 70.3 competition

2) Complete my BSN

3) Be more awesome

4) Be a better, more consistent friend

5) Initiate a Master’s program

6) Get a bowl haircut

7) Attempt to be more “in tune” with people’s feelings

8) Read a book from the Bible

ANDDDDDD

9) Be more awesome

There you have it folks! I’m going to need you guys to keep me on my toes and remind me the tasks I have set before me. I’m Calvin and you, you’re my Hobbes.

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

Playing Chess with God: Mind vs. Mind

GodWarning: The opinions expressed in this article are in no way indicative of the beliefs that Kris Elkins holds. These opinions are meant entirely in jest….Sort of…

December 25th is just around the corner. Presents have hopefully been bought and wrapped. I’ve purchased a case of mistletoe to use on unsuspecting women, with the help of my good friend Barney Stinson. Christmas music is in full swing. People are wishing each other a “Merry Christmas” or a “Happy Holidays” while secretely wishing those people would be hit by a bus. Not to kill of course, just seriously injure as a result of taking that front parking space…

You know the saddest thing about this Christmas? Not the fact that I’ll spend it alone. It’s not that our family’s annual Christmas tradition of late is to eat dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. It’s not even the fact that I’m on call for the entire week of Christmas. The thing that makes me most upset is the possibility that none of us will even live long enough to see the greatest holiday humanity has ever known! This holiday is only a mere week away, and the thought of not being able to experience it at least one last time makes me want to kick a kitten.

Today while I was slaving away at work (i.e. stalking you Facebook people), I noticed that an agnostic friend of mine had posted a quote from the Bible. I wanted to share,

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” Mark 13:32

I don’t believe that the world will end this Friday. I honestly can’t think of a single acquaintance of mine that does. If I do, then you better believe I will be hanging out with them the next 48hrs so I can blow every last penny that they own! This scripture is not necessarily why I believe that the Mayans are incorrect either. While I have had the opportunity to visit South America, I have never been able to see with my own eyes the beauty that was crafted by these people. However, I just refuse to believe that it’s ending.

I came to this conclusion when I was eight years old. There, I just proved how freaking intelligent I was. While all of you people were playing with your Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and wondering why your farts smelled worse in the pool, I was doing all those same things and trying to discover ways in which I could prevent the apocalypse. You may laugh right now, but I can take you to the wooded spot in Martinsville, Indiana where I discovered the secret to beat global warming, the Mayan calendar, and even the second-coming of Jesus. Allow me to show you some insight into how my mind worked. (Side note, this is fo’ realz).

When I was a young boy, I was terrified concerning the thought of any spiritual rapture, the second coming of Christ, death, or the end of the world. Growing up in Sunday School, I was taught that one day, when we were ALL unsuspecting that God would come back and wisk us all to Heaven. I was eight, and wasn’t particularly fond of the thought of Heaven. I enjoyed life as I knew it. I had friends, pretty good parents, a great family, and I was the shiz (according to my own eight-year-old self). The thought of Heaven would paralyze me with fear. Had my parents, school teachers, or other adults been aware then I am convinced that they could have gotten me to behave better by threatening the second-coming to me!

So I devised a plan. This plan literally was months in the making. At one point I drew out a diagram in colored pencil. I’d donate any limb to have that in my possession now. Here we go…

1) The end of the world is contingent upon EVERYONE being unaware. This means that no one on the earth can be thinking about the second coming in order for it to happen. I devised that everyone take ten second turns. Easy enough. Divided up by country.

2) I then realized language barriers. Some people have shorter attention spans. So I decided to go with five second turns. Easy enough.

3) What about working adults? Paying attention to their workflow and thinking these thoughts would prove burdensome. A book I got my hands on as a young kid focused on mind control and electrocution to give people supernatural powers. (Don’t blame my parents, I believe this book was located in my public school library). I then devised a plan to take all inmates from the U.S. and hook them up to mind controlling computers, which would then force them to think about the end of the world, thereby preventing the actions from ever taking place.

4) Power outages? God was always “one upping” me. I went with backup generators. Boom.

5) When all else failed, sometimes I would sit in Sunday School and try to see how long I could go by forcing myself to think about these thoughts. And people wonder why I don’t remember much about this time in my life. Geez.

So people, I beg of you, unite! Let us all get together, take turns, and rotate our thoughts in that we can prevent the end of the world! We have the power within ourselves! I don’t have the funds for a mind controlling device but I do have enough friends throughout the world that we can all take turns. The world is relying on us. In the words of Mikey from The Goonies,

“The next time you see sky, it’ll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it’ll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the bestest stuff for us. But right now they gotta do what’s right for them, ’cause it’s their time. Their time, up there. Down here it’s our time. It’s our time down here. That’s all over the second we ride up Troy’s bucket.”

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

He’s Got Demons?!? Cool!

“He’s got demons?!? Cool!”

-Gonzo

It is these four words that brought tears of joy to my eyes when I was a little kid, and many times throughout the year you may hear my brothers and I quoting this. I’m twenty-six and I enjoy The Muppets. I may need to join or create a support group for people like me, at least I’m not living in my parent’s basement or something like that. I’m a normal, healthy, successful male who enjoys things such as The Muppets, Home Alone, old school cartoons, and women. Nothing wrong with this picture at all.

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve never met anyone with demons. Situations like the following movies portray: such as “Insidious”, “The Haunting of Connecticut”, “The Exorcist”, “Paranormal Activity”, “Amityville Horror” or even “The Shining” have never presented themselves to me, and it leaves me with a feeling of want. I don’t pretend to be a tough guy, I would probably lose all bowel control but I just want to say I’ve seen it. Last year I’m pretty sure I got as close as I ever will when a previous girlfriend and I went to a haunted house and a woman came running out crying, her body contorting in weird ways and seizing. I was enamored. And scared to death. Pretty sure I peed a little.

Our family used to spend most of the summers growing up using a camper, and I recall one particular summer in Illinois where I met some girls who practiced magic. I believe I was about ten years of age and saw them cast spells where they could change people’s eye color. That was pretty sweet. But I digress….

Demons. There’s such anticipation and expectation with that word. When I hear that someone has demons, I want like the reincarnation of Satan to come out the side of their head and start foaming at the mouth or something. Imagine my surprise when I was sitting on the side of my friend’s fireplace last night and I came to the realization that I had demons. My first thought was, “SWEET!”. Like Sean William Scott and Ashton Kutcher in “Dude, Where’s My Car?” You can get a better idea by watching this video.

But then I realized that these demons are unlike the demons that Kermit has in “Muppet Treasure Island” nor are they the same demons that the old lady has in M. Night Shyamalan, (who not gonna lie, my brothers had their eyes closed, and I wished I would have closed mine). Also, my demons aren’t the same as the man who they called Legion, where Jesus cast out the many spirits in Mark 5. But I did come to the realization that I have a demon, or two, or three for that matter.

During a recent bible study among friends, there were three particular verses that have become a underlying theme; forgiveness. For the sake of clarity, I will provide the context:

“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you most clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others”. Colossians 3:12-13

Blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it a million times. And like Jay-Z, I always just “brushed it off my shoulders”. (On another note, where can you get a spiritual blog that incorporates Jay-Z, demon possession movies, and The Muppets all in one? I propose nowhere). But this time hearing these words and listening to some of the individuals apply it to their own lives,  it stuck.

People are dirty. They do dirty things, evil things in fact. I’m guilty of it. I probably hurt people on a daily basis, some little, some big. And people have hurt me, hurt those I’ve loved. I’m a pretty easy going, fun-loving guy, but actions such as those don’t make me want to hug you, they make me want to hit you with my car. But who likes to forgive? I don’t.

But you see Paul isn’t really giving us anyway out of this. I have faults, so I must accept the fact that they have faults. And since God forgave me of all the times I did Him dirty, which I’m sure it’s similar to Santa’s naughty list on me, that I must forgive those who did my wrong. Makes sense, but how is it related to the who demon thing? Well, I’ve held onto these feelings for so long that they have become who I am; the bitterness and anger, which makes me feel tortured on the inside. It fuels my daily ventures and prevents me from becoming the man I want, the man I should become.

How many times have I directly lied to someone? Oh geez. Misled them? Twice as much. Manipulated information? Yikes. Done something I knew I shouldn’t but I wanted it anyway? Zing! I could go on forever, baby.

Paul is telling us to forgive. Easy as that. It’s a command. If we do this, he then promises that we can live “together in perfect harmony”. Also, if I choose to forgive, I’m being an excellent representation of who Christ is. Double bonus. What else? I’ll be happy again, joyous, even. The weight is lifted off my shoulders. That’s why I’ve always been so attracted to Eminem. Nobody has lyrics so dark and heavy as Eminem. The hurt, anger, and bitterness seep into his lyrics like a porous sponge.

I will leave you with these last words. Anytime I hear the word “forgiveness” I am reminded of one of my all-time favorite comedies, “Just Friends”. I love this movie because Ryan Reynolds is in it, and he makes me giggle like a little school girl. Also, take note ladies, it’s because he always gets put in “the friend zone”. But one of the main characters, Anna Faris, who is equally amusing, sings a song entitled “Forgiveness”. Now I will not put a link up on this site, but I will inform you that it can be found on a site called YouTube (the video that is 2:45 is preferrable). But consider yourself warned.

“Forgiveness, is more than saying sorry,

Forgiveness, means accepting people’s flaws

To forgive is divine.”

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

Happiness: It Makes The World Go Round

What defines happiness for you? Is it an entertaining movie? A relaxing vacation by the beach? Spending time with that special someone? A porterhouse steak, medium rare, with a side of vegetable blend? A good book? Have you ever noticed that some individuals are just happier than others? Throughout my life I have attempted to make myself choose to be a happy person, but I will admit, sometimes it is much easier than normal.

A few weeks ago I took a position with a new employer and spending quite a bit of time away from home. I must admit, I enjoy it. It’s me, the car, my music, annoying drivers, and  no.one.else. Just a few weeks ago I visited the St. Louis Arch by myself. I realized that I hit a new low when they forced me to get my picture in front of the arch, just me. HA! I have become “that guy”. But I digress. I’ve attempted to read a book a week while I’m on the road, to try and combat the downtime that I have when I’m not studying with school or swimming.

Last night I was in Urban Outfitters, a clothing store that caters to that hip-young generation, one that I am far from being apart of. If any of you know me, you realize that my sense of “style” is somewhat lacking. I went through the clothing racks, receiving weird looks from those around me. I wasn’t fooling anyone. However, I do enjoy the plethora of books that that they have at their disposal. Books such as: “Things I Want To Punch In The Face”, “Understand Rap”, “Unbored: The Essential Guide To Serious Fun” or even a sacrilegious favorite,”Dancing with Jesus: Featuring a Host of Miraculous Moves”. But this day, as I was going through the books, giggling until I had tears running down my cheeks, I decided to pick up two books entitled, “I Hate Everyone” and “Happy: Secrets to Happiness from the Cultures of the World”.

According to the book “Happy”, “everyone’s level of happiness is about 50% genetically determined (your ‘happiness set point’), 10% comes from external factors, and the rest comes from how we perceive our circumstances”. I would say that for the majority of my life, I was able to make the best of any circumstances that came my way, and be happy, or better yet, joyful. For a while, I lost that, and I’m just now learning to pick that back up.

Sometimes we allow others, those external factors, to determine the level of happiness that we experience. Just last week a friend called me talking about their douchebag of a boyfriend and how they didn’t attempt to bring happiness into her life, but instead just brought turmoil, pain, suffering, and a broken heart. My response, which is always easier said than done, “move on, and find someone who appreciates you for the person that you are”.

The majority of Americans have our needs met, and even above and beyond that. I probably have made more money this past year than I have the past four years combined. More possessions, trips, great food, and activities, but the happiness factor just isn’t there. We let our circumstances dictate our happiness.

I wish happiness for everyone. Honest. Those I hate, those that have done me wrong, mistreated me, and especially those who have loved me. But I refuse to continue to allow the actions of others to determine how “happy” or “unhappy” I am. Keith is a local homeless individual who lives along the White River. His living conditions include a woodfire stove, enclosed tarp-tent, and a king-sized mattress (which stinks with mildew).

Last week I picked Keith up one morning for breakfast, and that particular morning I was feeling pretty low. I must admit, I was ticked as the morning went on, because Keith was happy. A fifty-five year old homeless man, who, with the exception of a cat and dog hooked to a leash, was all alone. What does he have to be happy about? His business went bankrupt due to the economy, wife left him, and left him with nothing. Not gonna lie, suicide would be looking pretty good. But he was happy.

During breakfast I asked Keith, “what do you have to live for?” and his response startled me…”I love life. I love nature and the beauty that comes with each day”. Now here is a man who makes the most of his circumstances. We had a good time, I dropped him off, and then immediately sprayed down my car with Lysol. (don’t judge me, I bought his breakfast).

I’ve said all of this to say, find what makes you happy and if there is something or someone out there who brings more turmoil than joy, then find someone else who will. Each and everyone of you deserve happiness. Search for it. Find it. Embrace it. Love it. And treasure the moments that it brings.

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

Heroes

Heroes. We all have them. I did. Whether it’s the local fireman, United States soldier, actor, fictional character that possesses super-human powers, a friend, or even a parent. There are many heroes in my life, too many to give credit here in this thought. My brothers and I have always had a love for these fictional characters previously mentioned, my parents probably spent hundreds of dollars on action figures and their corresponding accessories. I bathed with them, slept with them, snuck them into school, church, and probably even weddings and funerals. They went everywhere with me, I simply didn’t want it any other way. Several years ago these characters began to take on a whole new meaning in my life, the major motion picture. Primarily only Batman and Superman received such recognition, but now these characters such as Spiderman, The Avengers, Green Lantern, etc. made new films, and audiences were able to connect with their personalities, struggles, and victories. It’s difficult to put these feelings into words but I somehow always felt a strong connection to these normal “super heroes”, the men who attempted to live normal lives but would often hide behind a mask in order to protect their true identity. A bond was established. A connection between these characters. These individuals wanted to live normal lives, but something deep down in their being was at constant war. Does Batman sacrifice his own life in order to save the millions of people in Gotham city? Does Spiderman risk losing everything in order to save his precious Mary Jane? What made them so special? Why weren’t they able to throw those things aside and say, “No, that’s not the life I have chosen for myself, I will live my life this way.”? When you get down to the bottom of it, they were full of conflict, frustrated at life and their inability to ever make a real difference in the world around them. As I mentioned several weeks ago, I initiated “The Strong” challenge in my life. At the same time, I picked up a newly released christian book and began reading it to go along with my six-week devotions. This past week one of the chapters focused on the Old Testament book, Ecclesiastes. I won’t lie, the majority of the O.T. is way over my head, as well as the New Testament. Ecclesiastes was no different. However, over the past week, I developed a new understanding and established a new connection to a lifelong hero, King Solomon. Let’s establish several things: Solomon was king of Israel, the wisest and smartest guy to ever live, a literal Casanova (700 wives and 300 concubines. WHAT UP?!?!), and one of the wealthiest guys to ever live! How can someone like that not be a hero? He literally had everything all of us ever wanted, worked or wished for. However, the entire book discusses his distaste for life, his frustrations regarding the monotony and how all of his actions in this life are meaningless. Talk about depressing. But that’s exactly how I feel on most days. I wake up every morning at 5:30am, work, study, exercise, establish/nurture friendships, help people (some of whom I could care less), and better my life, go to bed after midnight, and then hit the repeat button. My life is an extended copy of Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day”. It sucks. Every so often I will become so overwhelmed at how hard I have worked, and the so little that I have accomplished. This is exactly what Solomon is saying,  the entire first two chapters. He opens up with saying, “everything is meaningless”. Thanks, Debbie Downer…. “I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless–like chasing the wind” (v.14). He speaks of his frustrations that he cannot take his possessions, wealth, intelligence, and accomplishments with him into the afterlife, and that his children get to squander all of his feats. He talks concerning his attempts at finding contentment, throwing elaborate parties, enough for twenty-thousand people, Jay-Z doesn’t have anything on that kind of shindig! He sought wisdom, earthly possessions, built great architectural feats in hopes to be remembered, and then of course sex (ie all of the wives/concubines). (Chapter 2). What was his answer to this? “…in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now”. Simply, no one will remember us. We’ll die and then drift into oblivion. Like these super heroes with whom I connect with, Solomon is searching, searching for an answer to make that difference, something that will fill the void. Is the void complete in the arms of a woman? May not hurt, but there’s something missing. Solomon said that he denied himself no pleasure, which turned him to “hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless” (2:17). However, Solomon finally lets us in on a secret that brought fulfillment into his life.

“So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from Him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please  Him…” (2:24-26)

Word! The answer. Boom. Life’s pleasures are from God. Why do I hate life? Because I’m trying to enjoy these pleasures without Him. Solomon, the wisest man to ever walk this earth merely stated that it was impossible with enjoy life without the deity who gave us that life. This was not the answer I was looking for, nor was is particularly the answer I wanted. Therein lies the turmoil, the struggle of my inner-self, which part of the double-personality of Kris Elkins do I please? The next time I begin to feel frustrated with life, I need to remember that it’s temporary. My actions are not permanent, and mistakes can always be corrected. However, this life on earth is not what is most important, it’s the life that awaits me in eternity, whether that will be a life of joy and happiness versus a life or turmoil and pain is yet to be decided. Up to me. My life is meaningless, meaningless without the one who created me, purposed me to uplift others through giving Him glory.

Posted in Life | 1 Comment

Rat Race

“Veronica and I trying this new fad called uh, jogging. I believe it’s jogging or yogging. it might be a soft j. I’m not sure but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It’s supposed to be wild.” -Ron Burgundy

A little over a month ago I decided to partially withdraw myself from the social media scene and people for a multitude of reasons. I needed to take time to discover myself, find things that I found enjoyable, rearrange priorities, and break away from certain aspects of my life. That first week I woke up, got in my car, drove to BGIndy and forked over a large sum of cash for a bike and accessories (excluding the helmet, just couldn’t cover up my money-maker).

Within the first two weeks I was biking fifty plus miles at a time, and feeling ambitious. I quickly discovered that I could fuse my music and inward frustration and take it out on my bike. With renewed vigor I set my eyes on the Hilly Hundred. While at this time I have not yet participated in it, I will let you guys and gals know how it turns out. My costume will at some point make an appearance as well. I realize that this will be quite difficult, and I feel that there are realistic expectations during this event (probably walking my bike up most of the hills).

However, the Hilly Hundred did not seem to be enough of a challenge, as I’ve had about five weeks to think things over. I then looked into Olympic Triathlon events, the biking and running are rather easy, but the swimming, well let’s just say that I’m about as good as swimmer as Jack in “The Titanic”. Sink like a dead weight. My first swim at 5am with all my old friends at the YMCA proved to result in a 0.2mile swim. I was exhausted. So exhausted that I didn’t have the energy to feel uncomfortable when I showered off with all these old, very old, very very old white men.

Anyways, now that you have developed an adequate mental photograph of my graphic description… I quickly contacted a friend and pleaded my case that I would need to brush up on my swimming techniques if I wanted to succeed in this new endeavor. That following Sunday, the church that I attend went into a “Strong” Challenge, focusing on life qualities and how to incorporate those into spiritual gifts. The preacher referenced the Apostle Paul’s words in Hebrews 12 “let us strip of every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us”. It hit me. Who the heck cares about my time? I don’t. I just want to brag about the fact that I finished the race. Whether it is the Hilly Hundred or an Olympic Triathlon.

Just last week I finally incorporated my clipless pedals into my ride throughout Indianapolis, Carmel, and Noblesville. I apologize to the drivers from 17th street all the way to 172nd street. I was an absolute mess. People kept providing encouragement, telling me it would be a piece of cake, that clipless pedals are safer, more efficient etc. They failed to tell me how much they would suck in the beginning. Literally broke out in a cold sweat every time a stop sign/light came up and would start jerking my feet out of my locks like I had Parkinson’s or having a seizure. Needless to say, I fell down. Several times. I would jump up, look around to make sure no one saw, that and to see if I was about to get run over.

The thing was… I jumped right back up. Scrapes. Bruises. Blood. Damaged pride. Fear. They were all involved. But I jumped right back up and got back on my bike. Was it because I couldn’t walk my bike home wearing those ridiculous cleats? Or was it because I was determined to conquer these upcoming endeavors?  I’ll let you decide, but it was probably cause I didn’t want to look like an idiot clomping around on the side of the road like an high school girl who’s never worn high heels before. But the key is that I jumped right back up, isn’t that the way I’m supposed to act in my walk with Christ?

In reality. I don’t. It’s funny. How I decided to start training right before I participated in the “Strong” Challenge. Coincidence? Maybe. See, in my spiritual walk, it’s not a race, but I do have a goal to shoot for. Heaven. I fall down. A lot. If you know me, you know my mistakes, because I don’t hide them. They are out there for all to see. But both the ones you see and the ones you don’t… I get hung up on them. They bring discouragement. I feel inadequate. Sorrowful. Remorseful. And Shame.

Lately it seems that I’ve only been focusing on the negative aspects of life. The discouragement of things not working out as I would have liked. Failed friendships. My own inadequacies. Daily struggles. Battles with health, and then, death. Admittedly, there was a time where I wanted to throw in the towel. But I had to ask myself, “what does this accomplish”?

2 Timothy 4, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race…”. Finished the race. When I complete these two upcoming physical races, cross the finish line, people won’t ask what my time was (and if you do, you can bet that I’m going to lie about it), nor will they ask how many times I fell. Because. That’s. Not. The. Point. I finished. I endured. I persevered. Through all the struggles, the muscle cramps, the soreness, bumps and bruises.

Look at the goal. The reward. And finish the race.

Posted in Life | 1 Comment