Letter #688: The Super Bowl & Complacency

Dear complacency,

Well, it’s definitely taken me nearly three weeks to write this, but I still haven’t been able to let this post go so I’m still rolling with it!

I can’t stop thinking about the Super Bowl. Alright, that’s a stretch. But after the largest comeback win ever to happen in a Super Bowl, Lady Gaga bringing a ‘normal’ performance, Tom Brady winning his 5th ring to seal his fate as the “greatest quarterback ever” and the complete collapse of the Falcons in the second half, I really haven’t been able to get rid of a thought that keeps milling around in my head.

The Atlanta Falcons all but had the Super Bowl in the bag, 25 points up, outplaying the Patriots at every position. Then the second half occurred.

I don’t know what happened during the Falcons halftime (maybe the ‘crazy Gaga’ we all expected), but they came out flat and looked like a completely different team. Whether the Patriots won the game or the Falcons gave it away, I’m still not sure. What I do know is my perception of the second half Falcons has left an imprint on me.

So back to that thought I’ve had milling around in my head. I’m not going to sit here and say I have a clue concerning professional football, but the way the game ended has reminded me of the importance of finishing.

Our culture is seething with complacency, and the Super Bowl was simply a microcosm. As I assessed the Falcons’ collapse, all I could really think about was how I do the exact same thing. We see it happen in every day life all the time. Even more often, it happens without us ever seeing it. People start something then fail to follow through. A healthier lifestyle, building a savings account, books (reading and writing), ideas we never do anything with, relationships that run into disagreement, being part of a small group, initiating friendships and so much more.

And in one breath, I can say I see this all around me, but I can’t even take another breath without acknowledging my own personal struggle. In this season, I see it in my commitment to take time to write. I want to do it. I have the ideas already in my head. I think about them in the shower and on my walks to work. But when push comes to shove, actually choosing to create the margin and focus it takes to write is much more difficult than thinking about it. The Super Bowl was more than two weeks ago and the post hasn’t been written until now. It’s hard, like playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

And there’s no room for you in this pursuit to be a finisher. Complacency might be our greatest enemy. It’s easier to skim social media a little longer, watch one more episode of This Is Us, eat one more bowl of Blue Bell or hit snooze just a little longer. Y’all, we are naturally lazy people. And the only way to combat this is to proactively play with a chip on our shoulder every day of our life. If not, 25 point lead or not, we will lose. We may make it all the way to whatever the Super Bowl is of our lives, but we won’t ever fully taste what it’s like to be the victor.

It’s not about winning, but I long to live my life in a way that matters. And operating with complacency does nothing but detract from this. Paul says it this way: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” 1 Cor. 9:24 

I’m playing to win. I’m keeping the chip smack in the middle of my shoulders. I’m combatting complacency at every turn, remembering that it’s seething in our culture, waiting to strike. This doesn’t mean I’ll always win by the world’s standards. The Patriots still may snag the Super Bowl after a valiant comeback, but I will live in a way that I’ll never look back and wonder what could have been. So today I write the post I’ve been thinking about for two weeks. The good news is, the old saying better late than never is true when it comes to combatting complacency in our lives! But it all starts with a choice.

Lindsay

Letter #671: Obedience Matters

Dear life,

Talk in class out of turn as a 3rd grader…change your color.

Come home after curfew as a teenager”…grounded.

Miss a defensive assignment on the court”…benched or at least loudly informed of your failure.

Drive 70 mph in a 55 mph zone”…nice conversation with a cop and a whopping ticket.

Our whole lives we’re told to obey. In every facet of life. School. Sports. The law. Our parents.

From the beginning we’re told. I never once had to be taught to disobey. As you can tell from my examples, I’ve had my fair share of moments (and these are my minor ones!). Moments where I disobeyed. Moments, that because I did, I then had to walk in and reap the consequences.

But the examples I used are no brainers. We’ve all broken a rule in school or been disciplined by our parents at some point.

What happens when it’s a bigger deal? When it’s not so clear of what’s right? When it’s clear of what’s right, but doing it means walking in hard consequences? Then what?

The thing I’ve learned about obedience is that it always matters. In the little and in the big. When consequences are minor and when they’re major. When people agree with you and when they don’t.

Obedience matters.

We studied the book of 1st John this summer at camp, and if I had to boil down what I learned from it in two words those would be it. John says that if we know the Lord, then we are to live like Him. It’s not good enough to claim Christ, then turn around and disobey. John goes as far as saying that our actions are how we can know we know Christ.

In a culture where right is wrong while wrong is right and integrity can be appreciated but isn’t expected, I cannot shake these two words.

Obedience matters. In every facet of life. Even when it’s hard. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when you want to throw in the towel. It matters, and it’s a choice. A daily”…let’s be honest, a moment by moment choice. Choose wisely.

Obedience matters. Period. End of story.

Lindsay

“By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

Letter #667: Choose Discipline

 

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Dear running,

A year ago today I ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon. 13.1 miles. Today, I’m not really sure I could run a 5K.

What a clear picture of what our bodies are capable of but also of how quickly they change.

I was thinking about last year today and what the difference was. The only thing I can come up with is choice.

I chose and committed to running 13.1 miles. Because of that, I put in the training it took to accomplish it. Discipline.

Today, I haven’t chosen. I’m not aiming to run multiple miles. Could I do it again? Sure. [I think!] But it starts with a choice.

This isn’t only true of running. We must choose. Choose to pursue. Choose to love. Choose joy. Choose our attitudes. Choose selflessness. Choose discipline.

When I think back to a year ago, my life was disciplined. Far more so than it is now. I’ve learned discipline breeds discipline. If I’m running/exercising regularly, I eat better. If I’m going to bed at the right time, I wake up easier. If I abide by my social media boundaries, I am more productive.

Discipline breeds discipline. I don’t know if I’ll ever run a half again. I do know running one helped me understand the need for choice, commitment and discipline in order to live with purpose.

Reflecting on what once was,

Out of shape

Letter #631: Discipline Despite Chaos

Dear discipline,

I need you to be implemented in my life now more than ever. Today, I start my traveling adventures. While fun will absolutely be had, chaos undoubtedly will also ensue.

Drive. Drive some more. Stop and eat. Drive. More driving. Arrive at show. Tell people about Kanakuk. Interview. Finish late. Eat dinner. Hang out with staff. Sleep”…not very much. Early wake up. Breakfast with staff. Interview. Lunch. Drive. Drive. Arrive at show. Do it all over again.

You are SO hard to maintain. In every area of life. Exercise. Sleep. Food choices. Way time is spent.

But really, I’m not sure you’re ever easy. Discipline is a combination of big picture vision with moment by moment choice. And I’m going to need lots of in the moment choices to maintain any form of you during the ensuing chaos.

Thus, I’ve created some big picture vision for myself and am committed to being faithful in the little along the way. Sure, chaos will occur. I will do grown up early mornings on top of late night college nights.

But really, I’m not sure you’re ever any different. You are never easy. You’re always a choice. And not just one choice that lasts for months but rather hundreds of choices”…

So the chaos begins. As does the adventure. As does a great test of how much I truly value you. It’s one thing to be disciplined in a controlled environment. It’s a whole new ballgame to be disciplined when you control very few variables in your daily schedule.

Chaos cannot define me. If it does, I’ll never sleep, eat a bunch of crap without working out, gain 15 pounds of late night pizza and ice cream, never spend alone time and be miserable for the next six weeks. I need discipline, but it’s on me to implement it or not. Just like it’s up to you to practice it in your life, no matter what your life looks like.

Here’s to instilling and executing discipline despite circumstances,

The girl who needs discipline

Letter #137: Choosing Love

Dear love,

Out of 365 days in the year, today, you are supposed to be celebrated the most. This year, I want to really love people well regardless of the day. So instead of making fun of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to choose you.

Today, I ponder the most commonly used wedding Scripture. No, I’m not getting married, but I am living in a world and a sinful state that I don’t want to love people. Today, I attempt to make you be this type of love in my life. These attributes will not just come to me. I must choose them; pray for them. Patience. Humble. Selfless. Enduring. I know I will fail greatly in this pursuit, but it doesn’t mean I will not try. I want to choose this kind of love:

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;” 1 Cor. 13:4-8

Happy Valentine’s Day family and friends! May we all love better not just today but everyday.

Chooser of you