Monday, May 9, 2016

Eggs

Happy Monday, all! One thing has been weighing heavy lately, and such is the subject of today. One small warning as there is quite a diverse group that stops by here. This post is certainly going down the path of personal faith and if you find yourself quickly offended if someone doesn't drink from the same fountain of beliefs as you do, maybe come back another day?! Or, just stick around and maybe just consider my thoughts with an open mind.

Eggs. They can be awesome, rotten, delish, a perfect post-workout food, be a component to a festive beverage whilst decorating the Christmas tree and colored for fun around Easter each year. Untouched from their origin, though, they are fragile as heck. If you don't handle with care, they are ruined with no amount of super glue on the planet that will repair them. It's a one-way path to the end.

We've all heard the saying "Don't put all your eggs in the same basket." As I travel into my 43rd year on the planet and my 24th year of marriage, I continue to learn from this in so many facets of life. I totally agree with this with the exception of one thing...but I'll address that later.

Finances: I used to work for Snoopy...(read: MetLife) and gave advice about investing, insurance, etc. and moved money around for clients quite a bit. I spoke about "diversity" and "spreading the wealth" often because if you put it all in one basket and that basket hits the floor...so will you. The stock market crash along with the housing market is proof of that. If you have $100,000 of retirement money, putting it all in one growth fund is probably not the best idea....but that's not official financial advice! Just a thought. Spread it around.

Kids: We love 'em! Yesterday, we became a 100% teenager home. My youngest turned 13 and she joined her sister in the teenager ranks. I will never forget sitting in a home Bible study many years ago in Colorado Springs and a couple said this: "We are focusing 100% on our kids now. We'll focus on each other once they're gone."  That has got to be the worst game plan ever. Guess what...you probably won't even know each other once they're gone. Don't put your all into your kids. They deserve a good portion but they aren't the all in all. Even if you're a single mom or dad, 100% to them and 0% for you or anything else will crush you. Save a few eggs...

Friends: If social media has proven anything, it's proven that friends can become UNfriends quicker than ever. The REAL awesome friends...the friends who will never leave your side no matter what are diamonds in the rough...and sadly, aren't known until the real poo hits the fan. Some "friends" are a matter of convenience and not authentic and others really are just acquaintances...not friends. If you are one of those awesome, rare friends and/or have one...hold on tight! But, remember the eggs...save a few.

Fitness: Whether it's running, being a gym rat, yoga, DVDs, CrossFit, adventure races, swimming, biking, hiking, etc. etc. etc., .... diversify! For example, things may grow stale, you might get injured, the seasons change, your family grows, your time allowances fluctuate in such ways that crush your current schedule and the possibilities never end. Personally, I have not lived this rule very well. I HAVE put all my eggs in the same basket more than once. For some 17 years, I did NOTHING but run and when injury presented itself, it shut me down with nowhere to turn. I had nothing else. More recently when my recent CrossFit gym closed its doors, I learned the lesson yet again. I put so much time and weight in that ONE place that when it got ripped away, I was faced with a decision and I had to move fast. I could either quit (because there was no Plan B) or build a place at my home to continue. I chose the latter and continue to try and find the balance there. My eggs were stacked disproportionately and luckily, some got injured but not broken altogether. The scars will remain and serve as a reminder but now...I'm back on track. So as I step towards each day, it's not just CrossFit in my garage, but it's dabbling in other things like rucking and the new friends I have there. The one chief difference is that all the weight is now on me. No accountability, no coach waiting, and no one who really cares what I do or don't do. It's me vs. me. Every egg...under my care and fully my responsibility. Having a few baskets to share and disperse the weight helps.

Career: Here today, gone tomorrow. You've heard the stories of companies selling out to an offer they couldn't refuse or taking their business overseas. To never be looking down the road in case "what if" happens is foolish. We always have to have a "Plan B" in the back of our thoughts because if "it" happens, it's up to us to make it. It's not other's responsibility to bail us out or the government to step in to bail us out. It's us vs. us. It's hard not to stack the eggs in your career but always be looking to see where else you can hatch a few.

Marriage/Relationships: Are you thinking this is the one that I think should take all the eggs? Put all your eggs into one marriage basket? All or nothing, right?! Maybe you don't believe in marriage at all and you choose to simply cohabitate forever. Same concept. Do you think it wise to still put every last egg into that basket? We are human creatures, born into the world with many failures. We make mistakes. We fail others. We disappoint. We make bad decisions. Heck, this world has cancer, tragic accidents, etc. that we can't control and the life we know today can be wrecked in a minute. Still, if we think about our vows we take at the altar to each other and before God, shouldn't we put ALL eggs in this basket? Shouldn't it be #1? Kids...marriage...friends...career....fitness....so many eggs for one basket to hold. I submit that even marriage is an imperfect union made up of imperfect people that MUST give their entire being to the other to truly achieve oneness and live, as they say, in holy matrimony till death to they part. But, what if the basket breaks? Can we not have absolutes in life?! We cannot.

Faith: Some 5 years ago, I deployed to a war zone and through it all, hit some pretty rough patches. If there was ever a bottom in my life, I found it. Would I re-live it by choice? Heck no. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. However, I wouldn't be the man I am today without it. There was a day in November 2011 that is painted in my head. There I was free-falling down and ready to call it quits. But, the One who I called Savior...Father...Christ...caught me. It's one of those times where those who don't believe as I do roll their eyes and move on by it and don't buy it. However, it's the truth. My faith goes all the way back to when I was 5 years old and I made that profession of faith...I invited Him in. I was a good kid and a good husband up to that point in 2011. I spent a life going to church, was a man of my word, integrity was gigantic to me but God...well, He was always there and we spoke often but I never really truly put ALL my eggs in His basket. I always kept a few out...ya know, because I could handle it myself. I can be an 80-85% Christian, right? How about 99%? Hmmm. It doesn't work that way.

What I have found is that my faith in Christ simply never fails. He may not always give me the answer I want but He never leaves, He always answers, and no matter how many baskets fail and eggs break, He never does. He is the only fool-proof solution to life, the only answer to all the questions, the only shelter from life's storms, and the only One that is 100%. I am sure not all who have gotten to this point in my post agree or "buy in" to this and to those I ask you this: Who or what is your 100% solution if every basket gives out today and every egg goes crashing to the floor? Every mortal walking this planet is a failed creature and every person/being/idol worshipped is dead, save One.

So diversify, friends! Diversify, hatch a few new eggs, plan for the unexpected, and live fully today for today (or tomorrow) is not guaranteed.

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