My thoughts are too random to pretend they're Spiritual.
** Yesterday on our way home from Southern Utah, we passed a semi that had this saying on the back of it's rig
If you are familiar with MMA - you know that to "tap" or "tap out" means that a wrestler gives in. He's in a position that he cannot break out of and is at risk of death or broken extremities. He submits that he has lost the match.
The semi we passed didn't have this exact decal, but just the words "Jesus didn't tap" started a flood gate of thinking. It's so easy to give up. It's easy to call uncle or tap when we THINK we are stuck or have had too much. I believe too often we sell ourselves short and don't believe that we can take/do/handle what we are dealt. I like the "tap" analogy.
As a Christian if I am truly trying to be a disciple then I guess I need to adopt the same attitude.
"mCat didn't tap"
**Instead of our ward services today, we went to Splenda's sister's ward. Her oldest son leaves Wednesday to serve a two year LDS mission in Vancouver, Canada and he was speaking today in the meeting.
I love to see how each different ward handles missionary "farewells". In previous years it was traditional for the entire family to present the program. It was fun, but they did turn into "roasts" or "worships" of the missionary kid. Clearly not the very doctrine-centered meeting that they should be. Since then, church leadership has asked us to handle "farewells" differently and only have the missionary him/herself speak then use other ward members to fill the extra time with regular talks regarding principles of the gospel.
I like this idea, and love to see how other wards handle it. Our ward has kind of traditionally had the outgoing missionary speak first, and then have a young man or woman who has returned home within the last year or so speak. Always great meetings. Love them.
This ward, I think has the best idea. They had the Priest quorum presidency speak. In my church, the Bishop is the president of the priest quorum (16 - 18 year old boys), he then calls a 1st asst, a 2nd asst, and a secretary to form the leadership of the quorum. So guess who spoke? All three of those boys. They were followed by the Young Men's president and finally Spencer.
What a GREAT idea! It was such a great meeting and clearly you could see how much the young men loved each other and their leaders. And how much the leaders were involved with and loved the young men. I sat thinking about it, and realized that these guys had it spot on! They have the vision that they are preparing young men to be future missionaries, husbands, fathers, businessmen and leaders in their communities. They value the opportunity to be an influence for good on America's future generation. That sounds so cliche even as I write it, but I can't think of a better way to say it. Who will teach the youth to lead if we don't do it ourselves?
"Spencer nor his leaders have tapped"
When Spencer finally spoke, he re-read the first sentence or two of his missionary calling. My thoughts put me right back into my front room with my little family gathered around while Luke opened his and some similar words were read outloud. Gosh, what a feeling! I can distinctly remember my thoughts, Luke's facial expressions and how it felt in our living room. There are few words that can describe the happiness that was all encompassing.
**Of course, then as any good ADD brain works, my mind turned to Luke himself and thinking back on some of the experiences he had. Some were so hard! I sat freezing in the chapel but knowing I would soon be home in my warm bed with a hot corn bag. For two years he woke up FREEZING nearly every day. There is video of him burrowed in multiple layers of sweats and hoodies in bed and waking up to see his breath. The idea of him chopping firewood to be able to build their only source of heat. Of the miserable flea bites in the summers. The packs of mangy dogs that would try to attack but soon learned that a raised backpack would end in a smack to the snout if it didn't back off. The drunk man who tried to push him off a bridge to his death. The countless hours of walking and walking and walking.....in mud, rain and dog poop. Mom's are like that. We think of what our poor kid had to go through. However, I'm sure if we asked Luke he would prolly tell you that he remembers all the wonderful things he experienced, and how it changed his life, and that he looks back and it was the best decision he ever made. Missionaries are like that. Finding the good, living with adversity and growing up.
(wow - this is like WAY old.....he's much more grown up now - just check his FB profile pic)
"Luke didn't tap"
**After the service, family and friends met at Splenda's sisters house for a light luncheon. Splenda has good family. They are supportive of each other and even if one nephew had to come alone, he still made the effort to come. 'Cause he's awesome like that. Because he was taught to be a family ally. Even though he was one of a few cousins to be there, he was there. As we drove back to our house after the luncheon, my brain was fixated on what a good person this kid was. Smart, hardworking, a bestie of Corbin and my boys and straight up a decent human being. Scooter is good people as we say. I smiled thinking of all the good things that will come his way and how much he deserves them.
"Scooter hasn't tapped"
**Today was the first game of the playoff series with the Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs.
By all rights, the Jazz shouldn't even be in the playoffs. We are a young team, rebuilding and developing talent. Through some hard work they made it. My cute little family have been Jazz fans since, well since Corbin was born. He was obsessed and by the age of three could dribble shoot and name all the players. One day I'll post the video that a local TV station did with him (long story). Anywhoodle, so of course the game start time is when we are at church. Splenda sets the DVR and we figure we'll just watch it when we get home. But what about Corbin? I know he's gotta be dying. He wants to watch the game so badly but his church time is smack during the game and he will miss the entire thing. I text and ask him if he has a DVR. Nope, he will miss the whole thing. I wondered his thoughts this morning or even last night as he realized what would happen. It would have been easy to just stay home. Sure, they have a primary class to teach, but they could find a substitute to take over for them right? It was just one Sunday and easily justifiable what with it being the playoffs and all.
My boy did not disappoint me. He toddled his family off to church, fulfilling their callings all the while knowing that his beloved team was playing and he would miss it all. Needless to say, I'm impressed. For some, this wouldn't even be on their radar, but for others of us, it's a real debate. For Corbin, life is about doing the right thing for the right reason and I have to admire that. I think he's turned out to be a far better person than his mother 'cause I was totally ready to bail and come home for game time. He has his rockstar status secured in my book. I did take out Flat Daddy so that he could kind of watch it with us.
"Corb didn't tap"
So the thread that ties this all together? Is there one? Does there have to be one? If so, my ADD can't weave it in.
Other than the gratitude I feel for having a day of thinking, watching and being surrounded by and shown examples of amazing men who refuse to "tap".