In case it wasn’t clear, this has been a rather frustrating week… Tuesday particularly… and it’s been quite busy as well… my nights have been claimed by various meetings and/or activities and my days were marked by the always-enjoyable return to a regular work schedule… face-to-face with coworkers and other fun things…

anyway, today is a bit different, my eye has been twitching all day and last night actually which is when i discovered that an eyelash has decided to curl up under my eyelid and cling to my eyeball out of any practical reach and causing twitching, itching, and a little bit of pain… but it’s okay, it’s all good… i’m here office-sitting in some sense, because i’m the only one here… that’s right, the only one… i’m not sure how or why it’s okay for everyone else to “work” from home on such a regular basis (i get grief at the mere mention of the idea)… but hey, i’d have worked from home today too except that there’s potentially going to be a large delivery of equipment that we’ve been waiting on for a while… it’s unclear as to whether or not the burden of unloading it will fall on me, but one can only hope…

But before i get into this week, i still need to talk a little bit about last week and some things that weighed heavily on me after my experiences…

it all began a month or so ago when the realization hit me that not only would i be taking time off of work to watch the boys for a week while my wife took off with some college friends on a cruise – which is was quite fine with – not only that, but this week was going to coincide with Vacation Bible School at our church… And not only would i be bringing the boys in and dropping them off (that would be far too easy), but i would be volunteering to help…

Initially, my reaction was that of sarcastic complaint… i mean, good grief, all those kids, every day for a week… crazy… that’s no place for a guy… in fact, i probably thought that same thing last year when it was time to sign up to help at VBS… no, i’m busy… i have my work to do… that’s for the moms… take my vacation time to do that? crazy…

however, as i began to work this year… as i looked around the church and watched the kids, watched all the festivities and perhaps more importantly watched them react to me… i realized a few things… my eyes were opened to a tragic situation… there were about 360 kids in attendance this year and about 170 workers… here’s the surprising, yet unsurprising stat… six adult men… six, including myself…

And i must say that every interaction i had with the kids was really rewarding… it was amazing to see their faces light up realizing that they were important enough for me to help out… and i think that’s the key… we can have our busy schedules… we can have our “important” jobs… we can have our meetings and promotions and accomplishments and rewards and whatever… but… all of this is worthless if we don’t have… love…

you can argue (and i would’ve last year at this time argued) that you show your love by working hard, earning a salary, providing for your family… but when it comes to vacation – if you take any at all – it’s “your” time… i realized last week though, that it’s not enough… i know it’s a common phrase, but time really is the best investment into children’s lives… and, no offense to moms out there, but it’s not enough for us dads to pass off those “duties” to the moms… kids want and need attention from guys…

i’ll tell you why… kids understand that a man’s time is important and valuable… they understand that we’re busy and working ourselves silly… they learn the equations of time = money, money = value, and value = love… when a guy takes time out to be with them, of course their face is going to light up… they finally feel valued… they finally feel important… they finally feel loved…

i feel like my thoughts are unravelling a bit and i’m losing my focus, so i’m going to try to bring it back around…

look around at the world today… people complain about a lack of respect, lack of moral standards, general unruliness, whatever you want to call it… i say it’s partly our fault… we guys simply don’t pay attention to the younger generation… even our own kids are starving for our attention and acceptance and love… my initial reaction to working VBS week is probably a common response… “i’m taking my vacation time to get up early and deal with hundreds of crazy kids?”… now, knowing the impact that i can have, my new response is “heck ya!”…

the burden of shaping of the future generation falls squarely on our shoulders… (men and women)… and, as the God-ordained spiritual head of the household… (yep, it’s in the Bible)… men need to play a BIG part in this process… if we don’t show an interest in the spiritual development of our children, neither will they… and we’ll have a generation that does “what is right in their own eyes”… a wicked and pervese generation “given over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more”… (yes, also in the Bible)… maybe this will be more eye-opening… as men, as fathers, as leaders, we will be held accountable, not only for our actions, but for those we influence as well…

i’m starting to realize that the world is falling apart because we as leaders pass the buck rather than being real leaders… in my own life, i’ve discovered a pattern… i have continually found myself in positions (employement and otherwise) where i report to bosses who are less qualified or less competent or less capable… who do their work to a lower standard than they should… who are either afraid to lead or manage or simply don’t know how… this has been a constantly recurring frustration in my life… an i’m starting to wake up to the fact that it’s because i’m supposed to be a leader… and i’m simply not doing that… it’s easier to let someone else lead, even if they do it wrong… perhaps it’s time to step up and be more of a leader… stick my neck out a bit and be that guy…

that said, i’m currently praying through a number of possibilities to that effect… they’re woven through pretty much every aspect of my life… and some are scary, some are obvious… some, i just don’t know yet… but i do know that next year, i’m taking a vacation… and i’m planning to help at VBS…

hope that made some sense… i felt like i rambled a bit, but hopefully not too badly…

On some lighter notes, the Rob Bell thing was AWESOME… well, it was very cool anyway… kind of odd to pay $10 to see a pastor speak in a bar… odder still that it had sold out weeks before… but it was incredibly stimulating and thought-provoking… very interesting presentation… also, i got blasted by some “critic police” blog back in June… it was kind of amusing to stumble across… but reminds me that i need to explain a few things about music… not today though… for Josh’s benefit, i’ll say that i need to go write some reviews… and for everyone’s benefit, i’ll say, hey, check out my David Crowder*Band “B Collision” Walk TRu… okay, that was mostly for my own benefit… for yours, i hope you have a great week…

currently listening to:

Michael Sweet – Him
Beatmart Records – Best of the Submissions Vol. 3
Tammy Trent – I See Beautiful
FM Static – Critically Ashamed
Audio Adreanaline – (the entire catalog, really)

keeping an eye on…

peace… love… bdg…