Friday, May 23, 2008

Just a rant....

I'm starting to realize that I’m not as clever as I think I am.

At least when it comes to life.

See, my job introduces me to many different doorsteps, many different people, and many different experiences.

Introduces? I mean it forces me.

It forces me to smile when I don’t want to.

It forces me to talk to people when it’s the last thing I want to do.

It forces me to help people when I don’t want to.

It forces me to be brutally honest with people (my favorite).

Simply put, I get paid to deal with and put up with people. It’s an enormously important part of my job. So much so, that it accounts for half of my performance evaluation each month. Half!!

That means every time a promotion or raise opportunity comes up, 50% of the outcome is dependent upon how I’ve dealt with people.

And I'm finding that it's tiring.

Almost sickening.

Too much energy. Too much forced enthusiasm.

A far cry from that lonely, prison-like abode most professionals refer to as a "cubicle", my job forces interaction and courteous manner. Friendliness and professionalism. Smiles and handshakes.

It reminds me of meeting a girlfriend’s parents for the first time when I was younger. Sure, you want to impress them but let's be honest: you’re only doing it because you want to continue to make-out with their daughter.

In this case, I only do it only because I want a paycheck. I could really care less about the authenticity I possess as opposed to the impression I leave.

And you know, I’m not too bad at it.

Ok, that’s a lie.

I’m actually really, really good at it. It’s surprises me.

I’m good at reading people. I’m good at reacting to different situations. I’m good at talking to others. No matter how new or forced the situation or meeting may be, I know how to handle it.

I guess you can say that I’m a real good bulls*****r.

Yet, through all the mud and the muck, I find out that I’m not as clever as I think I am.

I’m realizing that no matter how hard I try, I just can’t BS a spiritual life, no matter how good I think I am or how good it may appear from the outside.

Recently, my wife and I had a talk about how she doesn’t want anything to do with God at this particular time in her life. How she’s angry with Him.

Actually, she’s pissed. “Angry” is too light a word.

You see, people get angry when they’ve just been cut-off in traffic or catch the last verse to their favorite song on the radio when they’ve been waiting all day to hear it.

Losing someone you love addresses a whole new emotion.

The recent loss of my wife’s mother has rocked her spiritual life and she’s finding it hard to talk to Him. To hear Him. To love Him.

To feel His love.

And although I have no real excuse, I really don’t feel that close to Him nowadays either. I find myself not wanting to draw near to Him and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I see my wife’s animosity towards Him.

Maybe I’m just tired.

Maybe I'm fed up.

Nevertheless, I applaud my wife’s honesty.

I applaud her sincerity.

Most importantly, I applaud that she doesn’t want to be in that place very long either.

Me? I’m “uncomfortably comfortable” where I’m at, if that makes sense.

You see, taking control of this situation provides another opportunity for me to prove what I can do.

I get the chance to bulls*** another situation I don't necessarily want to be in.

But I’ve convinced myself that I’m too good at it not to try.

I force a smile when I don’t want to.

I force myself to talk to people when it’s the last thing I want to do.

I force myself to help people when I don’t want to.

You see, I have somehow convinced my brain that forcing myself into doing something is synonymous with desiring to do it. That somehow it’s the same thing.

What sucks is that it’s the farthest thing from the Truth. It may get by in my line of work, but it doesn’t when it comes to Him.

It’s ironic that I get tired of work because I feel I’m not genuine. But I get tired of God when I realize the genuiness it takes to follow Him.

And I hate it. I hate that I can’t do it alone. I hate that I can’t control it. I hate that I’m slipping.

Yet, I carry on.

Unlike my profession, loving Him should be all that I want to do. But it isn’t.

Loving Him should be all that I need, but I don't feel like it is.

Why can’t I bull**** my way through it?

And the thing that scares me?

My performance evaluation at the end of this life.

When did loving God become so strenuous? When did it become such a chore?

Monday, March 24, 2008

So THIS is the key!!!

Want to know why my marriage is doing fine? Read on:

Women, Want a Healthy Marriage?Marry Man Uglier Than You, Study says.

The best marriages are those where women marry men who are less attractive than themselves, research has found.

Psychologists who studied newlyweds found men who were better-looking than their wives were more likely to be unhappy and have negative feelings about their marriage.

Click here to see Dr. Manny's blog on this study.

In couples where the wife is more attractive, both partners tended to be very content.
The research, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, suggests that, in evolutionary terms, women are less choosy about their man's looks as long as he is able to help them reproduce.

Men, however, are programmed to choose a mate who is most likely to pass on their genes and look for youth, health and physical attractiveness.

The tests involved 82 couples married within the previous six months.

Yay for Josh. Too bad for Tami.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

High School Reunions

Okay, so I was recently invited to my 10 year high school reunion.


I mean, who doesn’t love those weird and brutally awkward events where men compare wallet sizes and cars while women judge each other on how they’ve kept up physically.

Throw in trying to convince your old high school teachers and principals that you’re not the jerk you once were and, well, you’ve got yourself one ulcer-inducing party.

Yet, I continue to ask myself: What’s the point?

I see it in television shows all the time. Most popular shows have that “reunion episode”. You know, the episode where splurge dieting, excessive makeovers, and the “Are you seriously wearing that, sweetie?” punch line runs rampant. TV shows such as Yes, Dear, King of Queens, and According to Jim have all aired episodes about the nerve-wracking event. Many others love to touch on the idea of high school awkwardness altogether.

And why shouldn’t it? Your high school years were either a collection of memories you’d sooner forget or a time you wish you could have back. Oh, and it makes for hilarious television.

Chestnut jokes can never get old can they?

For me? It’s the latter. I had a great time in high school (too great if you ask me) but it was one of the best times of my life when you consider the lack of responsibility I had. I can’t recall another time where I had the most amount of freedom and the least amount of responsibility at the same time.

So I have found that the reason most television shows have those reunion episodes is because it’s all so true. The “realness” of the situation is intriguing because we can all relate. It’s all too personally familiar.

Yet, I still don’t get the purpose of going back to it all.

Especially this day in age.

In today’s world the popularity of social networking sites (i.e., Myspace, Facebook, etc), in my opinion, have taken out the necessity of high school reunions. They have made them irrelevant.

For example, everyone I cared about in high school I’ve managed to keep in touch with and visit from time to time. But thanks to the idea of social networking, even those I never really cared for have somehow contacted me and ended up on a meaningless “friends” list.

And you know what’s funny?

I know where they all live. I know whether they’re married or single, how many children they have or how they look. I know where they work, what their religious preferences are, and even they’re income level.

Heck, I even get a nice little reminder when they’re birthday is around the corner.

All thanks to social networking.

So, again, I just don’t get it.

Everything a high school reunion is supposed accomplish has been thwarted by the likes of one “Tom” and a bored college student by the name of Mark Zuckerburg.

So I beg the question: what’s the point of high school reunions? Seriously, if you’re reading this, I really want to know because I have yet to find a relevant and descent answer.

Suffice it to say, I personally think high school reunions are ridiculous and dumb. They’re designed to make you feel and act exactly how you felt in high school. A weird feeling of awkwardness coupled with a sense of urgency to impress.

If you really want to know how good ol’ (insert name) is doing, look them up on Myspace or Facebook. Want to find out if those rumors of (insert name) you’ve been hearing about are true? Look them up on Myspace or Facebook. It’s all a click away.

So thank you Myspace and Facebook. You have made my excuse for not attending my high school reunion that much easier.

Monday, March 10, 2008



That pretty much sums it up the last month.

My wife. My daughter. My spirit.


A culmination of unfortunate events over the past several weeks have left my family hurt, tired, and exhausted. Weary. Pretty much any other word related to the Tiresome Family, The Worrisome household, and the Uncertainty bunch. They were all in town needed a place to stay.

Come on in, the couch pulls out. Do not touch my food.

And although I’m trying to make light of an otherwise very serious ordeal (those who know me well know how pure my inappropriateness can be), my life over the past month has been “a series of words that cumulate to feelings and thoughts of gentle sadness.”

What is ‘melancholy’, Alex.

Yet the one word that I particularly found relevant during those trying hours and subsequent days was one that I did not expect to find mostly because I’ve rarely encountered it in my life. This word, at its core nature, its very heart, is scarcely found in today’s world. It can be said that very few- and I mean very few- people actually have the ability to live out its definition.

The word? Genuine.

Although I’ve always known- to some extent- what great friends my wife and I have, I believe my understanding of just how great they are came to fruition over the last few weeks. They defined what it meant to be genuine.

To be earnestly sincere and to be a true definition of what it means to be a friend.

To love without hesitation and to care without expectation.

It was staggering. It was a type of genuineness that I have never truly encountered in my life. You felt, heard, and saw the purity in it.

Sure, there have been times in my life where an “I’m sorry,” here and a “Wow, that must be tough,” there type of reaction was warranted, but the outpouring of love that we received from so many people particularly our close friends was insurmountable. It reassured me of God’s ability to show Himself through His people.

The human race- particularly Christians- aren't completely retarded after all.

So I decided to pick up a dictionary and look up the definition of the word when I got home and, although there are several, one in particular stuck out to me. It defined the word genuine as:

Actually produced by or proceeding from the alleged source or author (i.e., the signature is genuine).

Of course, the cliché’ police showed up, and I began to put two and two together. The conversation in my head went as followed:

Josh #1- Wow, that’s an interesting definition. Why is it so profound?
Josh #2- Because, dork, you’re seeing a metaphor at work.
Josh #1- Ok, slow down with the big words Joe Routhier…
Josh #2- Geez…Believers are supposed to be God’s walking signature. Proof of His love and grace. He is our source and we are his production. Come on moron, it’s not that hard.

But what really struck me about the whole thing is just how poor a signature I really am. I'm a pen almost out of ink. I’m the Kmart of signatures.

It’s like God forgot to use a #2 pencil when he began to bubble me in on the Scantron of life.

Yet, I try. I try to be genuine and caring but realize it's only for the sake of being genuine and caring. I’m selfish at heart. I’m a selfish human being. I'm just a selfish person overall.

And knowing that you’re selfish at heart, while trying to be genuine makes about as much sense as ordering a Diet Coke because you super-sized the fries. It’s just a ruse to make you feel better, but you’re still killing yourself.

But my friends? They get it. Each of them so quick to offer everything they have, not because they want to feel good about themselves, but because they love God. Every Friday night, I see a sincere passion for Him in their lives.

Me? I don’t bother to read because I hate “The Message” transcription of the Bible.

Told you I was selfish.

However, the lessons I’ve learned through this whole ordeal come down to three general ideas. I’ve realized that- a) My wife is a stronger woman than I ever gave her credit for, b) My family and our time together is extremely dear, and c) While genuine people are hard to find, genuine friends are even harder.

Genuine friends are few and far between in world that worships self-promotion. They’re uncommon. They’re scarce.

But I’ve been blessed with some great friends who I can honestly say- and this is a stretch for me to admit- I can trust. I can trust them to be there for my wife. I can trust them with my daughter’s life. I can trust that they’ll be there for my family no matter what. I can just plain trust them.

And that trust, that genuine friendship, is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Ok, may a 60 inch flat screen HD TV with surround sound and a premium sports package, but I’m working on that.