Friday, June 19, 2009

It's the Climb

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna want to make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

-- Miley Cyrus The Climb

If you've read some of my previous blog entries you know that music has a way of inspiring me to think about life. The song quoted above has done this to me once again. In this case it has sparked an introspection on what life is really about.

I believe that there was a pre-mortal life. A life before we were born where in we made choices that led to us coming to this Earth. That pre-mortal life was a time spent with God learning about the ways in which we could be assured to live with Him forever. We made a conscious choice to follow the plan created by Him. Part of that plan was to come to this Earth.

So here we are in mortality. This is our climb. This is the time where we will prove ourselves worthy to return to God's presence. This is our chance to follow the plan and earn our spot in Heaven. "The Climb" has reminded me of this. We are climbing a mountain that will lead us back home. With that said, how do the lyrics of the song apply? I'm just taking the chorus although the verses are also good to explore.

"There's always gonna be another mountain. I'm always gonna want to make it move" - How many times have I seen this in my life. Another challenge. Another test of my faith. Another way for me to prove myself in God's eyes. I kind of like a challenge. A challenge inspires me to better myself and prove to myself that I have the ability to do things no matter what others might think or say.

"Always gonna be an uphill battle. Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose." - Nobody is perfect. We fail; it's part of being human. It's part of learning. It's part of growing. If battles were all downhill we wouldn't have to do much to achieve victory.

"Ain't about how fast I get there" - This reminds me of Aesop's The Tortoise and the Hare fable. The moral of the story is "Slow and Steady Wins the Race". If we try to rush this life we will miss things that could be important. Also we may not complete that which is necessary to achieve our goal.

"Ain't about what's waiting on the other side" - This one I have to disagree with a little. What's waiting on the other side is the whole point of the climb. That said, the focus has to be on what we are doing in order to get there. This means that we need to put the proper priority on things and ensure that we are climbing and not just gazing at the end goal.

"It's the climb" - This is what this life is all about. Climbing the mountain of mortality in order to return to God's presence. What's waiting on the other side makes the climb worth it. However, enjoying and learning from the climb enriches our souls and makes us the best of God's children.

Each of us has our own mountains to climb. Mine are different than yours. No matter how many times I may fall down, I will get back up. Quitting is not an option and the climb is worth it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Things I learned at Cub Scout Camp

This week I had the opportunity to accompany my 8 year old son to Cub Scout Camp. The Camp runs 3 afternoons and is filled with many activities. This year the camp had a Pirate theme. We were assigned to Den 11 and here was our cheer:

Pirates don't go to heaven! We're Den 11! Aaargh!

There were 10 boys in our den and they did remarkably well. There were 6 areas where activities occurred. These areas were Pool, Crafts, Pirate Adventure, Games, BB Gun Range and Archery (I bet you can guess which ones were the boys favorites). There were some great life lessons taught and the boys had tons of fun while learning. Of course as a leader I learned a lot too. Here are the things I learned at Cub Scout Camp:

  1. 8 and 9 year old boys have energy no matter what time of day
  2. Webelos are the ultimate water balloon target
  3. Boys can eat when hungry (Pizza and Burgers at least)
  4. Listening is a skill they have acquired, no matter what you think about your child
  5. Competition is inborn to 95% of them, the other 5% learn it at camp
  6. I should be shooting a gun left handed (explains why I could never hit a target growing up)
  7. Popping balloons with arrows should be a part of every boys life
  8. Contrary to "A Christmas Story" boys don't necessarily shoot their eyes out when handling a BB Gun
  9. Boys fight and get over it, there is no grudge held (adults could learn a lot from this)
  10. Webelos are the best (except when a leader is pitching kick-ball to them then they think things are unfair)

I could go on, but needless to say the camp was great! The staff was great! The boys were . . . well GREAT! Me? I'm tired and ready to sleep.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Of Glee and Regret

Fox has come out with a new show called Glee. I don't know if I can watch it. It hits a little too close to home for me. At least the previews I've seen lead me to this conclusion. The basic premise is a teacher returns to High School to take over the Glee club. The previews show the politics of High School and the so called hierarchy of students (Jocks and such at the top, others down the ladder).

To me this hits home because growing up and through my Sophomore year I always sang in Chorus. I had a few solos in Elementary school and sung decently. I never was great (but I was pretty good I think). Even today I have a decent voice. I was also athletic and played soccer, basketball and baseball.

My Freshman year in High School I tried out for the yearly musical and got a backup singer's role. People told me to stick with it and I might get a more prominent role in the future. My Sophomore year I was invited to sing in the school's Show Choir.

It was this year that I made some decisions that I regret now. You see the politics mentioned above existed in my school (or at least in my perception they did). I felt as though my abilities to sing were a hindrance not a talent. I was embarrassed to be in Chorus, Show Choir and Musicals. In fact the first time I let this affect me was when Yearbook pictures were to be taken for the Show Choir group. The announcement came across the PA system and I just sat in my class instead of getting up and going to have the picture taken. Two more times the announcement came and twice more I slunk deeper into my chair to avoid going. It was one of the dumbest decisions I had ever made.

Needless to say the next year and my Senior year I did not participate in Chorus, Show Choir or Musicals. I moved away from friendships that could have blossomed. I now realize how much I missed out on and for what? It was stupid to be swayed by people's perception. I don't think I made that many more friends with the Jocks. In fact I lost a lot more than I ever gained because of that decision my Sophomore year.

Hopefully those who knew me at that time will understand that I gave in to a perception. I made a poor choice and missed out on what could have been a lot of fun. I missed out on building relationships with people and also blossoming a talent I have. I hope I didn't offend anyone (including the Chorus and Show Choir instructor Mrs. Dennis).

I have learned from this experience. I know that it is important to develop all the talents we have. I will strive to teach my children that a talent is to be cherished and shared. Hopefully they will learn from my mistake and not have the same feeling of regret I experience.