Your biggest temptation is to be boring.
Dull. Average. Unremarkable….
It’s your biggest temptation because it’s so easy to do. All that is required of you is to do the same things you do everyday. It becomes reflexive, rote, meaningless.
Life, for the most part is boring. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Wake the kids, take the kids, pick-up the kids. We drive the same streets to the same place to do the same work with the same people. This is what it means to be “everyday.”
The problem with the everyday is that we do it everyday. Our friends have their own versions of “everyday,” too. There is so much of the everyday to every day that after a while we begin to think it’s normal.
But then, we see. We notice that someone, somewhere has a different, more exciting version of their everyday and we wish we could have it. We wish that we were as clever, as adventurous, as daring, as bold. While part of us finds inspiration in witnessing how wonderful their everyday might be, the bigger part of us resents it.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal printed an article entitled “Are We All Braggarts Now?” by Elizabeth Bernstein. Bernstein posits that social media – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, et al. have made us a nation of braggers. For example, Bernstein highlights what are fairly typical Facebook statuses:
- Best gift ever from the best husband ever.
- Swam 30 minutes at a very fast time despite the large amount of Chardonnay served to me on the plane last night.
- Got my first royalty check for my book!
- Sunset sail. Turned into a moonlight sail. Shooting stars everywhere…Perfect.
Wow! That’s bragging?
These, at least to my mind, seem like some people’s everyday. I would love for each wife in my congregation to believe she is married to the “best husband ever.” And I’d want every husband to buy his wife something she would consider the, “best gift ever.”
I know too many people who drink too much, that’s not a surprise…or something to brag about. I also know a great deal of authors. As a writer, I understand how difficult the work is, how long and hard writers press into their craft to create something, and how hard it is to sell what you created. A first royalty check, for full-time writers, is like a friend saying, “I got a job!” which has been cause for celebration over the last 6 years.
And a moonlight sail? That just sounds like the perfect moment to break out that Chardonnay.
These are everyday happenings. That is, they are everyday if you’re not boring. They are everyday if you want them to be. If you’re brave enough to choose what your days look like.
When I tweet about an article I’ve written or a conference where I’m presenting, I’m not bragging. And I don’t think you are either. Why? Because blog subscribers, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and Google+ circles are people I’m interested in who are interested in me.
When my friends have articles and books published; when my friends are teaching and presenting at conferences; when my former college roommate presents a paper at a Philosophy Conference and e-mails me his paper before hand; and when my musician and singer friends cut an album, go on tour, or write a new song and tell me, I don’t think they’re bragging.
I’m happy for them. I’m proud of them. I believe God is maximizing their gifts for impact! I would only feel as if they were bragging, if I felt something else first: JEALOUS!
You know jealousy, don’t you? That covetous feeling you harbor when you suspect someone else’s everyday is more interesting that your own. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you think the everyday happenings of your friends – vacations, fun dinners, career advancements, celebrating their children – is bragging, quite frankly, that’s a ‘You Problem.’
Can you really be upset that a friend got a royalty check when you never sat down long enough to write, you never invested the time and energy? You can’t be upset that your high school friend still looks great, when she has committed to 60-minutes of exercise 6 days a week and your frig is filled with Blue Bell. It’s not your friend’s fault that you poured cold water on your marriage while they kept the fire lit in theirs.
Fortunately, your “You Problem” doesn’t have to stay a problem.
You can create the life you want. You can write that book, pen that article. You can plan an adventure date with your spouse, or plan a fantastic camping trip with your kids – and take pictures of it. You can remodel your kitchen or get tickets to the symphony or seats on the 50-Yard line.
It’s up to you. It always has been!
Stop waiting to be chosen.
Go do something wonderful.
Don’t be lame!
And tell us about it…on Facebook.