Hey Sports Fans!

Just a quick heads-up that this is the time of year when many guys crash and burn, right along with their favorite team. Crazy as it sounds, when the football season ends there is depression for some guys. And with that depression can come the urge to medicate with pornography, strip clubs or affairs.

Here in Denver we haven’t hit that point just yet (sorry Steeler fans). But I can tell you there is a noticeable difference in the feel of this city, and specifically the countenance of many men, after the season ends. Regardless of whether it went well or not, it’s almost like a lull sets in. There’s nothing to look forward to. No plans for Sunday afternoon. Nothing to take up the space in the cubicle conversations. Nothing to be fanatical about. There can be a restlessness and a sadness that permeates life.

If this is you, I have a couple suggestions. First, own it. Acknowledge and own that you’re affected by the end of your team’s season. Own it if a lull feels like its setting in. Second, decide now that it won’t rip you off. There is too much life to live, too much at stake in your relationships and too much joy available in Jesus to let a sports team/season send you into a tailspin. Third and finally, invest in what matters. Aim your fanaticism at your sanctification process, at deepening intimacy with your wife and kids, at being the best you possible on campus. You’ve got Monday nights, Thursday nights, Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday free now – do something with it that matters!

 

Post Holiday Let Down

Tis the season…and for so many folks, the season is one of tumult, anxiety, triggers and temptations. For a lot of guys though, the issues don’t really show up until the dust settles down.

For many men, the ability to power through seems innate. The holidays become another gauntlet to navigate, much like the obstacle course that work can be. We become pretty darn good at just putting our heads down and bulling through the shenanigans of shopping, cooking, Christmas lights, put up, tear down, in-laws and outlaws. I was just talking with a pastor about this the other day. He was explaining the necessity of working til 1:30am to get the music and nativity scenes right, and how the last few weeks have been the big, final push of the year at the church. He’s running on adrenaline at this point, it’s activation being 1 part pride of work and commitment to the Gospel and the other part being caught in the frenetic pace of the Holidays.

But soon the hoopla will be over. And for those of us who simply medicated our emotions with a few too many eggnogs, the dust settling can mean the anger and temptation begin to click up. So I wanted to give you a couple practical tips for navigating the aftermath.

  1. If you’ve been powering through, remember that your emotions have been affected. Your heart has been impacted. Just because you didn’t take time to engage it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. So this weekend, give yourself some time to engage your emotions. Journal. Pray for God to illuminate what needs to be dealt with.
  2. Schedule time with one or a couple of your guys to download how it all went. Be in community as a part of your process.
  3. Celebrate surviving. Hey, it can feel that way sometimes! Especially if you’re part of the production at church and cranked for the last month, give yourself a chance to celebrate. Go out to eat at your fave restaurant, go to the shooting range, play a round of golf, go to a movie, grab a good book. Something. Something besides celebrating the old way, if you know what I mean. Too many guys in recovery don’t know how to celebrate wins in a healthy way.
  4. Remember that if you’re in the marital reconciliation process right now, you can’t afford to check out. You can’t take too much time to just veg out. Your downtime is as important as your uptime. Passivity cannot win.

Hey Jesus, your sacrifice was wasted

I’m angry today. I’m frustrated. I’m hurt. I’m feeling overwhelmed and a little beat down. More than all that, I’m feeling a sense of resignation. Like giving up.

On what…you might ask…

On us.

I was on radio yesterday for 3 hours and story after story, caller after caller had the same situation. Someone in their life has basically looked Jesus in the eyes and said, “Hey, Jesus, your sacrifice was wasted on me. That whole ‘full life’ thing you talked about…nah, I’ll pass.”

Rather than resolve to live in humility, under God’s sovereign wing, surrendering to what he may be calling us to, we’ve allowed ourselves to fall into a dull, mediocre life justified with Scripture, rationalized with the realities of life’s difficulties, medicated with sex, money, alcohol, entertainment, sports and even church. We succumb to the gravitational pull towards brokenness, revenge, entitlement, greed, selfishness and perhaps worst of all, mediocrity.

I just can’t get my head around that Jesus came to earth, was beaten, abused, rejected, kicked out of his hometown, insulted, ridiculed and then murdered. For us. How many times during his life, especially in the 3yr period of his main ministry, did he think about cashing it in? So much easier to have been a fisherman. Or a tax collector. Or a pharisee. Anything other than following God’s call. Anything other than the way of pain and persecution.

But he didn’t give up. He didn’t resign. He didn’t give excuses for why it was too hard. He didn’t sit around pointing the finger at others, complaining about Peter being a hothead or Thomas being a whiner. He didn’t spend his time playing the victim card, trying to make some psychobabble justification for a mediocre life today based upon the fact that his parents forgot about him as a kid. He just, as best I can tell, woke up each day, looked it in the face, and adopted a posture of willingness to be led by the Spirit and committment to faithfully following the Father. He didn’t give up on me. Or you.

So I can’t resign or give up either. Because He didn’t. Hopefully, if you’re struggling with resignation, you won’t let it win the day. If nothing else, as an act of worship and a response to the model before us. Maybe today you decide to stop letting the past define your present, and ripoff your future. Perhaps today you decide to own your junk, and apologize to the people whom you love and have hurt the most. Maybe today you decide that it doesn’t matter whose fault it is, but you’ll be the one to take the first step towards fixing it. I hope so.

**UPDATE**

Strangely enough, after I sat down to write today, I saw Shelley’s latest post. I wanted you to see it too. Turns out we’re channeling the same wavelength – https://rlforwomen.com/whats-breaking-my-heart-today/