No bad gig

Jerry Seinfeld is one of my comedy idols. The fact that his show Seinfeld still amazes me is so shocking to me. Because it went off the air like 15 years ago.

And his new show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is awesome. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.

In the show, they do what the title suggests. Talk about life and comedy.

In a recent talk with Jay Leno, Seinfeld says that there is no bad gig. Leno then describes a terrible gig he had at the Playboy Club in the 70s where he was graded on his performance. And Jerry asks him, “you got paid, didn’t you?”

No bad gig. I like that concept. Because it means what I’m doing now is not meaningless. It means everything is preparation for the future. Nothing is bad because it’s all going somewhere.

It also means that there is no downtime because every situation can better prepare us to go after our dreams.

So don’t get down because your influence isn’t where you want it to be. Simply move forward knowing there is no bad gig. Maybe you’re in the practice stage. Or possibly in the early stages of funding your dream.

Do all you can to better yourself, your influence, and your skills.

Because there is no bad gig.

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I’m being short

I’d like to think I’m a good husband and father but I’m realizing how short I can be with my family. Not just short in outbursts of anger or frustration but short in the sense of my attention span. I tend to give them a little bit of my energy at the end of the day. A very short space of time, I’m realizing. I tend to give what’s left and not what’s best.

I am probably better than some and worse than others but honestly, I don’t care. It is not enough and I’m trying to work on it. Trying to be home and be present way more than I ever have been before.

Giving my family my all is not coming home and turning on the TV. It is not coming home to read a book or to just zone out and go do something I want to do while neglecting them.

It is asking them how their day was immediately after kissing my wife in a passionate way. Maybe make her embarrassed to be around the kids. Ok, I’m slightly kidding. Slightly.

Giving my all means asking them how they’re doing and listening. Really trying to comprehend it and take it in. It also means playing a game with your kids. Or wrestling them to the ground and letting your imagination take over just as much as theirs. It means sitting with your wife and helping her with what she may need.

Giving your all to be a better father is hard work but in the end, you’ll have followers of God because of it. If you just come home and watch TV, you’ll all just zone out and become followers of whatever you are consuming.

Let’s switch from consuming things to being contributors. Create something with your family. But start by being an active part of your family. Stop being short and give them your all.

Verse 7

Ever have a quote that stuck out to you? A verse that changed you for the better?

One quote that did that for me was/is Jeremiah 24:7. Here it is in the English Standard Version:

“I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.”

I’ve forgotten it many times in my life. But every time I read it I get excited. Not just because of the truth contained therein but also in the discovery of that verse.

You see, I’m not the type of person to open up my Bible to any place and ask God to reveal to me some truth. But I did this one time. Let me set the scene.

I was in the living room of a friend’s house. I stayed the night because we were cramming ourselves silly with the story of Jack Bauer. I think we watched like 12 episodes in a row. And I was hoping to see God move through the college ministry I was helping at the time. I had helped start this college ministry and been through the trials and tribulation. And we were going through a major transition.

We had been doing ministry through other students for a year or so and we felt like God was calling us to start over. And as all churches do when they start over, we wanted to have a name change. We had the name of United Christian Fellowship (UCF) and we knew that this was not a trendy name and it didn’t really define us anymore. At first, we wanted to be like McDonalds and be in every city in the world. God humbled us.

So name change time…

I was dead tired from watching the exploits of Mr. Bauer and I told God that He must give me a new name for the ministry because I was tired and we had been thinking about it for a week or so.

So I opened up my Bible and asked Him to guide me to the verse that would define a movement of God.

Jeremiah 24:7. I didn’t even start with verse 1. My eyes went straight to verse 7. (Why do we call it a verse? Most non-Christians probably hate that term or have no idea what we are talking about. Why not just call it quote or something like that? I digress)

I have been at this place of rediscovering God and the church and who He has called us to reach and I believe that this is why God had me rediscover the verse that most captured me in the beginning. Because most journeys always start at rediscovering the beginning and moving forward from there.

What quote has most changed you? Ok, you can be all Christian too and give the verse if you’d like.

Doers

Do you surround yourself with doers?

That’s a question that was asked of me recently. And honestly, my answer is not really. I tend to gravitate toward those who have big dreams. Moments of hope that will take the world and turn it upside down. Elements of radical change that lead to lives transformed.

I used to say that I was around dreamers because those are the people just like me. But I’m realizing that that has simply become my excuse.

And I’m making a change in my life. It is not that I want to be around people who simply focus on today but it is about surrounding myself with those who can help me accomplish my dreams. Help me to get to where I need to be. Yes, need to be.

I know people that are younger than me that have accomplished 1,000 times more than I have. NBA stars are 10 years younger than me. College freshman were born in like 1995. I was in line at the movies to see Independence Day.

I know some friends who have written books. Some are even published. I have friends who have written 100’s of songs.

Yet here I sit with my hands in my pocket hoping for more in this life.

It’s time to get up. Who’s with me.

Love > doing the dishes

What’s the thing that drives you up the wall? That leaves you bitter and yearning to get away from it all? The thing that most needs to be done but has the last spot on your list of priorities?

Mine is doing the dishes.

“Why not switch to paper dishes, Jason?” you ask. They suck too. Because second on my list of hated things is taking out the trash.

I can’t stand it. I loathe that time of the day (or week since I tend to let it build up). But I’ve realized that doing the dishes may be the most spiritual time of the week for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to say that I don’t get in the Bible enough or that I don’t pray because I do those things. I’m just stating the fact that I hate dishes and therefore, it is a huge sacrifice for me.

The reason it is the most spiritual is because I may hate dishes but my wife loves it when I do them. She is extra nice to me on the days I do the dishes and for that alone, it is worth it. Happy wife, happy life right?

Wrong. I do the dishes because I am called to sacrifice for my wife. I am to lift her up in all the ways that I can. I may even be a stumbling block to her by not doing the dishes because I am simply helping the fury to rise up within her.

My pastor Josh has been in a series called Love and it has explored the idea of showing love in all relationships yet the thought that sticks out to me the most is this:

You are most like Christ when you are serving your wife/family.

That thought is changing me for the better.

Olympian

I have always wanted to be an Olympian. Not winter, mind you because I hate skating and all that cold stuff. I didn’t even like going to Appalachian State to try out for the music program in the month of February. It was like 10 degrees there and I decided not to attend that school simply because it was too cold. But maybe I could have joined the Jamaican bobsled team.

I have always wanted to be an Olympian. But I’ve never had the focus or determination. In fact, I never ran track or played sports organizationally past middle school. I wasn’t close to 10,000 hours in any sport except maybe Tecmo Bowl/Madden, Bases Loaded, or NBA Live.

But I like watching the Summer Olympics. Swimming. Basketball. Track. Even Gymnastics. And I appreciate the idea of the winter Olympics but can’t watch for some reason. Maybe hockey or speed skating but that’s pretty much it.

However, this thought of an Olympian has sparked me to realize that I have never been a focused person. I have not shown the determination to do just one thing. Michael Phelps swam 8 hours a day for years before competing. I haven’t done that. Michael Jordan only played basketball, until he switched to baseball that one year. And Bill Gates only worked on computer programming the whole time. I haven’t been like Mike or like Bill.

Yes there was all this other stuff they did. But for the most part, they became pros at what they loved. Their passion led them to work hours for nothing and without even a sliver of possibility for reward. And because of this, they are experts at their passions and people will always remember them for what they love.

So my suggestion is for you to do what you love and become an expert at it.

Drop what you don’t love

My hope for you is to drop what you don’t love and do what you do love. I believe that this is the key to you finding contentment and doing the most that you can.

There is a definite limit to this because even doing what we love will have moments of frustration and angst but if we adopt this principle, I wonder how different our lives will be.

This principle is radical I know and honestly, I don’t know too many people who live this way. In fact, I can count on one hand those pursuing their dreams. And this is so sad to me.

So I urge you to go after your dreams. Maybe you can only start with 5 mins a day. Let’s make a promise to each other to at least focus on what we love for however much we can each day.

There are many people who desire to do things that they aren’t doing. And for some, they’ll never do it. They’ll continue to live lives hoping for more and yet never pursuing it. Don’t be that person. I have been that person and looking back, I hate it.

Drop what you don’t love and do what you do love. Your life will instantly change if you follow this simple principle.