Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Thoughts 4/27/12 and a Rant

  • Tomorrow is Elijah's 8th birthday.  Happy birthday, Eli!
  • Do you ever wonder if it's actually legal to wear headphones while driving?  Here's a handy map.
  • There's all kinds of frustration over the Chiefs' first pick in the NFL draft last night.  The highly coveted guys were already gone, they didn't trade down, but instead used their fifth top pick in ten years on a defensive lineman.  And he's a player that underwhelmed in college but looked great at the combine.  Grrrr…  The thinking seems to be that this coach and GM can make something out of him where others failed.  We'll see.
  • Dick Vitale over at ESPN has Kansas ranked 4th for next year, noting Ben McLemore (who sat out last year) as a potential star.  Just six more months until basketball season!
  • Shannon and I like to go the theater to watch plays and musicals a few times each year.  The New Theatre Restaurant has fantastic food and pretty good Broadway-ish shows for a very reasonable amount of money (around $40 per person, meal included).  I just checked the price for tickets for a show at the spectacular new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and the tickets are about $160 per person, no meal, parking not included.  Ouch.  I don't think the Kauffman's had us in mind when they built their pretty new opera house.

And now for something completely different…
  • Hey parents.  How many "good" things do you allow your kids to participate in?  Where's the limit before these good activities begin to crowd each other out, teaching our kids busyness and a hectic lifestyle?  As a minister I've seen a lot of families that wore themselves out on extra-curricular activities beginning in early grade school.  Both parents are running in different directions almost every night so that every child's personal calendar is full and a lot gets lost in the shuffle.  Spouses don't see each other, siblings don't spend time together, meals are eaten on the run, and church gets pushed to the bottom of the list.  What are we gaining from this?  Don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently wrong with pee-wee soccer, girl scouts, dance class, tae-kwon-do, little league and a hundred other activities.  But at some point the family has too much on its plate and something is going to suffer, usually the family and church.
  • For my family, we're addressing the situation like this: 1) Generally no youth sports before junior high.  We might make exceptions but the benefits are overstated and for the most part it doesn't fit our family.  2) Extra-curricular activities are trumped by church, especially on Sundays.  We're just not going to skip church for soccer practice.  Ever.  Sorry.  The life-lesson learned by standing on this principle is far more important than the one activity could ever be. 3) Quiet evenings at home are valuable.  "Doing nothing," i.e. socializing, playing, conversing, compromising, learning respect, and getting along are valuable skills that must be learned before age ten.  4) Fair means appropriate not equal.  Not all siblings get to do the same activities or have the same level of busyness at the same time.  Some will do more or less or get more or less help based on what Mom and Dad deem to be appropriate for that child at that time.  Get over it and learn to be happy for your sibling (i.e. the world doesn't revolve around you, junior).
  • What's my goal here?  To instill in these short people: …that family and church are more important than self.  …that serving behind the scenes is more valuable than being in the spotlight.  …that developing a quiet spirit is superior to being constantly busy.  …that self-worth is derived from what God sees and not what your audience sees.
  • My job as a father, for which I'll answer to God, is to teach and demonstrate this to my children to the best of my ability.

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