So, it’s springtime, and if you are like me that has a front porch with some kind of roof above it, you may have birds trying to build nests. Our front porch is a dang mess. There is bits of trash, twigs, mud, poop, grass, roots, and whatever all over the place.
And I know building a nest is hard, especially if you don’t have hands, and thumbs. Just imagine trying to build a nest only using your mouth. It’s a tough task! But not only does not having thumbs make it hard to build a nest, what about other birds taking apart your nest to build their own! I now have witnessed some birds taking apart each other’s nest to either build their own or noticed that they just straight up wreck the whole nest… they don’t even take any material from it!
Man… what a bunch of jerks!
But I guess that’s life and struggle for the birds, right? And maybe it’s not so different about how humans can interact with each other. It’s sadly not uncommon to witness someone who is trying to build something positive to be ripped apart or torn by another person, due to jealousy or competition. I am also assuming most of you reading this have witnessed this in your personal life.
I’d say that everyone has experienced what it feels like to try to build something, whether it is a life goal, physical stuff, or future, only to get it destroyed by other people or life circumstances. That feeling stinks! It feels awful to feel that all that had work you were doing has now vanished and it’s hard to start over again.
And unfortunately like the birds on the front porch, it isn’t just one bird that is destroying the attempted nest building, but multiple birds. We will also run into multiple people who will destroy what we try to create. I guess this is just part of nature.
So, what can we do? Well, just like the little bird trying to build the nest, that is what we do. Just like the little bird, it continues to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild. We persevere and stay relentless when anyone tries to destroy what we try to build.
What I noticed is that finally that little bird was able to make more progress as her fellow destroyers started to give up. This bird kept at it and I know soon the nest will be finished.
So, I encourage everyone to be resilient and preserve through all circumstances that can shake our confidence and in every situation that destroys what you try to build. Just remember, you have the power to outlast all negativity and all destructiveness that will happen in your path.
Just remember, just like birds, people can be real jerks and tear down your positivity or success. But do not let that affect you in any way. If you believe what you are doing with conviction, keep going. Some people are just hellbent on destruction, but you do not have to let that ruin your dreams, plans, or day. Be relentless in the face of destruction.
I feel like baseball is one of the few sports that statistically you can be pretty bad, but still be considered a good baseball player. For example, let's look at a baseball category called Batting Average. In baseball a medium average is batting .250, which means you average 1 hit out of every 4 at bat attempts. That is considered to be the middle of the road in professional baseball.
Or in other words the way I see it… is that you can fail to accomplish a task 3 out of the 4 times and still be considered decent. In what world would this be considered OK?
Let’s continue. A good batting average is anything near .300, which again is averaging 3 base hits at every 10 attempts. Or in other words, you can fail 7 out of the 10 attempts and still be considered a good baseball player. Do we really see this type of idea anywhere in our world?
I mean if we were to take baseball standards of success into real world application… it would never work! Thank about it… Let's say you have a job, and you work 6 days a week. But out of those 6 days of work you only come to work 2 of the six days. Your average attendance of work is about .300 average. If it were baseball… that’s pretty dang good. But in actual work efficiency and dedication to the job… that can’t be a good thing! If you only came to work 2 out of the 6 days, you are definitely getting fired.
Or what if you're a shop owner, and someone orders 100 shirts, but you send only 30 shirts to the buyer. You gave them an average of .300 of their order. Now again, in the baseball world, that’s good, but in life applications… that is horrifically terrible. Now, I know… it is a bit silly to compare baseball’s idea of success in real life applications, however, baseball is unlike any other sport as well.
Like if we played football and a field goal kicker was only successful 3 out of 10 kicks, that is considered terrible. Or if a basketball player is only making 3 out of 10 shots taken is not very successful either. Only in baseball hitting 3 out of 10 attempts is very good. You just don’t see this anywhere in life or in other sports.
And the reason for this is because hitting a baseball is quite difficult. It is probably one of the more difficult things to do in any sport. Nobody is going to be able to get a base hit in baseball 100% of batting attempts. That is impossible. But hitting a baseball is difficult and well so is life… isn’t it? But life tends to be much less forgiving than baseball is. Life doesn’t put you in the hall of fame if you are only successful 30% of the time of anything! But life is tough, it’s unpredictable, and sometimes success isn’t always done by our own merit. Sometimes it just takes a bit of luck. Also, our failures in life are not just because of the fault of the individual, sometimes bad luck just happens.
But again, life isn’t as forgiving as baseball. Unfortunately, society will measure our successes and 30% just will not measure up. But you know who doesn’t care about any of that? You know who doesn’t keep track of percentages, averages, numbers, or attempts?
God! God doesn’t care about successful attempts or failures. We have a God that loves us no matter what! And God understands that life is difficult, and that society isn’t as forgiving. God doesn’t care about any of those things. He will love you always, and forever, no matter what.
The only thing that matters to God is you and that you give your best effort. Even if your best effort may not measure up to other people’s standards, or that you make a mistake, in Gods eye, it’s ok. The try, the attempt, and hard work is what matters. And in the end, if you keep pushing forward, keep trying, you will find success and peace, especially when you realize you have God as your support. So… keep swinging for the fences! God loves you whether you get a hit or miss!
Easter is approaching and what are some things that come in our minds as Easter draws near? I asked my kids this question and they both answered “church” then followed that answer with “chocolate.”
I must say they are not completely wrong! Easter should be about anything related to church. It should be about the Church, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It should be about salvation, resurrection, and new beginnings.
But it is also about chocolate. Why chocolate? Well, I’d like to think chocolate at Easter time represents happiness and relationships. Just think about it! Every commercial I see on TV that is about chocolate shows people who are happy, and the commercials are generally happy. And most people eat chocolate when they are happy. I do not think I have ever seen a mad person munching away at delicious chocolate.
Chocolate makes us happy, and it is a good companion to have chocolate present with us for Easter. Easter is about happiness as well. It is a joyful day because Jesus is risen from the grave. Jesus is resurrected and through His resurrection won us victory over death. That is something to celebrate. And resurrection is a representing for us a new life. It is out with the old and in with the new! It is a time that we can re-invent ourselves, a way to put away bad experiences and move on to something else. It is about seeing our “failures” not as failures but as a way that we move on from them into something better. Easter represents all of this; it is a joyful time. And what better way to be present with our joy than with chocolate.
Also, chocolate is about relationships. I just recently watched a Hershey’s commercial that showed a boy using sign language to give a chocolate bar to a girl. Typically, we like to not just eat chocolate when we are happy, but also, we use chocolate to give to other people to make them happy as well. It is the beginning of relationship building.
Resurrection is also about relationships. Sometimes it is about rekindling a relationship, or repairing a relationship, or being at peace with past relationships. And we should all be reminded that Jesus is all about relationships. God came to earth as Jesus is be in a relationship with us humans. God loved us so much that all He ever wanted was to be close to us not just temporarily, but eternally. Yes! God wants to be with us… FOREVER! In order for this to happen, God must get face to face with death. God planned on being victorious against death and therefore has bargained our freedom from it if we choose so.
And immediately, when God through Jesus is resurrected from the violent death on the cross, from the darkness of the tomb, He gets right into meeting people. Meets the women at the tomb, the disciples in the locked room, and also the disciples on the road. Jesus is all about being in a relationship and resurrection is the symbol of God continuing to be with us, even after death.
So, chocolate is about happiness and by giving chocolate to other people, we are extending our relationship with them. It is no mystery that Easter and chocolate cannot be separated from each other, just like how God cannot ever be separated from us.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).