Skip to main content

expiry date

I threw out something today that was past the expiration date. The year 2007 was printed on the back of the bottle, and I figured it was time. Probably way past time. I don't know why I hold onto things that are no longer useful. It seems wasteful, I guess. But whether or not it is wasteful is not always the best deciding factor.

I said something yesterday that I regret. It was posed as a question, and on some level I guess I was asking for information, asking to understand, but the question was pretty loaded. It was skewed to carry the following message: "What's your problem? Why don't you get it together? I've figured this out, why can't you?" I didn't even realise how arrogant my attitude was until it was pointed out to me (those are real friends for you). It turns out that there are other ways to see a situation, to accomplish a task, than my way. There are people with completely different sets of skills from what I have, and I can be somewhat blind to their existence and effectiveness.

I acknowledged this in my head, but I found it hard to let go of my biased opinion for some reason, even though it was obviously not useful. It could even prove to be harmful if left unchecked, but something inside me said that there must be some grain of truth in what I was thinking. Something could be salvaged, something would be found right so that I wouldn't have to toss my whole train of thought (and my pride) aside. That would be such a waste. I was convinced that if I thought about it long enough and played a bit of Rubik's cube with the words, if I just rephrased the question, it would still be a valid query. I was wrong.

I had to pry the thing out of the tightly clenched fingers of my heart. I had to remind myself that I value humility. I value love. I value the well-being of others over my own self-fulfillment. I am not perfect and I see things wrongly sometimes. I may be a leader in a church, but that doesn't mean I have the correct perspective all the time. I have days when I just get it wrong, when my attitude is stinky, and the quicker I let it go the better for everyone involved. C'mon, Matte, just toss it in the garbage and get on with a fresh start.

Humility loves fresh starts. Pride resists them. God resists the proud. He embraces the humble. I like to be embraced. Decision made. *toss*

This is a picture of my expired crap. It is now in the garbage.


Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.


When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …