Bring it!

Dr, Gary, Davis, attitude, failure, stubborn, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, Really?  You want some a dis?  You want a piece of me?!? Bring it! Ah, the joys of the competitive brag! Nothing like it to spar some grand fisticuffs or a friendly challenge (or, not so friendly).

            Bring it! is also an expression used in business between definitely not-so-friendly rivals. People believe this kind of attitude will up the scales of productivity and competitive edge. Probably. Maybe. Or not.

            The point is that, for some of us, Bringing It is a way of live, an attitude of life. We like a good challenge. We rise to the occasion when someone says “We just can’t do that. It won’t work.” There is something built into our DNA that responds “Thank you.” And then we get about the business of making things work.

            But some of us have this attitude of— But what if I’m wrong? What if they’re right about me? What if I fail? Really?!? You’ll never know unless you try. As I said in my blog titled MY FAILURESIt’s taken most of my life, but I’ve finally perfected failure to an art-form. And I have learned from my failures. One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that FAILURE is simply an indication that I have not yet figured out what I am designed to DO best. So…, go for it…, again.

            The challenges we face in life span the diversity of graduating kindergarten to getting your first real job, from getting married to changing your first, ever, diaper, from discovering your passion to founding your first company. But these tests all have the same things in common— courage, risk, fear, determination, know how (except for the diaper thing) and commitment. Whether you believe in yourself or not, you will come to a point in life where you will make decisions that change everything. You will.

            If you shy away from these momentous moments you will admit defeat and settle for whatever comes your way. Do you really want to do that?

            Sometimes we all find ourselves in what is known as survival mode, survival mentality. Just get through this— the wedding, child-birth, the termination, a loss of income, the fear of being unknown. But to remain there is life-sucking suicide. You will still breathe the air and take up space; but that is about all. You will take what comes your way and remain there until you die. WOW! What a way to live!

            Might I instead suggest you look failure in the face, kick your courage into top gear, rise above your fear, and with a defiant voice cry out loud —

Bring it!

  Gary

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My Failures

 Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, failure, fail, grade, failedFailure. “It’s taken me most of my life, but I think I have perfected FAILURE to an art form.” A great quote, isn’t it? Many of us try to hide our failures, believing that they will reveal that we are losers, incapable of finishing anything, of accomplishing anything of significance. Others have a deeply rooted fear of failure and so work themselves to death to be successful. Probably another group of us are content with being failures. It’s just too much effort to try anymore.

            The choices we make in life will determine whether we are successful, marginally successful, or, well, failures. Then again, it also depends on who is defining success, failure. Being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company with your 5th wife, with kids who don’t want to be around you is not much of a success in my book.

            Speaking of my book, I would like to reveal to my more pertinacious readers some of my failures.

1.      I failed in being a good dad to my kids when they were younger.

2.      I failed in being a good son to my dad.

3.      I failed to build the kinds of teams needed to expand the reach of NEED’s principles of communication-in-community to Christians who still do commando raids for Christ.

4.      I failed in living out the holiness God has already granted me.

5.      I failed in being a consistent, genuine Christian, often falling into being merely a nice one.

6.      I have frequently failed in humility, seeking my own ascent in place of lifting up others.

7.      I failed in resilience, settling for 2nd best, 3rd; or I’ve just given up, giving in to hopelessness.

8.      I failed in losing my temper 8-9 times in my life. Maybe that’s not too bad?

9.      I failed in admitting I was wrong too many times.

10.  I failed in many relationships, disappointing people and letting them down.

There are many more areas in which I’ve failed but I must limit this confession to one page for the sake of my readers. If you want, I can tell you more things I’ve done that are really terrible. Seriously.

If I can admit the things where I have failed, maybe you can to. Some things I’ve been able to correct and received forgiveness; others, not so much. But I do not dwell here: I press on, still failing, making colossal mistakes, and watching God make use of me nonetheless.

Pass/Fail? God have mercy,

  Gary

preemptive positioning

Dr, Gary, Davis, restitution, reconciliation, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, posturing, positioningIn time of war a preemptive strike is meant to give “first strike advantage.” Strike first, surprise the enemy, and win the day. The same is true in much of the world economy, interpersonal relationships, and politics. It’s all about positioning. [I wonder if we even play this game with God.]  Humans tend to want the higher ground in all creation. We need to win, to be right, to dominate in business, in interpersonal relationships, and in our general mindset that—

I am always right!

            We hold and assert preemptive presuppositions on just about everything.

“There is NO God!”  “There is only One God!” 

“God is on our side!”

“Killing anything, anyone, ever, is wrong!”

“War is always wrong!”  “Peace at all costs!”

“All men are pigs!”  “All women are manipulative!”

“Eating meat is wrong.” “Vegetarians are stupid.”

You get the picture. We position ourselves as judges over other peoples’ life-choices so we can pontificate for our position. In so doing we dismiss their thinking with little comprehension, let alone compassion, for what they value and hold dear. THAT is what makes such positioning both presumptive and preemptive. We drift naturally toward winning the debate more than considering the person or society so different from our own.

            Is this what we want out of life? To be on top? To control? To win at any cost? Granted, there are many things worth fighting for; some worth dying for. But to start with a preemptive strike, and continuing to annihilate your adversary’s position, and/or life, does not add much to human dignity, let alone reconciliation and restitution.

            May I proffer that a preemptive strike may win the day, but hardly the war. For a peoples’ values and beliefs run deep; defeating your enemy may give birth to generations of aggressors against you. I’ve always found Jesus’ words to be of some value— “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Probably something we should all work at a little more. For it calls on the greater power, be it a nation or individual, to create a path of peace. This is hardly our world’s operating procedure today. Contrary to Vince Lombardi’s, Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing, maybe it is the peacemakers who are the ones who truly win.

  Gary

Playing God

Dr, Gary, Davis, Needinc, Clueless, Christianity, Christian, God, Playing, reality, pride, self-centered, atheist, beliefPlaying God. How many of us do this unconsciously every day of our lives. Of course, if you are an atheist, you cannot play; there is no one to impersonate. But if you are anything else you have probably wanted to be God in some situation or another. Sometimes, for the good—as in saving a life or preventing a disaster:  other times, for your own selfish control—you just want things to go your way. Everyone else be damned. This last reason is the most likely explanation why you are not God. You’re not that good at playing Him. It’s always too much all about you.

            Too many of us believe that playing God is about exerting absolute power over things. Some of the men I know try to do this in their immediate families with varying degrees of disastrous results. Fathers want to be dictators or drill sergeants, yelling out commands with unquestioned authority. Thank God He isn’t like that. To the contrary; he actually tells us what He wants from us, so there will be no question.  Psalm 51:16, 17 puts it best—

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.

You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Basically, outward shows of worship do not compare in any way with an inner understanding of our place in the universe. But why broken?” Really?!? Do any of us truly need to ask? Our propensity to play God is only usurped by our arrogant assumption to become God, at least of our own little realm.

            So thus do we come to play God with everything and everyone around us. Our species has a natural proclivity to assert ourselves. We are restless. We cannot wait for definition or direction; we must determine our own direction with only a casual glance to the impression we may leave on this planet, in the universe, or on other creatures. It truly has become all about us.

            We become the God we reject and complain when others will not play the game our way. And so follows war, cultural degradation, family dissolution, and a re-writing (in many forms) of the internally inscribed moral-code; for there is no one left to constrain us…; but us.

            Really!

            Though I am but one man, one human, of one species among many, I do have a sense that I am part of something far greater than myself. And though I do dare to play god at times, in my own little universe, I am always mindful that I am but a small player in a grand scheme, designed by Someone much more omnipotent than myself.

            So the next time you are tempted to assert your manhood, or your womanhood, or your position or authority over another, do so from the perspective that you are no greater than the God of the Universe dares allow you: and prostrate yourself before Him. Next to me.

  Gary