Posts Tagged opportunity
My eight-month-old son has always been extremely forceful about pushing the limits of his physical capacity. With each new skill he has learned — whether rolling, sitting, or scooting — he has immediately set his sights on pursuing the next thing. (At a mere three weeks of age he was able to lift up his head completely on his own.)
Over the past week he has learned a new skill: standing.
He can’t stand independently, but as with every previous pursuit, he certainly thinks he can. He pulls himself up on anything he can find — our couch, his toys, his crib, whatever — and each time he is successful, his eyes light up, his muscles flex, and his voice sounds out what Walt Whitman would surely call a barbaric yawp.
He is empowered. After all of his struggling, all of his toiling, and all of his striving, his muscles are finally ready to support his body sufficiently.
But alas, standing is not good enough. Within minutes he moves away from his object of security toward the nearest open space. Slowly and intentionally, he begins to test the unknown, moving one hand away from his support until finally falling to the floor with a resounding thud.
This type of failure is continuous, but it does not discourage him. Within seconds, he pulls himself up and once again pushes away from his support, fighting feverishly to Read the rest of this entry »
I’m about one week late to the Web frenzy surrounding The New York Times Magazine’s most recent piece on “emerging adulthood.” I had a variety of reactions to the article (both positive and negative), but I wasn’t interested in saying much until I read Mark Driscoll’s provocative article in The Washington Post (“The world is filled with boys who can shave”).
The Times piece focuses on today’s ”emerging adults” and tries to answer why so many are taking so long to reach adulthood. Driscoll seems to accept most of the article’s root analysis, but he uses it more as a launching pad for his own discussion of adolescence as it relates to today’s young men.
Historically, a guy would go through two life phases: boy, then man…But here’s what’s happened. Rather than moving from boy to man by this succession of sociological transitions, we’ve created something called adolescence…
Today, adolescence starts somewhere in the teen years and continues indefinitely. There is no foreseeable end. The problem with adolescence is guys don’t know when they’re ever going to grow up and be men, and no pressure is exerted on them to do so.
Driscoll goes on to label this trend a “Peter Pan Syndrome epidemic” in which “men want to be boys forever.”
For me, as a twenty-something who has (hopefully) completed the transition through modern-day adolescence, it’s hard to deny the reality of what Driscoll is describing. It was always difficult to identify the exact time I was supposed to Read the rest of this entry »
When the environment gets neglected, we hear that government needs to take action. When the economy goes down the tubes, we are told that bureaucrats must come to our rescue.
But for Evans Githinji, a 32-year-old entrepreneur in Kenya, achieving prosperity and exhibiting proper stewardship is simply a matter of imagination and initiative. Kenya’s economy is far from thriving, yet Githinji has found a way to both curb environmental harm and bring value to his economy despite his disadvantages.
Hear his story here:
As the video tells us, Githinji’s efforts have led to the opening of 23 collection yards, each of which employs 100 youths in collecting plastic bags.
“I feel great,” says Githinji. “And I feel I’m doing something good for this nation.”
But would it have been better if the Kenyan government had stepped in long ago? Would it have been more efficient if taxpayer money had been poured into dumptrucks and garbage collectors? Would the government have a better grasp on wage rates than Githinji does? Would it be better for Kenyans if the government banned Read the rest of this entry »
If you’ve ever thought that Panera Bread Co. was too pricey for soup and sandwiches, you now have an opportunity to voice your opinions more directly.
Panera has recently opened a nonprofit store that will allow customers to pay what they want for a meal, and there are already plans to open additional nonprofit stores in the near future.
“While the store does have cashiers, they don’t collect money. They simply hand each customer a receipt that says what their food would cost at a conventional Panera. The receipt directs customers with cash to donation boxes (there are five in the store). Cashiers do accept credit cards.”
The first store is named St. Louis Bread Co. Cares, and according to the USA Today article, its proceeds will be used “to train at-risk youths or to feed folks lacking funds to feed themselves.”
Giving money to help those in need is a lofty goal, but isn’t Panera just acting as a middleman between individuals and their target of charity? As I’ve expressed elsewhere, wouldn’t it be more efficient if individuals just diverted their dollars directly to those in need? They could certainly maximize their Read the rest of this entry »
What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought he would?
Whether it’s job loss, miscarriage, divorce, cancer, or any number of unfulfilled dreams, we all have situations in which we want to challenge God and say, “This isn’t what I had planned.”
When I started reading the book, I was expecting a layman’s spin on conventional suffering theology, but for the most part, Wilson doesn’t even go there. Instead, Plan B is more of a Bible-based manual for coping with unexpected situations than it is a complicated theology for understanding them.
When it comes to the coping component of the book, Wilson offers the following advice for times of crisis (and I summarize):
- Lean toward God. Don’t run from your situation.
- Give God room to work. Don’t pretend you have total control.
- Be ready and waiting for God’s signal. Don’t hesitate when God provides opportunities.
- Trust and fear the Lord. Don’t be paralyzed by earthly concerns.
- Base your faith on God’s identity. Don’t base it on His activity.
- Align your desires to God’s. Don’t be selfish.
- Find light in the darkness. Don’t forget that God can turn evil for good.
- Stay in close community. Don’t allow yourself to become isolated.
These points dominate most of the book, and Wilson backs each with examples from the Bible and his pastoral experiences. But he doesn’t completely end it there. He goes on to emphasize that even with our best efforts to navigate these situations effectively, many times we will Read the rest of this entry »