Monday, February 24, 2014

"If you ain't first, you're last" ?

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a great expose on some of the Americana we are escaping from living in Kenya.  This is one of my favorite Will Ferrell movies.  It has some amazing one liners.  In this scene Ricky's on again off again dad gives him some advice that he winds up trying to live his life by.  And he is successful in many worldly ways but it all comes crashing down.

What's our self worth made up by?  Most often it is based on our successes and failures, how (we think) other people view us, our net worth, our stuff, etc.   With this in mind we took our Middle Men to the GP Karting facility in Nairobi for a morning of excitement and life lessons.   

Getting instruction before the warm up qualifying
Sitting in Pole Position

Fighting for position before the hairpin 

So, what should our self worth and self image be based on?

Certainly we should all be trying our best in our activities, in our occupations, in school and in our relationships.  We should always be pursuing excellence, learning from our mistakes and pushing ourselves to the next level.  I fully believe we should teach our kids to "leave it all on the field" and "try your hardest" as they say.  But winning or loosing is a result of many factors such as our preparation, the competition we face and things out of our control such as the barometric pressure, temperature, mood of our target customer, etc on any given day.   Those things effect how we see ourselves.  This is ok when we use it as a motivator to dedicate ourselves to learning more or practicing more to improve our performance in a health way.  If we are make or break on being anything other than first then we are destined to be unhappy with ourselves.  Everyone looses eventually.  There is always someone smarter, faster, stronger and more beautiful in line just behind you, at least eventually anyway.

We always want to be the most popular kid, "most likely to...", and we should strive to be likable by caring for our neighbor and showing interest in those we come in contact with.  We should be liked for our genuine heart and never at the expense of others.  This can be a hard choice when membership in the cool crowd requires tearing down those less beautiful or athletic.

We fathers got to think on this with our sons.  We looked at a ton of Scripture together where God tells us who we are.  We got to see and learn that we are Accepted, Secure and Significant in God's eyes.  This is true even if we don't cross the finish line first, strike out with the game on the line or don't make a 100 percent on the math exam.  This is even true if the seniors make fun of our Minecraft shirt or tease us about our accents.  This is Scripture we can go back to often when we need a reminder or to find some comfort when things are not going so great.  God's Word is eternal and remains valid for each stage of these young boys', turning into men, lives.

All smiles

Making life long memories for me and I hope for Duncan as well.