Does the Adversary Know the Day and the Hour?

Well…it would seem as if he does.

Lately people have been uncovering certain pivotal dates and numbers hidden in media for decades.  Some can seem like a stretch, some appear to be legitimately placed, and others are just downright creepy.  Do a search on the appearance of 9/11 in moves and television and things will quickly turn from coincidence to “whaaaaa…t,” especially considering that when you trace the sources of this so-called art it usually if not always derives from some person or organization who is admittedly a satanist, or illuminati member, or high level freemason or in some other way nefariously connected to the occult.

How is this possible?  Since Jesus Himself said that He didn’t?

Well, I’ve already gone over the problems with taking that verse in such a context within a previous post, but just know that I don’t subscribe to the idea of Jesus being as surprised by the day to the extent that an unbeliever would be, especially since He himself assures us that if we watch and pray, we won’t HAVE to be caught off guard by the day.

But even if we were to subscribe to that idea…let’s say that 2,000 years ago that day was up in the air.  At what point would the clues and signs begin to bring that day into view?

Well, the earliest speculation by a human that I’ve come across was that of Isaac Newton, who also predicted September 23, 2015 as the day using the prophecies in the Book of Daniel as mathematical inspiration.

And I know that we’ve all been conditioned to consider date setting a fool’s errand, but it really isn’t, if you know enough about what you are talking about.  Basically, if you ARE a fool, that’s exactly what it will be.

You can’t just do the math, you have to study the scriptures.  Because when you begin to study the ways of God, the process of elimination will become more precise and you will know that you cannot merely be satisfied with the math, but the symbolism, the meaning, the purpose, and the method.

And when you embrace all of those things, the day of Atonement 2015 becomes as conspicuous as Rudolph’s nose.

I think everyone can observe that end times prediction kicked into high gear around fifty years ago.  The trigger event?  The restoration of Israel and its capital Jerusalem in 1967.  Daniel 9:25 describes this event in detail being pivotal to the beginning of the end, such a gigantic piece of the puzzle that from knowing this event alone it could be relatively easy to predict many end times events.  And considering that these date setters could be within fifty years of the end times, the margin of error is pretty small.  But still, that doesn’t help when you’ve spent massive amounts of money to make billboards that say “We Can Know dot Com.”

Understand that all these date setters did not just suddenly fall off their rocker:  they were likely avid students of Bible prophecy that saw this event and tried to translate God’s little math riddle in Daniel but did not know enough about Biblical language to know that their solutions were incomplete.  Certainly it’s very awkward to the Western ear to hear that the rapture is coming on a Wednesday in September.  But when you hear that Jesus is coming on the day of Atonement in the year 5776, the year of the super Shemitah, year of Jubilee, in the month of Tishrei, well.  That’s sounding super legit now.

It’s because God’s calendar is Jewish.  And the Jewish calendar is not static but based on observation of nature.

At least, it wasn’t always.  As times got modern it became more of a hassle to wait for the grain to sprout to consider it the first month.  I mean the banks in New York or wherever ain’t got time for that, so the Jewish calendar has been off for quite some time.

But God still uses the old one.

And if one can keep track of the old one, then it becomes even easier to determine dates and times as laid out by God.

But I’m digressing.  How is it possible that Satan can know?

Well, aside from him being a former cherub knowing God quite closely, being a part of the spiritual realm, around since the beginning and considerably smarter than a date-setter alive in the 1960’s, there’s a couple other plausible theories.

Whatever the answer, it seems that he not only knows, but is flaunting it.

We all seem comfortable with the idea of Satan knowing that “his time is short,” but can we take it a step further and consider that he is throwing the date in our face?

But why would he?  I know why I’m obsessed with making sure that I’m found worthy to escape the great and terrible Day of the Lord when the restrainer would be removed, but what’s he talking about it for?

Well aside from the occult tendency to hide things in plain sight, September 23 for him would be like his birthday times a billion.  It’s gonna be a good day.  The best it can get for him, really.  September 23 begins his residency, as it were.

Meanwhile God will be shortening the days so that the remnant can survive his government.

And this mess???  I really CANNOT with him.

Quote o’ the Day

‎’Do not worry! Earthly goods deceive the human heart into believing that they give it security and freedom from worry. But in truth, they are what cause anxiety. The heart which clings to goods receives with them the choking burden of worry. Worry collects treasures, and treasures produce more worries’. -Bonhoeffer, Works, iv.165.

Stuff I was thinkin’ about.

I had an interesting encounter with a random guy yesterday in the Kroger parking lot.  He drove up beside me as I was heading inside.  It took me a moment before I realized the repetitive, persistent noise behind me was human, and it was saying, ” ‘scuse me…’scuse me!”  I turned in his direction and then he said, “where do you get your eyebrows done?”  He had a flyer in his hand, he was about to give it to me.

Some guys are doing this new thing now, where they know they have no reason to talk to you, and they know we hate that.  So now they’ve started a business, just to have a reason to bother you.  He’s the second guy in as many months to have done this– make it seem like you’re listening to a sales pitch when suddenly, just when you thought it couldn’t get more annoying, the qualifying questions start getting a little more personal.  The purpose is two-fold, I imagine:  on one hand it gets you talking to a girl; on the other, it makes you seem like you’ve got a job and you’re out there grinding and trying to make something of yourself.  Or at least, it’s supposed to.

So after I tell him that I don’t go anywhere to get my eyebrows done he goes, “oh are you married?”  A perfectly logical follow-up question, right?  If there’s a guy out there who does this, please know that at this point, I’m just anticipating the moment for you to get to the end of your pitch so that I can say no to it.  But I remained respectful.  I think at that point he asked if he could take me out and I said “no.”  I think before that he asked if I was interested in going out with [random strangers that pull up in cars at the Kroger parking lot to ask me out] and I said “no” to that as well.  He tried to whittle down the root of my objections by asking, “why not, is it b/c I’m not wearing a suit?”  Implying that I’m shallow and easily led by appearances.  If you must know, a suit will help anyone’s chances with me.  But it was the very lameness of his existence that actually did him in.  I couldn’t really say that to him, so I instead pointed out the weirdness of his approaching me in a parking lot behind the wheel of a car while his boy sat awkwardly in the front seat.  He realized it was unusual but explained that I caught him off guard and was “dressed so nice today” that he decided to stop.  I tried to tell him that I would give his flyer to some of my friends who get their eyebrows done but he drove away.  He couldn’t get a date, but apparently he didn’t really want any business either.

Has that ever happened to you, ladies?  It seems like the nicer we are the quicker they have to leave our sight and they end up doing something so rude as that.  It just makes me wonder what that exchange was really about, because it wasn’t about communication, and it certainly wasn’t about creating a relationship.  He was so interested only a half a minute before.  Suddenly I’m of so little value to him that he doesn’t even have the energy to listen to me another second.  Maybe he was angry, maybe he was embarrassed, but there’s no doubt the circumstance brought some information out about him neither one of us would’ve known about had I just said “yes” to him.

Guys think we have it easy, when we really just have it hard in a different way.  We don’t face the exact same challenge as they do when it comes to, say, getting a date, but that isn’t to say we don’t have challenges.  When your job is to ask someone out, you have certain things you have to worry about doing or not doing, like picking the right person and/or getting a “yes.”  Likewise, our job is to get asked out, which means we have to be the right person, while simultaneously not being the wrong person, and say “yes” to the right person, which also means saying “no” to the wrong person.  You don’t know if the next time you get asked out will be the last, and you don’t know if you should say “no” to the wrong person if he’s only 1% wrong, or 10%, or 49.9%.  I can’t remember exactly why but the whole incident reminded me of God.

God is a lot like a woman.  People tend to forget this, or gloss over this, especially if you’re a [religious] man.  It’s weird to think of God as a woman, and not in this New Age Philosophy type way.  The fact is both genders are nothing more than expressions of who He is anyways, and neither gender can claim complete ownership of being male or female, which is really more of an office than an identity.  I’m convinced that most of the misunderstandings that happen about God is b/c people forget to think of him as a true, bonafide person.  So let’s practice.  Let’s think of God not only as a bonafide person but as a woman person.

Let’s say you get “serious.”  You come to church, you pray the prayer, you sing the songs, you read the book, you hang out with the people.  God knows you’re full of crap.  He sees your elaborate gesture but it’s not completely certain it’s on behalf of Him.  Then you make your move.  You focus the conversation on what you really want.  A relationship.  A job.  Power.  A nice respectable hobby.  Righteousness.  God tells you “no.”  You get pissed.  Or embarrassed.  You don’t know what you did wrong.  It’s just unfair, really.  It’s bullshit.  So before God can finish speaking, you bounce.  God didn’t need it, but now he knows for sure that you were full of crap.  It wasn’t about Him at all, just about his goodies.  And you know what?  God made a good decision.  He makes the same decision we tell people make all the time if they want to be healthy:  set boundaries.

Weapons of Mass Distraction: a Christian’s manifesto

It’s recently come to my attention (perhaps again?) that there is a tool the enemy uses that we seldom pay attention to but it could be one of his greatest methods of triumph, if not the greatest: getting us to waste energy trying to get things we already have.

I never noticed it before, partly b/c I was falling for it myself.  And also because it was subtle and kind of strange, something that is fairly alien to human deception b/c we so often deal in what is seen.  But there’s so much evidence for it that I’m forced to see the pattern.

The other day my mom was telling me about this sermon that she was listening to about the garden, and how the serpent was trying to tell the woman that they would become like God if they ate the fruit.  “But they already were like God,” my mom paraphrased.  “Huh,” I thought.  I thought it was a good point, even if it seemed a little weak.  I knew the nature of the devil was to lie but he didn’t seem like the kind to go for technicalities.  But what seems like just a technicality is really just a distraction.

And if you haven’t noticed, this world is full of distractions.  Mainly of the media persuasion.  We all know the media tries to create a void in order to sell you a product, they openly admit this.  And we give them a certain amount of respect for it.  We see a persuasive technique played out for our benefit and even though we can see the strings, if we end up wanting that thing there’s a little part of even the smartest of us that goes: “well played sir.  fetch me my credit card.”

I’ll save the conspiracy theory about that whole system another day.  But the point is, if this kingdom belongs to the prince of this world, it would make sense that the highest officers of this kingdom would be so b/c  they prescribe closest to its methods.  But if you are a Christian, you are of another kingdom, yet the same holds true.  Only problem is, we’re taught to believe that we have to contend for this kingdom that we’re already a part of.

I listen to this guy Jon Crowder a lot.  Many people take issue with his theology, but I like him b/c he’s always got a Word that’s fresh and stimulates the mind renewal process.  And as I was watching him talk about unity the other day I thought, “Where have I heard this before?”  Essentially he was talking about how we should stop contending for unity in the body of Christ b/c we already have it.  I realized that a lot of his messages are on this theme of “stop asking God for what you already have.”  Stop asking God for faith, for a spirit of love, for the Holy Spirit.  You already have those things.  Know that you have them.  Then use them.  “The man’s right,” I would think.  The Word says we already have access to this b/c of Christ.  Let’s think on this everyday and see if it doesn’t change how we behave.  And if it works, we should then find out where we got this notion of working hard for something we already have, and beat that person (kidding).

Then, I was watching Bill Johnson.  Say what you want about Bill Johnson but you can’t say he isn’t doing his thing.  He preaches it, practices it, then teaches others to do the same.  And he was talking about the garden as well, only this time he talked about the serpent’s first statement:  “Did God really say?”  And he talked about how the enemy gets us to question the validity and/or understanding of what God says.  He then went on to twist God’s statement but the point was, the seed of doubt is planted that you don’t have all the information.

Here’s God: “Hi.  You are like Me.  Here’s the information you need.”

Here’s the devil:  “That’s not all the information.  You aren’t like Him.”

The strange thing about those two statements, just looking at them they both are pretty compelling.  Both declaring a way of things.  And it is tempting to want all the information, even if it isn’t relevant, who knows where that stems from.  I want to engage the latter statement.  I want to know why someone would say that so I can use my knowledge to combat it.  If I cannot combat it, then I must entertain it.  It’s the Western way.  Surely the devil knows that, and he uses it.  But as I get older I’m getting to the point where the former statement is enough and has proven to be true more and more, and I lose interest in the latter statement, which tends to mislead me and waste my time.

Another thing Bill Johnson brought up was the temptation of Jesus and how Satan opened with, “If you’re the son of God…”  I’ll get to the profundity of all that in a minute, the point is that God had just said a chapter before, in front of a buncha people, “Ya’ll, here go my son.  Right here, there he is.  I’m pleased with him, he’s doin’ good.”  Even put a compliment on it.  And here comes the devil, just putting a spin on something that’s already been said, b/c he can’t come up with any new statements, “If you are…”

If I am?  I am.  What are we talking about?  God himself told me that I am.  In front of witnesses.  Not even like… I mean this is crazy.  It would be one thing if God said, “You are the son of so-and-so,” and he had to take His word on that.  But God says, “You’re my son.”  I mean… there’s no higher verifiable source than God on who His own son is.  But the devil still goes for it.  And you know what?  It almost kinda works, obviously, b/c here’s Jesus undergoing one of the craziest spiritual battles of his life, and what’s the root of it?  His identity.

So, okay #1: Wait a minute, are you serious?!?!  Did he like, not know who he was????  Come on!!!

And  #2: Sound familiar?

So with my mom and Jon and Bill all swirling about the same issue without any prompting I had to go, “okay… this is real.”  And I started to think about the implications of this type of lie.  We’re dealing with invisible things so I can see this getting dicey.  If the enemy can get me chasing and questioning something that I already have… then a couple things can happen.  I can go to God for something I already have, then think He isn’t giving it to me, then think “well, He must have a reason for not giving this to me,” then go around thinking that God doesn’t answer all prayers but you never know which ones but you gotta trust Him, then go telling other people that.

The other thing that can happen is I start thinking I gotta do something to get it.  So I’m trying harder and harder to get something [that I already have], feeling like I’m just not there yet b/c I don’t see it.  Then I look around at other people and I start comparing myself.  “Well they’re not doing as much as me.”  Then I tell other people that they’ve got to do better if they want this thing [that they already have], then I can look at people not doing “good” or doing “bad” and draw conclusions i.e. judge them.

I could undermine the work of the cross.  If Jesus paid the debt, the whole debt, of everyone who’s ever been, and we really believed that, what would happen?  Are we ready to live in a world where we believed that?  Do we even know what that would look like?  Do we know how many deceptions and lies, great and small that we’ve been told over the years from this or that, get in the way of that reality and have to be uprooted?  Could we us and our doctrines out of the way and let God do His job?  Are we ready to offer freedom with no strings?  Have we ever even been taught such a thing?  But it makes sense, if the gospel means “good news.”  And “eternal life through Christ” sounds more like good news than “eternal life with stipulations.”  I mean duh, right?  That’s what everyone expects.  That’s just like, “regular news.”

So my point is, people going around thinking they don’t have what they already have is not only a prevalent deception, it is a primary, fundamental one.  Meaning, you ought to always stop and question this type of thinking.  Just today I was on YouTube watching this forum for black men and women in relationships, and this guy, bless his heart, got up and eventually said something like, “we as men want more power, more strength, more influence…”  Now we could argue about his priorities all day, but when I heard that I just wanted to scream [Negro] YOU ALREADY HAVE THAT!!!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW WITH THIS!!!

But you know what?  If you go around deceived, thinking you don’t have that, then how are you going to behave?  Not well.  And you might be thinking– supposing you understand exactly what I’m saying with all this–  “If this is happening why doesn’t God tell us?”

That’s the thing.  He is.  He had to tell me three separate times through unrelated, unbiased sources before I would even see it.  Before that He would tell me all the time.  And guess what?  I didn’t believe Him.  Because I couldn’t see past the deception.  If I complained about me and how deficient I was He would tell me, plainly, “You’re fine.  You have everything you need already.”  Case closed, right?  But I would either think He was doing that rose (blood?) -colored Jesus glasses thing where He just thinks I’m great no matter what, or I’d think it was some hallucination induced by my inner desire to live complacent without challenges, or some theosophist leaning that seeped through my brain after too much Wizard of Oz or something.

Thing is, He wouldn’t stop there.  If He knew I wouldn’t trust His voice He’d get me to open up the scripture to Corinthians or something, and have Paul say the same thing He just said.  And that would sorta work, but it would just get me praying to Him to get more of this stuff that I already got!!!!  

The deception was like a web over my eyes.  I wasn’t completely useless while it was there, but it was hindering me.  Didn’t help that everywhere I turned were people living in the same deception, reinforcing it.

So this blog is an entreaty to the Christian:  please question this idea of trying to plead for, earn, or even claim, that which you already have.  Notice how I’m not even saying ENTITLED TO.  You are not “entitled to” life and life more abundant, YOU HAVE IT.  I promise you, you do.  But a great deception can diminish even the most tangible miracle.  How much more the invisible kind?  Keep watch over what has your attention.  “I don’t have” is the silent, swollen chant of this heavy, insatiable country.  How much of it is true, and how much is it a spell?  If we, who have the power of heaven, can consciously remove ourselves from the clutches of this seduction, it could be our consecration.  Faith in the truth, in what God has sent forth through His Word, an agent of eternal, unlimited power and life.  It might be the only thing separating us from true holiness.

Eureka! Men! I’ve figured you out!!

This whole thing started when I discovered this website, verysmartbrothas.com.  The site is great: smart, funny, witty to the point of biting.  Engaging.  But sometimes, and only sometimes, there would be a sentence here or there that would betray a certain bitterness towards women, downright hatred in some places.  And I would be like, “really?!”

I used to be a little merciless towards men when I was younger.   I used to say, “what’s the point of men?  I don’t see the point of them.”  I don’t know how long it took for that to go away but it’s gone now.  Maybe it’s ’cause I read my Bible more, maybe I just met enough good men, maybe a combo.  It’s funny because the information itself is no different.  There really seems to be no point to men.  So says the woman, whose creation was almost entirely utilitarian.  Maybe it’s my nature to ask “what’s the point of you?”  Not as an insult, merely a conversation piece.  But men were created on a whim.  Literally, God was like “hey, you wanna do something cool? let’s do this.”  And it was good!   Yay God, yay man!  No one disputes that.

Anyways, I came across an entire article that was pretty damn hurtful.  It was entitled: Why (Some) Women Are Reluctant To Accept That “Game” Works.  I was drawn to the article b/c I was its target audience.  Game doesn’t work on me.  At least not very well.  Sometimes a guy is running game on me and I just let him, either b/c it’s easier than having to embarrass the poor dude or b/c he’s trying to get me to do something I already want to do.  I’m not talking about sex or anything but I could just as easily be.  I think a lot women are in this boat.   But there are sometimes you come across a smooth one.  In some circles, you could call him a “sociopath.”  It might take you 3 weeks, might take you 3 years to realize you fell into a trap he had set for you.  And you’re like “sonofa…”

But according to this article I was in denial.  I’d seen game work on other poor women of ill repute, so I knew it worked, just not on me.  Well, this article set me straight with its first point:

1. Admitting that game works completely contradicts one of the most prominent and protected tenets of womanhood: All women are unquestionably and undoubtedly unique.

Ever since the day they were born (or, if you’re a woman from Harlem, The Hill District, or Lincoln Heights, ever since their mothers decided to name them “Shauntananique“), most women have had the idea that they were extremely special and extremely precious repeatedly beat into their heads. Now, this isn’t a bad thing. Any good parent is going to do everything they can to make sure their daughter has a healthy portion of self-esteem. I mean, if I ever decide to have a daughter and she comes to me crying about not getting invited to a classmate’s sleepover, I probably won’t tell her “Hey, young daughter of The Champ, don’t worry about it. You weren’t invited because you’re not really all that special, and, well, you’re not really all that special so get used to disappointment.

But, with this perpetual positive reinforcement cunninglingus comes a natural aversion to accepting the idea that game works because, well, game works by reinforcing the idea that each individual woman isn’t really all that special. The sense of ”Well, maybe that happened to her…but that damn sure aint gonna happen to me,” doesn’t fly because, with slight variations, the same techniques that worked with Debbie in Des Moines work just as well with Tisha in Tampa, Brittany in Boston, and Changpu in Chicago (she’s an exchange student).

Well, after reading that I had a choice.  I could’ve taken the information to heart.  Had the statement been subtle, I might’ve taken it in without knowing, but this wasn’t a flaming dart, this was a meteor.  It was big, it was slow, and it was coming towards me.   Was I going to dodge it, or was I going to let it hit me?  I decided to dodge it.  I said, “no.  I see what he’s trying to say but it’s unfortunately not true and ill-informed.”  But it wasn’t the end.  I even left a comment thinking that a little truth combat would resolve this feeling I had.  But it didn’t.   I had dodged the meteor but it was now lodged in the ground, smoking, killing the plants.  It was an impertinence, and I couldn’t help wondering, “where did it come from?”

The comment I left was something like, “the schemes of the devil work too, don’t make it right.”  Which was true but kind of beside the point.  It bothered me that this guy thought we were truly predictable and refused to admit it, to give up this illusion of uniqueness because we’re so delusional and irrational.  But it bothered me more is that I didn’t know how to prove him wrong, I just knew that he was wrong.  Yes, there are a lot of people who eat McDonald’s, yes there is a high rate of success for people who own a McDonald’s for this very reason.  Does it make the people who eat there predictable and average?  No.  But sort of.  And the fact that diabolically tricking women to get what you want out of them seemed to not be an issue was really flooring me.  The funny thing about using tricks to get people to do what you want is that the more you do it, the more you lose respect for them.  They do become less like individuals in your eyes and more like pawns, easily led by…whatever.  Surely there is a choice guys can make.  Is this really what guys have to do to get us to see a good thing?  Are we really this contradictory and complicated?

Luckily, I had a random guy message me the other day so I was able to ask him what he thought about it.  He went on about the old tennet that hot guys don’t have to do much of anything, and yet some guys who are average or less than average manage to get these attractive women so “game” is the missing link between these outliers that makes sense of their world.  Then I responded:

I have to say, that just seems like a terrible way to go about things. I’m pretty attractive, smart, funny, interesting, easy going,  I like sports, I cook things, blah blah. I’ve been single for a long ass time. But from what I can gather, all that goes under the category of “that’s life.”   That shit builds character.

Right then…RIGHT THEN.  I figured it out.  That…shit…BUILDS……

CHARACTER.

Believe it or not, that is what we’re looking for, whether we know it or not.  Why?  Because that’s what we’re made to do.  We are not only man’s mate, but we are helper.  We are incentive to do good and to be the best.  When man is struggling through this shit world, and they want to quit and they think “what’s the use?”  we are the use.  We say “yaaay, go man go.”  And they are made to love us, therefore they respond positively to that type of reinforcement.  It’s a beautiful, natural synergy.

But somewhere along the way, something happened.  Some man said, “this is too hard.  How can I just get the beautiful woman?”  Maybe they saw how easy it was for some other guy, or just decided they were never gonna be good but they still wanted a mate.  And call me crazy I’m just gonna throw this out there, maybe at some point having women became a sign of personal power, strength, skill, prowess, etc. etc.  So some men decided to forego the natural way of things and decided to make the prize the main thing, over what the prize can do to benefit you and others.  It would be like if the old proverb about “teaching a man to fish” became so highly regarded, that everyone lied about how many people learned by their hand and fishing pole sales went through the roof.

At some point, word got out that desperation in a man is unattractive.  It’s annoying, I know.  I’ve been desperate for things I wasn’t able to get.  Seems like when you’re desperate for something, that’s precisely the time you should have it, right?  In most cases not really.  What should you do then?  Stop being desperate.  How do you do that?  Wait.  See that not having what you’re desperate will not kill you, not even a little bit.  That’s very hard.  But life responds to this way, which is the natural way.

What you shouldn’t do is pretend to not be desperate.  Unfortunately this is what most men do.  So when men say things like, “when you see a beautiful woman, pretend like you don’t want her,” what they’re really doing is mimicking something that looks like good character.  Because men who have the experience of being around beautiful women realize that all that glitters ain’t gold, so they stop trippin.  This is known as developing character.  But perhaps you have not yet developed this.  Perhaps you know the truth about beauty in theory, but are still desperate to test said theory out.  So you run game.  Let’s say game works.  Well guess what?  That character trait you’re faking?  You can’t maintain it very long.  And surprise!  The relationship doesn’t last.

Is this how the average modern relationship is built???!?! *shudders*

No wonder everything is a mess.

My recommendation to men would be this: build character.  It’s harder than just scheming, it’s true, but in the long run, it will be much better for everyone.  Because at this point, the current system is filling this world with deceit, and you don’t want to be reaping all that for the rest of your life (or in Buddhist terms, karma is a b$*#!

And you might be saying, “well…building character is hard and it takes a long time.”  ding ding ding!  That’s why it works.  And guess what else?  The harder your life sucks, the faster your character will grow, especially if you do it intentionally.  Don’t have a woman right now?  Every day that you deal with that is building your character.  Worried about what to do when you do get a woman?  Challenge yourself.  Do something that scares you.   Pick a fear then conquer it.  Then you won’t have to wonder if you’re the man nor not, or wait for me to say it, you’ll know.  And I won’t matter so much.  Take a ballroom dance class.  That will help you with about… 80% of all women-related things you’ll need.  “But that’s totally weird and I’ll feel like a weirdo doing that.”  Hi, did you just get here??  SUCK…IT…UP.  CHARACTER.

Listen, I can’t speak for everyone obviously, but the women out here are building character themselves.  They’re learning, growing, getting better, getting over themselves, being single and learning to love that.  And if guys are doing nothing of the sort, then relationships are going to be forever unequal.  What we’re asking for doesn’t take long to build.  Quit complaining that our standards are too high.  You wouldn’t ask anyother institution in life to do that.  Juliard is not lowering its standards for you, nor is Burger King.  Yet take solace in the fact that nothing is fixed.  If you’re not good enough this year, try again NEXT YEAR.  THIS IS HOW EVERYTHING ELSE IS DONE.  And surprisingly, the person that didn’t make it last year can, with time, be the golden standard the next.  Why is that?

Because people grow.  They develop.  They build character.

If we expect this from every aspect of society from performers to pee tests at Fed Ex, why should we make an exception for what is supposed to be the most important thing we’ll do in life???

A Survey of Christine’s [non-existent] love life as it stands today.

So this is what’s on my mind right now folks, and for good reason.  A good friend of mine has told me that he’ll be in town next month, and presumably quite often, because he just took a job that has “visits to Nashville” in its job description.  Fancy that.  He assured me that such a facet did not have undue influence on his decision to take the job, which I believe (there was also more money involved), but at the time I was a little freaked out over it because it was just a really strange circumstance.  There’s not much else you need to know other than the fact that I once “dated” this friend.  The quotes are because it was a long-distance thing, which is so strange and weird that I wonder sometimes if it even warrants the term “relationship,” at least the way we did it.  Yet and still I’ve known this guy a long time, going on eight years.  Anyway, all this stuff is pretty private, which is why you don’t know about it, and thankfully it is not pertinent to today’s post.  Today’s post is an overview of my love life thus far, a survey that I think is necessary at this point because I’m thinking about doing something… drastic, if the situation gets to that.  In order to justify such um, drastic behavior, I thought I should make a visual representation of all the thoughts and observations that have been swirling around in my head as of late.

So I made a chart.

The chart can’t really be reproduced– at least not in any way that I know of– on this blog.  But I can give you the test subjects, parameters and, most importantly, the results.

So anyway, my love life, as I would consider it, spans about eleven years.  In those eleven years there have been about four major prospects, and when I say “prospects” I’m obviously talking about marriage here.  And just how do prospects become prospects?  Well…I don’t know.  It has a lot to do with this chart I made.  Basically I put down any and all major kind of quality I want in a man, which came out to 27(I was using a piece of loose leaf paper).  The qualities are your average “what do you want in a guy” qualities (funny, smart, attractive, etc.) with a few custom ones for moi (conversation, loves God, likes black women, etc.)  Then I checked all the qualities that each prospect filled (sometimes a half-check meaning, “eh, okay, I’ll give you that one”).  Then I went back and highlighted in blue all the things I HAD TO HAVE at minimum.  Then I went back again and highlighted anything that was more like a “perk” that makes me raise one eyebrow and go, “oh reeally…” about said prospect.  By the way, if any one man had all of the “perks,” I’d be on my second baby right now.

We won’t go into names because, well, this ain’t Wikileaks.  I’m not trying to draw attention to anyone else I’m just trying to vent.  And if you’re reading this you probably know anyway (I know you’re thinking that long and hard about my pathetic love life).  We’ll just call them doors #1, 2, 3, and 4.

Door #1
Like all firsts, door #1 hit me like a city bus.  A years-long city bus.  Door #1 was essentially a crush, one that had to be bled like poison.  Though I can’t be mad at the reams of pages, some of which became award-winning poetry, that came of it.  Plus I grew tons as a person and had a lot of high highs that maybe just eked out over the low lows.  The point being that I was most definitely considering door #1 to be my permanent door, 4-EVA.  But objectively, how does he do?

Results:
Checked boxes: 18/27
Must haves: 6/10
Game changing perks: 2/4

So door number one had more than half of the qualities I’m looking for, only 60% of those being must have’s and half being extra “perks.”  Not that great.  Obviously you can’t just whittle someone down to checks on a page.  Door #1 is a looot more impressive in 3D, but now that I look back on it objectively, there is something to be said for seeing how well someone matches up to what you actually want.

Door #2
Technically door number #4 could be door #2 (and door #5 for that matter), but the reveal would be much more dramatic if he’s last.  For now we’ll look at door #2

Results:
Checked boxes: 17/27
Must haves: 7.5/10
Game changing perks: 2/4

So I did a little better with door #2, who had 75% of my must-haves.  And you’re probably thinking, “um, can you really compromise on your must-haves?”  You could, but it doesn’t work well.  And you have to work with the people that come at you, as you probably well know.  You’d have to fill at least…I guess three of my must-haves to make my heart skip, which range between rather unfairly subjective standards (“good heart” and “conversation”) and the basics (“single” and “in love with me”)  Can you guess which must-haves are coming up short?

Door #3

Results:
Checked boxes: 17/27
Must haves: 5/10
Game changing perks: 2/4

Wow, just…wow.  Gotta love that game changing perk.  By the way, one of his game-changing perks was just two half-checks.  Same with the must haves.  This door was a little more… well this one was locked.  And I kept trying it til it got kind of embarrassing so I just left.  But he was a prospect none the less.  Some of the checked boxes carried more weight at some point, I think.  At any rate, all this is to set up door #4, the door that I opened with at the beginning of this post.

Door #4
Lemme just say, another big reason for all this over-analyzed dramaticking is that for these past eight years, aside from a few tremors, I have completely and totally SLEPT ON door #4.  The reason for the occasional tremors are thus:

Door #4

Results:
Checked boxes: 22.5/27
Must haves: 9/10
Game changing perks: 2/4

That’s right, 80% of the wish list, ALL of the must haves (two half checks), and averaging half the perks, one of which, by the way NONE of the others had and the other had to be invented on his behalf.  Oh, and one of the perks he didn’t get?  He’s not a musician.  So, yeah, there’s a lot going on with this particular door.  Definitely the best results I’ve ever had, a lot of things I knew but overlooked, didn’t really value, or thought were fake.  But no, after eight years, I’ve gained a little more perspective.  This doesn’t take into account the little things that he has going on to which the others aren’t really applicable.  So yeah.  It’s making me wonder.

And of course the other question is, can I find a better door?  Sure, anything’s possible.  The thing is, this door came along in ‘03, and there haven’t been many doors since then, and you see how well they’ve scored.  I sometimes tell myself, “wait til you’re right where you’re supposed to be, and the dudes there will be next level.”  Could be true.  Ultimately though, I made that up.  But this guy is, in fact, real.  And there are some things that are worth more to me than finding a “next level” guy which really just means some exotic species that wears skinny jeans and ties doing the same thing I’m doing.  And that’s cool but… can that really win out over a guy that has been consistently, patiently, steadily after me in one way or another, without over or under doing it, has seen me grow and change and has supported and –dare I say– loved it all?  And has done this all from a distance??  How can I turn that down for the prospect of skinny jeans?

Needless to say, I have a lot to think about.  And ultimately God knows I just want to do the right thing.  Really.  Being in love is super electric and great and all, but I’m all about the right thing these days.

So yeah.  that’s pretty much what’s going on with me right now.

*Door #4 turns out to be the total dud he was for all those years.  In less than a year, however, you meet the real door #5 and he will be THE door.  But how does he stack up on the list?  22/27 x’s, 10/10 being must- haves and 2/4 game changing perks.  You thought he’d be the whole list but no.  The difference?  Aside from being made for each other, chart wise only 0.5 points.  What he lacked in an x, he made up for in completing all your must haves w/ complete checks.  The moral?  Don’t settle.