Thursday, November 10, 2011


            I’ve always been pretty good with directions. There was a time when I got very lost in a sketchy area of Sacramento following my high school’s senior prom, but my date and the other couple with us seemed to enjoy the adventure of it all and things worked themselves out, but other than that one time, I cannot recall if I have ever been so lost that I did not know how to find my way out. My mom will tell you stories of how when I was a very little version of me, I would disappear in department stores only to be found hiding inside those round clothing racks presumably just playing a game, but as far as I can remember, I have a difficult time getting lost even when I try. That is up until these past couple of weeks.
            Recently I have felt lost. I have been lost underneath the pile of books that I always seem to have around me. If they are not stacked on the table I am sitting at, they are in the bags that I have been carrying around as I work through the mountain of school work I have each week. I have been lost underneath a mountain of theories, principles, theology, and vocabulary while the thoughts in my try painstakingly to move the mountain from on top of me onto the computer screen that I sit in front of even as I write this. Daunting is not good enough an adjective to describe the intellectual challenges I have stepped into, challenges which found me lost and not sure where I was, buried at the bottom of a mountain. Yet even there, a glimmer of hope fell across my eyes as I worked to dig myself out.
            Amid the whirlwind of textbooks and journal articles, there were many a time where I just needed to believe that there was more to life than just what I could find in a book or read about online. There had to be more to truth than vague and conflicting conceptions of what is real. There needed to be something tangible that I could hold onto. With my head spinning and my heart aching I stumbled across this quote by Ron Highfield:
“The Son of God did not become incarnate, die, and triumph over death to solve a theoretical dilemma.”
And just like that, I could see a tunnel of light leading me out from under the mountain.
            Highfield’s statement fell in the middle of a paper written to argue against another person’s theory, and there I was attempting to argue my own. Yet with arguments upon arguments he was still able to see that arguments without action are void. Let me say that again: arguments without action are void.
Jesus was a man of action.

 It seems to me that so much of the popular Christian culture lives in the realm of the theoretical, myself included. It is a wonderful thing, for example, to know and understand that we are all generally called to share the gospel with everybody, yet so often we decide that it is fine to keep this understanding to ourselves. We actively choose personal comfort over our greater responsibility of acting.
When Jesus was faced with the most difficult of situations, he still chose to act. Yet when I am faced with even the most simple of propositions, I choose passivity. I need Christ to activate my life in a way that my own selfish desires cannot. I need Christ to activate my potential to live out the dreams that he has placed into my heart. I need Christ to activate my will to choose to do what is good and what is right when everything else seems to be going entirely wrong. Arguments without action are void, but in order to act, we need Christ to activate us.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Brotherhood: Growing Up with Sisters

I grew up with two amazing sisters: Kendra the oldest, Richelle the middle child, and myself, Scott the youngest. So thinking about brotherhood is often a difficult topic for me. I didn’t have brothers. Brotherhood was something relatively absent from my childhood. My sisters are awesome and I love them, but the relationships I have observed between brothers are distinctly different than my relationships with my sisters. The way you connect with a brother is different, and this was something that I desperately wanted growing up.

My desire for a true brother didn’t stop with my childhood. I had a few close friends in high school who were brother like and one in particular, Justin, who I did almost everything with. My first tastes of brotherhood came from him. We were brutally honest with each other and at times we were really angry with each other, but we could fight it out and go on knowing that at the end of the day, we would still have each others backs. We would stay up really late talking about girls and practical jokes we planned on playing on people and occasionally we would talk about God and what he meant to us and how we saw him working in our lives. It really was a great friendship. Unfortunately we decided to go to college in very different parts of the country. He went to Michigan, I moved to San Diego. I clearly made the better choice, but he could not be convinced.

College brought about an entirely new set of issues with brotherhood. Early on in my college career, I joined a fraternity and one of the things I was most excited about was this concept of brotherhood that they all talk so much about. My dad was in a fraternity and told me that some of his best friends even still he met in his fraternity days, and on the surface, the Greek system talks a lot about brotherhood. The brotherhood I found there was not what I had hoped. Sure I would hang out with the guys at parties, or at “brotherhood” events, but what I saw was a bunch of really awesome people make decisions that ultimately drove them away from intimacy in the name of brotherhood. Brotherhood in the Greek system often looks like spending time together drinking and then going to do crazy things. It is based on a false intimacy that says since we are experiencing these things together we are brothers, but I quickly learned that this is not true. Jack and Judith Balswick say that “Intimacy can be defined as a mutual knowing and caring free of embarrassment or shame.” It means that your name is safe in the other person’s mouth. I would hear people claim to be brothers one minute then intentionally disrespect their so called brother the next. I would watch Cain kill Able then look God in the face and ask “Am I my brother’s keeper?” I learned very quickly that true brotherhood in the Greek system would be hard to come by.

It was then that I moved in with a group of guys who would teach me what real brotherhood looks like. At first there were four of us. Andrew, Jamin, Scott, and I and later on we would add in Kevin, Carson and Eugene. With these six other guys I have learned what it means to have brothers. We live together, we fight with each other we stay up late and talk about girls, but we also care deeply for each other. We are there to support each other through the good times and the bad. They are more than willing to call me out on my crap, and I try to do the same for them. In the past three years no one has made me as angry as these six guys have, and in the past three years, no one has brought me as much joy. We are honest with each other, brutally honest. We share our lives together. If something has happened in any of our lives, good or bad, the other guys we live with are among the first to know about it and we are able to come around each other in prayer and with grace in order to build each other up. These guys have become more than friends to me.

Proverbs 17:17 says that “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

There is a distinction here. A friend will always have your back, but a brother is someone that you struggle alongside of. You experience adversity together. There is more than just sympathy for a hard time, more than just kind words. A brother stands by you through thick and thin and marches into your battles with you, and carries you when you find the road ahead of you too difficult to keep going.

The story of David and Jonathan in the Bible is a beautiful picture of what Biblical brother hood actually is. Jonathan protected David from his enemies, even when David was the enemy of Jonathan’s father. We are given an image of these two men laughing together, crying together, and sharing an intimacy largely unknown in western culture. There bond was strong to the point that even after Jonathan had been killed in battle, and David had taken the throne from Jonathan’s father, David took it upon himself to care for Jonathan’s only remaining son, a man who was “crippled in both feet,” as if he was one of his own sons (2 Samuel 9). It is clear that though David and Jonathan were indeed examples of the Proverb. Even in the greatest adversities, and even in death, David was there to care for Jonathan, and Jonathan for David.

This is God’s desire for brotherhood: that we care for one another in a sacrificial manner; that we come along each other through the thick and thin and fight for each other in times of adversity.

Growing up with sisters was great. I have been shaped and formed into who I am partially because of their influence on me and I know that they will always be there to support me when I need it, but there is something undeniably good and distinctly different about living with the brothers that I have now. It is a special bond that cannot be manufactured artificially, and one that takes a lot of work to maintain, but when we do, I have experienced that it is more than worth the effort I’ve put in, and all of my relationships have been strengthened by it. You cannot lose. I honestly believe that it is something that God truly desires for us.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Why" is a Hard Question!

I was presented with this question recently: “Why are you a Christian?” "Why" is a hard question, but by thinking back on the other times I have been asked this or similar questions I am able to stop and realize the power behind the answer. A high school kid asked me this question this summer and later on another one got my answer without having to ask. He needed to hear it. I needed to give it. It worked out well for the both of us. I am coming to recognize that answering and sharing why it is I believe in the God of the Bible is both a necessity for my spiritual life and can have a great impact on the lives of the people around me. We need to know why we believe. We need to know both for our own benefit and the benefit of the people around us. If we do not actually understand why it is we believe in Jesus, why we believe in the resurrected Christ, then I have to wonder how honest our belief actually is.

The last time I was asked to respond to this question, here is what I wrote out:

I am a Christian because God has transformed me. I will not pretend that life is sunshine and rainbows because its not. In fact, that is the exact opposite of reality. Life is hard. Sometimes life is really hard and we do not have what it takes to make it through. We just don’t. We cannot do life on our own. It takes help. Help from the people around us, and help from those closest to us. Sometimes it even takes the help of a stranger. But what happens when all of that fails and we still find ourselves weak and floundering inside of the cruel and bitter fishbowl we seem to live in? We turn outside of ourselves and we attach ourselves to the things that give us meaning. Relationships become our everything. Drugs take us outside of our problems. Alcohol takes the edge off. We give ourselves to images and place our hope in our big glowing boxes…the picture sure is clear though. In our brokenness, we try to live a life that is “good enough,” yet ultimately still, these things that we form unhealthy attachments to end up failing. She breaks up with you. You overdose. DUI maybe? We end up retreating further and farther inside of ourselves only to discover that our own narcissism, vanity, and self-absorption has led us to a place of utter ruin.

Enter Jesus.

Though we pretend and hope at times that he does not exist and that he has not seen any of this, he has. He has seen all of it. He knows what has gone on and his heart is broken for us. It is broken into pieces as small as the grains of sand on the shore. His heart is broken for us as much as we are broken. He sees this and has seen this and while we have found ourselves living in this mess, he has already extended his hand to us saying, “All of those things that failed you, everything that has let you down, they are nothing but rubbish. It is not in my character to let go of you. Take my hand and allow me to begin healing your wounds. I can help you to become who you were created to be, there is no other way.”

I am a Christian because Jesus found me at the bottom of a pit which I had dug for myself. I have sat at the apex of my own conceit, stubborn and refusing to move. I have stood, shovel in hand at the nadir of my own despair ready to keep digging. Still time and again I find when I have reached the end of myself, I look up and I see Jesus extending his hand to me, reminding me of his goodness, and his awesome power in my life. He has reached out his hand to me and I have said yes. I am a Christian because he has held true to his promise. He has transformed me. He is transforming me. He will continue to transform me. I am a Christian because Jesus is the only one capable of helping me to reach my fullest potential. He loves me that much. He loves us all that much.

It is by no means a perfect response. It is actually lacking in a lot of areas but I am confident that God uses even the most broken of people.  He uses the imperfect to highlight the perfect that is all around us; the subtle workings of God in our every day life. If you were to ask me again tomorrow just why I am a Christian, I would hope to give a similar response.

We can never really know who is listening, or how impactful something we might share with someone may be. The important thing is that we share it.

C.S. Lewis wrote in his essay “Is Theology Poetry” a statement that has stuck with me. It has helped to shape my own feelings and beliefs and I cannot deny the truth of his words. He wrote: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

This is just one more aspect of the larger story of our life. Yet it is a very important one. Why are you a Christian? Or if you are not one, what is keeping you from Christ? "Why" is a hard question, but the answer is more powerful than we recognize.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  – 1 Peter 3:15

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Making Connections

It always amazes me how not alone we are. In contemporary society, with access to the internet, cell phones, iPads, etc., out world has become smaller in many ways. If I meet a person in class, in a coffee shop, or even on the street and we happen to strike up a conversation, it would not be surprising to get home later that day and have a friend request from them on Facebook. It really is amazing how simple communication has gotten. Take my Facebook friends for example. I have “friends” in Malawi, Uganda, Central Asia, Hungry, South Korea, and China among others in addition to the Untied States. Now granted I have been to many of these countries, and of the ones I have not been to, I know people currently living there. Some of the countries where I have Facebook friends though I have never been to in my life! Yet in my travels I have met people from these countries who have returned home and added me as their Facebook friend. We are connected, even if it is just through a series of signals and wires that ties us ultimately together. In fact, this blog is regularly checked by at least one person in Japan!

We live in an age where it only takes a day to get to the other side of the world and make new connections. I do not consider myself a well traveled person and yet there are only two continents that I have not been to. It really is mind boggling to think of the access we have to other cultures and other ways of thinking.

These are very tumultuous times. With political unrest all across Africa and the Middle East, the devastating earthquake and tsunami that recently crippled Northern Japan leaving them in a nuclear crisis, and oh yeah, the rest of the worlds problems it is a wonder that I still find time to complain about high gas prices. Here we are, living in a world that is so intimately connected in so many ways, yet more often than not, we choose to live as hermits, concerned with nothing but our own well being, pretending that we are alone. We act as though everyone else’s problems are unwelcome when in reality, everyone else’s problems should ultimately be ours as well.

Now I’m not saying we should all take on the burden of caring for every person who is going through a hard time, in that regard we need only care for those close to us or for whom we feel burdened to care for. What I am saying is this: Large scale evil happens in our world every day and as a people intimately, intrinsically, and easily connected to each other, we have a responsibility to address the evil that we see; the evil of hurting people in Japan; the evil of malaria in Africa; the evil of the devastation in Haiti; the evil of child sex trafficking all across the world.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. – Colossians 1:19-20

God is working to bring back and restore everything to the way it was originally intended to be. As the people of God we are responsible for working toward this reconciliation. In fact the apostle Paul tells us that Christ has given us the “ministry of reconciliation” (Romans 5:18), he has given us the responsibility to continue what he began and to take care of the broken people regardless of whether or not we like them or whether or not whether or not they share our beliefs and convictions. We are called, we are invited, to be making connections.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

No Joy in M&M's

I recently sent this e-mail to the people who make M&M’s after having a conversation about miscellaneous things.

To The Wonderful People Who Make M&M's:

It is a well known fact that M&M's help to make the world a better place. The various varieties of chocolaty delicacies created and sold by this company have changed the lives of millions and brought smiles to countless people in need of a quick chocolate fix. That being said, I have an idea.

It is no secret that the Pretzel M&M's have been a raging success in the mouths of so many Americans. Also the Peanut Butter M&M's, the long time favorite of many, have been gracing the tongues of young and old alike for many years. This has helped to lead me to an idea for an M&M unlike any other.

Last night while enjoying a peanut butter filled pretzel from a local grocer I couldn't help to ponder the possibility of how tantalizing it would be to taste this same delicacy covered in chocolate and coated with a candy shell that melts not in your hand, but rather only in your mouth.

What would it look like for the makers of M&M's to create Peanut Butter filled Pretzel M&M's thus combining both a new and an old favorite into one super candy! Imagine the possibilities!

What would it take for the makers of M&M's to consider producing this creative concoction? Even if only in small batches for limited release! The potential is endless the value immense, and the joy it would bring to the world is invaluable.

Imagine M&M makers! Believe! You have the power to make dreams come true! I hope that you choose to, and as the Bible says, "hope does not disappoint."

With All Legitimate Sincerity,

Scott E. McGhee

A little dramatic? Yes. Heretical?…it might dip a toe in the water. Entertaining and creative? I thought so, as did my co-visionary (co-conspirator?), Heather Sherwood, who helped come up with the idea in the first place, as also did the other various people with whom I have shared this e-mail. The people at M&M’s however did not feel the same way. In fact they went as far as to say that I am unoriginal.

Ouch, talk about killjoys.

John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

I only have one thing to say about that. Thank you Jesus.

There are times where it really feels like we cannot have fun or enjoy this life that we have been given. It feels like there will always be someone hiding around the corner to steal the enjoyment from anything we do. Take the e-mail I sent to the M&M peoples. Was I serious? Yes. I most definitely was. Did I have a lot of fun with it? I sure did. Yet in the end, the big corporation on the other end of the internet connection had the option to respond in two ways. They either could have entered into the fun that I was clearly having with the e-mail and let me down easy, or they could be a stereotypical organization and give a cold response that shuts off all fun that may be taking place…I was disappointed to receive the latter response.

I feel like the people at M&M’s acted much like the thief that Jesus was talking about, attempting to steal, kill, and destroy the enjoyment I had gotten out of the idea I presented them with, and to be entirely honest, they did a pretty good job of it. Jesus on the other hand says that he wants to do the exact opposite of that. He wants us to live full lives, and even more than that, he wants us to live the fullest lives, full of joy, excitement, adventure, and all around fun. Will things be hard? Yes, he never says they will be easy, but he does say that a life with him will be the fullest kind of life, and I have to believe that after all is said and done, fun will be a big part of the scenario.

Now I do not want to give M&M’s a bad reputation. They were acting in the best interest of their company, and let’s face it, they have a great product, but in this instance I feel as if they were trying to steal all of my joy. But here is another message for them:

To the Wonderful People Who Make M&M’s:

You failed. You can call me unoriginal if you like, but you cannot have what is not yours. My joy lives on in something greater, something that you cannot take from me, and you are also missing out on a great product idea.

With All Legitimate Sincerity,

Scott E. McGhee

P.S. I still love your product and if you ever want to send some free Peanut M&M’s my way…I will not put up a fight!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The End of the Story

I have found that when I finish reading a book I am left with one of three feelings. 1) I am relieved to finally be through with it 2) I find myself wanting to keep reading more desiring that the story continue, or 3) I find myself completely satisfied and wanting nothing more than what the author has given me. Of the three of these scenarios, I believe the third to be the best.

Usually, if I finish a book with the first of my reactions, I did not want to be reading it in the first place (i.e. 99% of the books I “read” as an undergrad). If left with the second, though I may have really enjoyed the book, the author has probably left some loose ends untied and I really just want them to finish what they started. But if I leave a book feeling completely satisfied with it, I feel like the author has done their job; everything started was finished and they were not being presumptuous by trying to set themselves up for a sequel (and everyone knows that the best sequels could have been stand alone stories all by themselves!)

I recently watched the last page of a story turn. It was a story taking place inside of the grander story of my life, taking place inside of the grander story of God. The pages were filled out with true events and the ending was not necessarily a happy one, but it was the right one. The story ended just the way it was supposed to; in a way that left everyone involved satisfied with the part they had played and better off at the conclusion.  This story however did not have a “happily ever after.”

The fairy tales of our youth have a tendency to teach us that every story should have a “happily ever after” tagged on the end of it. This is a lie and worse yet, this is a boring ending. Have you ever stopped to think about what possibly could have happened in the years following the marriage of the Prince and Princess in these fairytales that we idealize so much? What were Cinderella and the Prince like after being married for fifteen years? Did the mice still take care of their homestead? The Prince would probably have been made king and Cinderella queen, what if they had differing ideas on how the country should be run? What if their children were spoiled brats and their eldest son already making plans to usurp his father’s power? Did Cinderella still remember how she attained such a prominent position, or had she been blinded by authority? And despite all that has happened in their lives, were Cinderella and the Prince able to find a way to love each other through it all?

I hope the characters in the movies we grew up watching struggled. I hope they faced new challenges and overcame them. I hope they had disagreements, and experienced tragedies. I hope they lived out their dreams and fought for the things they cared about. I hope they lived in a manner that challenged the status quo in order to bring justice to the people who were hurting.

 A life without struggle and opposition is no life at all. A life without ambition and passion is no life at all. A life without risk, without adventure, without that feeling deep in your gut telling you “this could be a very bad idea but you should probably go ahead and do it anyway” is no life at all.

Sometimes a story needs to end with “and he lived to fight another day” or “after living a full life, she embarked on the grand adventure of eternity” or “but not even that could stop them from chasing their dreams.” These are the real endings that inspire us.

There is a story in the Bible about a woman named Esther who was very beautiful. Esther had kind of a Cinderella experience and one thing led to another and she became the queen of the most powerful empire in the world. She however was a member of a minority group that this guy named Haman hated. The problem here is that Haman was the king’s closest advisor and he convinced the king to order that this entire minority group be killed. Esther had a decision to make. She could sit back and let her people be destroyed or she could take action. Wait a second; I thought this was a Cinderella story. She is the queen now; she should be living “happily ever after,” but then again, that is not reality.

Esther had a cousin named Mordecai living in the king’s city who sent a message to her saying this:

“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?”

Mordecai saw the potential Esther had to make a difference, and called her out of her “happily ever after” ending by pointing out just how unhappily that story would have ended. Instead he challenged her to fight for an ending greater than the one she had been presented with, and when push came to shove… she decided to throw punches.

The end of Esther’s story may have said something like “And Esther was esteemed as a hero of her people for generations to come.” Not “happily ever after.” Better than “happily ever after.” It ended the way it was supposed to, leaving the readers completely satisfied with it. I would imagine that in the end, Esther was pretty satisfied with the ending herself.

I recently watched the last page of a story turn, and I am glad there was no “happily ever after” at the end. I think this one ended like this: “He smiled wryly. Even though he lost this round, he knew the best was still yet to come.”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bigger than the Rain

I’ll be honest; I always get a little nervous when I see a dark grey cloud in the skies of sunny San Diego. Every time it happens I can feel a lump form in the pit of my stomach warning me not to go out on the streets because lets face it, if you drive in San Diego in the rain, you may very well die. San Diegans are not the greatest drivers, and rain greets our roads in a manner similar to Godzilla greeting the streets of Tokyo. This past week San Diego experienced minor (at worst moderate) rain storms, and as much as we as like to pretend that the weather is always a nice sunny 75 degrees, we are lying. It does rain for about a week every year and for about a week after that it’s a little bit chilly outside. This week however is by far the most dangerous week to be in San Diego and if you happen to decide to vacation here during that week, may God have mercy on your soul! The infrequency of the rain means that the citizenry has very little experience driving in any kind of weather and just to add to the fun, San Diegans have developed a few techniques to make driving in the rain “safer.” In the five years that I have lived here, I have observed three in particular.

1: The “Drive Fast to Arrive Fast” Technique
This technique focuses on getting to your destination as fast as you can. Driving in the rain is dangerous so obviously the best plan of action is to drive as fast as you can in order to spend as little time on the road as possible. This type of person may be known for forgetting things when they leave the house and usually have around seven different projects going on at the same time.

2: The “Let There Be Light” Technique
This technique says, “Since the combination of nighttime and rain make it extra hard to see, I’ll just turn on my high-beams so I can see better!” This person often compares themselves to Einstein because of their constant strokes of genius! However, if dear old Albert were still around, I am sure he would be quick to point out that using your brights in the rain is one step down from stupidity. The added light is going to reflect brighter off the water and actually make it more difficult for you to see. And lets not forget that they will also blind oncoming motorists making it more likely that they will plow into, well…anything really. Where light is good in the dark, too much light is blinding for everyone. If this is you, do us all a favor and stick to your low-beams.

3: The “Overly Cautious” Techinque
This is by far the most respectable of the three techniques employed by those adventurous enough to delve out onto the rainy San Diego streets; but it still is never a good idea to max out at 29MPH on an open freeway especially when you are sharing the road with people utilizing either of the first two techniques. No one expects you to drive that slowly. Even the ones who know what they are doing.

All of these techniques are fear driven response to the Godzilla like danger of driving in the rain, and ultimately they only make road conditions more dangerous.

When we are faced with a problem, or something we are afraid of, we often let our fears become our undoing. Like a San Diegan driving in the rain, when we are in danger, we often allow the things we are afraid of to drive us into an even more dangerous situation. Our fear motivated attempts to solve our problems actually lead us straight into them. Our fears become our realities.

I believe that this is the opposite of what God wants for us.

In a letter to his young friend Timothy, the apostle Paul encourages him saying “the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)

It seems to me that God does not want us to address our problems out of fear because doing so only leads us deeper into our problems and deeper into our fearful reactions. The more afraid we are of something, the more control we give to it and the less we allow God to work in our lives through hardships.

The Spirit of God is not one that plows through a problem wishing it to blow over. He is not one that tries to wash out a problem hoping that it can be covered by too much of a good thing. He does not proceed with apprehension, unsure of his chosen course and second guessing his decisions. Living like this will only make matters worse. Rather the Spirit of God encourages us to go out into the storm and face our problems head on.

I am learning to believe that God desires us to live and to address our problems out of our faith in him. Not with fear, not with timidity, but with boldness, strength and love; trusting that he is strong enough to weather the storms we find ourselves in. God is bigger than the rain.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Asparagus Lemon-Aid

It is often said that when life gives you lemons, you should use them to make lemon-aid. This is a misguiding statement because in reality you need a whole lot more than lemons to make any sort of lemon-aid worth drinking. Think about it. If life gives you oranges, you can make orange juice, all you have to do is squeeze them into a glass and you are good to go. If life were to give you apples, you could probably figure out a way to crush them into 100% apple juice pretty quickly. Sure it might get a little messy, but it would still be drinkable! If life were to give me a carrot, I would probably just eat it because I could use the extra vegetables in my diet and I really don’t know how to make carrot juice. But if life gave me lemons, it seems that all I would be able to do is make lemon juice, which if we are being honest, no one really wants to drink. All lemon juice is good for really is to be used as an ingredient in something else. I once marinated a shark stake in lemon juice and it was fantastic, but I would never want to drink straight lemon juice. No, rather for lemon-aid, added ingredients are necessary.

If life gives you lemons, you are going to need help in order to make that lemon-aid. You will have to go out and find the person to whom life has given sugar and the one to whom life has given water, and then maybe you will have some place to start and the three of you can get together and make some lemon-aid. I bet it would be pretty good too, but if you are anything like me, you won’t be satisfied with just lemon-aid. Your entire being is going to crave something more, something greater! You are going to want to go out and find the guy with the raspberries and the girl with the blueberries, and the new kid down the street who brought a bunch of strawberries with him when he moved in and invite them into the mix to see what kind of creations you can make with these new flavors. If I were the guy with the lemons, I would want to get a little experimental and see if I could convince the asparagus kid to join the party so we could try to make asparagus lemon-aid!

…yes, asparagus lemon-aid.

I know that sounds like a terrible idea, but people said that about the personal computer when it was first released and then naturally assumed that you would never need more than a 40 megabyte hard drive to store all of your information. Whether life gives us lemons, sugar, grapes, tomatoes, or asparagus we have a responsibility to use them to the best of our ability and to invite others into the process with us. This means taking risks together and potentially failing. Some things just should not be mixed, but sometimes we avoid mixing things because we are afraid that they will turn out poorly, and so what if they do? Asparagus and lemons are two things that should probably never be mixed with water and sugar to be consumed on a hot afternoon, but will we ever really know until we try? We learn the most from our failures. If we want to learn we have to be willing to fail because failure produces growth and if we are not willing to fail, then can we actually say that we were willing to try in the first place? Can we actually say that we truly desire the growth that we say we want?

I have never mixed asparagus and lemons for anything in my life, and I feel pretty confident that asparagus lemon-aid would be terrible, but who knows what potential creations the asparagus kid and the lemon man could make if they took the risk to mix two things that at first don’t seem like they belong together. Who can really know the true potential of something until they have taken the risk to try and see what might come of it.

Here is to asparagus lemon-aid. Lets see what we can make of it.

Scott E. McGhee