Matt W.C. Joy

House 4 Sale

In Uncategorized on 10/03/2010 at 7:47 pm

There is so much that a ‘for sale’ sign on a front lawn could say.  One may represent a new job around the corner in a different city, while another may represent the end to a marriage.  One may be the sign of a growing family moving to a larger space, while another may be a retired couple looking to downsize.  Yet another may reflect a newly widowed spouse and another looking to take advantage of a hot housing market.

I may not know the meaning behind the Remax sign staked in the ground approximately 6 houses away from my front door, but I do know the feeling that it sparked in me.  Let me explain by taking you back on a recent history trip…

We have been in our current home now exactly one year and have gotten to know most of the neighbors on our cul de sac over that period of time.  However, it wasn’t until this past Halloween that I had the opportunity to see who was behind the door of the home that is currently graced with a ‘for sale’ sign.  On that October evening, Kayla and I dressed Kendrick up as a lil’ monkey and our friends Nikki and Richard came over with their lil’ lion Nathan to go trick or treating around the block.  In the short trip around a few homes we encountered high winds, high people, and some scary decorations.  But nothing got my attention like what met us at this particular house. With our mini jungle dudes holding their bright orange pumpkins, we rang the doorbell and was greeted with two incredible smiles – smiles that seemed to cap off the distinguished and respectful look of this elderly couple that was so delighted to see us.  After giving the boys what they came looking for, the gentlemen pulled out a disposable camera (first time I saw one of those in action in a long time).  He asked if he could snap a picture of us … we obliged, while laughing a little inside at the classic ‘roll to the end then snap a pic’ camera.

About a week or two later, I was getting ready to make my daily trek out the door at approximately 8 am when the doorbell rang.  Wondering who could possibly be looking for either of us that early, I slowly opened the door.  Now, with our positions of doorbell ringer and door answerer reversed, I was pleasantly surprised to see the disposable camera photographer smiling bright in his toque and winter coat.  As if he knew that he was about to make my day, he looks up and says “thought you may like to have this”, handing me the kodak moment he captured on Halloween.  The pic itself was so off-centred and somewhat blurred, but the act of snapping it and getting it printed and delivering it to my door was priceless.

Since that October night, I have frequently left our street to go to work, to go work out at the gym, to go on a family errand, or a variety of other reasons, and have looked forward to the times when I notice him out washing his car (yes even in winter) or caring for his property.  Without fail, he will greet me with that same smile and a polite wave and somehow I look at the trip ahead of me as being a little brighter.  I don’t even know this gentlemen’s name and he still has the wherewithal to make my day that much more enjoyable, without realizing it.

Do you ever wonder who’s day you are impacting?  The cashier at your grocery store, the neighbor next door, your spouse, your child, a panhandler you pass daily, etc…some more obvious than others, but all in your realm of influence have their day impacted somehow by you.  That is a reality that can seem daunting and scary, but also incredibly rewarding.  The question isn’t whether or not you will leave a legacy, but what kind of legacy will you leave?   I am reminded as I leave my cul de sac by the friendliness of my elderly neighbor, and as I head for home at the end of each day.

As I am saddened by the apparent news that I am losing a great neighbor, let’s step up our intent to leave a positive impact on the lives within our reach!  Put an imaginary ‘FOR SALE’ sign on your yard and ask yourself a revealing question: ‘will I be missed?’

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Pause

In Uncategorized on 28/12/2009 at 11:01 am

I have recently come to really appreciate my Rogers On Demand service.  We have all but relinquished the process of renting a movie from a local video store because of the inconvenience of having to return the videos and the possibility of  paying late fees.  But, we have also completely given up on watching any movies via pay per view.  Not only do you have to start when they start, but you cannot pause when you want.  I would pay the same price for a ppv movie as an ON Demand movie and yet would have to forfeit key parts of the flick just to take a snack or pee break.  All because there is no PAUSE option on PPV.

Sometimes my life is too much like pay per view .  I need a break to rest, have some quality family time, or enjoy an outlet but feel that it isn’t an option.  As if life will go on without me and I may miss something or drop the ball on a responsibility that I have.  A part of that is my desire to please and my inclination todemonstrate a firm commitment and hard work ethic – even to my own determent.   But, the longer I am around in this life and the greater myresponsibilities are at home, the more I realize that PAUSES are not just needed for my own health and family, but they also add to work productivity.  Again, when I head for home I am getting better and better at taking all of me there.  I am getting better at not mentally beleaguering an issue yet to be resolved in our youth ministry or even planning the next meeting or event while I should be ‘all in’ during my time with Kayla and Kendrick.  This is an ongoing struggle, and not just for people in my line of work.  If you love what you do or perhaps even if you don’t, the pressure to do more and get ahead is a real one.  But I encourage you to take the On Demand route and learn to plan and follow through on taking the PAUSE in your day, week, month, and year.

I say that to say this…these past few days have been incredible.  I feel rested.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this Christmas weekend at home.  From hearing Kendrick’s first Christmas morning “ooooohhhhh” to taking him for his first wagon ride today, to watching the World Juniors with my Brother and Father in-law, to chilling with Kayla and friends, to watching vintage Survivor episodes with Kayla, to playing Settlers of Catan with Kyle and Robyn, to sharing incredible meals thanks to Kayla and Shirl (my mudds in law), to talking with my family on the phone, and more.  I rejoice in the value of and need for PAUSE in my life.

Find your PAUSE.  Hit it.  Enjoy!

Taming The TIGER

In Uncategorized on 10/12/2009 at 11:21 pm

I am beginning to feel as though it isn’t even safe to google ‘Tiger Woods’ anymore in fear of what articles, images, or accusations may haunt my laptop screen.  Okay, even that lead in was a little exaggerated but the way this story has dominated all facets of media is mind-boggling.  The sports networks are filling me in on the fact that another porn star is claiming to have had an affair with Tiger, the local Newfoundland news are letting me know the details of his accident and the ensuing 911 call a neighbor made, the gossip headlines are rampant with dollar amounts this, the world’s richest athlete, is offering his wife to stay with him an extra 2 years at least, and on it goes.  As much as I am tired of being confronted with the story and as much as I hate that I initially wanted the info, I can only imagine how much Mr. Eldrick Tont Woods is agonizing over the ‘bed he has made’ (pardon the pun).  With SO much coverage internationally (some true and some false – most of the public not knowing how to distinguish the two) and with an understanding of the dynamics of having to work through issues as a family,  even my wife is starting to feel for Tiger – and more so for the Woods’ clan.  Here is a guy who literally attained and was granted access to everything this world could possibly offer in ‘stuff’ and is/was, I would argue, the most known and most popular athlete of all-time around the globe.  Yet, I would be willing to bet that he’d love to trade it all in to dial the clock back to the point of making the decision to break his covenant with his wife/fam.

You see, it is easy to scorn those who fall from their lofty pedestal.  Not to mention that fact that we are often the reason they are placed on such a lofty pitch.  But what about the ‘Tiger’ in me? Or in you?  On Tiger’s issue I cannot relate…perhaps you may not either.  But, what about the things in your life that you know are wrong – no matter what code you live by.  Someone once told me that it was in the quiet times and lonely places that we prove ourselves capable of greater responsibility.  Who are you when no one is looking?  The greater the similarity between the public you and the private you the greater the grasp you have on living a life of integrity.

How about this for an applicable anecdote?  The dialogue below is following King David (another guy with incredible popularity in his day and all the stuff anyone could want) having an affair with the wife of a dude named Uriah.  Following which, he had Uriah killed in battle.  Below is an actual account from 2 Samuel Chapter 12:

1 and God sent Nathan the prophet to tell this story to David:
A rich man and a poor man lived in the same town.
2 The rich man owned a lot of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had only one little lamb that he had bought and raised. The lamb became a pet for him and his children. He even let it eat from his plate and drink from his cup and sleep on his lap. The lamb was like one of his own children.

4 One day someone came to visit the rich man, but the rich man didn’t want to kill any of his own sheep or cattle and serve it to the visitor. So he stole the poor man’s little lamb and served it instead.

5 David was furious with the rich man and said to Nathan, “I swear by the living Lord that the man who did this deserves to die! 6 And because he didn’t have any pity on the poor man, he will have to pay four times what the lamb was worth.”

7 Then Nathan told David:
You are that rich man!

OUCH! David must have felt a gaping hole in his  invincibility.  The injustice within Nathan’s parable struck a chord with him to the point where he demanded that the character be punished.  I thought back to this encounter when the Tiger story broke.  How quick I am to point the finger and deem Tiger to be yet another failure at morality, only to hear a voice urging me to look in the mirror.  Then and now I am quickly reminded of the areas of my life that needs ‘fixing’.  You see, no matter how you view others and yourself, there is ONE who sees us on the same ‘playing field’.  That’s who David chose to run to…here is the actual prayer he prayed to God upon realizing how bankrupt he was spiritually (Coldplay rocking ‘Fix You’ is a nice touch to the prayer):

Challenge: Tame the TIGER within you instead of relishing in the one who has fallen around you.