The world turns on trust. You may say that you are not a very trusting person, but that simply isn’t true. You may not be as trusting as others, but you do in fact trust people. We all do. We couldn’t make it thru one day without relying on people around us. Don’t believe me? Think about it.

Yesterday you probably ate food. If you are like me, that food may have been purchased at a grocery store, a restaurant or even a greasy gas station. When you made the transaction to purchase the food, you trust the people responsible for that food to have not done anything harmful to the food. You trust someone you may have never met before to safely feed you that day. You trust the other patrons in the store or restaurant to not rob or harm you as you are making your purchase. You trust the general public to not steal, vandalize or impair your car while you are inside making a purchase. On your way to the store you trusted other drivers on the road to safely obey traffic laws and stay in their lanes. You trust the teller at the bank with your paycheck so you would have money to put gas in your car. You trust the gas station to have gasoline in their pumps and not water. You trust your place of employment to pay you on an agreed upon date. You trust when you they send you statements for your 401K that they are not just spending the money you are saving. You close your eyes at night and trust your spouse, parents and siblings to not harm you in the middle of the night.

You get on an airplane and trust that there are no terrorists on board wishing to send a message.

You go to college and trust that another student will not chain the doors shut and start killing their classmates.

You go to the movies and trust that no one will come thru the back door and open fire.

You send your kids to school, and trust in their safety.

99.9999% your trust is not misplaced. You eat food that is safe, you drive among safe drivers, and you close your eyes to wake to another day, 99.9999% of the time.

You get on and off airplanes without incident 99.9999% of the time.

You go to four years of college never once fearing for your life 99.9999% of the time.

You walk out of a movie theater happy and entertained 99.9999% of the time.

Kids come home from school, 99.9999% of the time.

And then there is that .0001%. When society lets us down. When our trust is betrayed.

Someone takes our trust, and abuses it in the worst way.

We call these times tragedy. Unexpected. Unprovoked. Unnecessary. Pointless. 1 in a million tragedies.

And 99.9999% of our country will mourn and pull together with our neighbors who we may not know, but trust on a daily basis. Because when trust is betrayed in New York City, or Blacksburg, Virginia, or Aurora, Colorado or Newtown Connecticut; trust is betrayed everywhere.

Questions will be asked in the coming days.

“How could we have seen this coming?” You couldn’t.

“What could have been done to prevent this?” Probably nothing.

“What can we do so this never happens again?” Nothing.

The truth is trust will continue to be betrayed. We are not smart enough, nor will we ever be, to know how to prevent people from betraying trust.

There is only One who is truly worthy of our trust, because He is the One who is assured to never betray that trust. The sad thing is, I have been guilty of betraying of the God who promised to never betray me. And yet He forgives me time and again and trusts that I will do better.

And so to move on from a horrific tragedy such as this, we offer the ultimate forgiveness, by once again placing trust in our neighbors and in God.


Don’t Be That Guy…

Proof that my wife has great taste in men… – TH

Everybody knows that guy. The guy who does something that is generally considered to be a faux pas. To other guys, this might just be a quirk. Or, more likely, they’ve never even noticed it. The problem here is that that guy usually intends to impress girls, and girls know faux pas. Girls read entire magazines on what to do and not to do in this situation, what to wear or what not to wear, what this says about that, and so on. Girls pick apart every nuance. They do it to each other, and they do it to you. So be warned – don’t be that guy.

  1. Don’t be that guy who wears a class ring. Class rings are so…tacky. So you played football in high school. Just tell me that. Don’t wear jewelry that displays that fact in 4 point font. You were born in August. I’ll send you a birthday card. Don’t sport a gigantic, fake, green stone on your hand.  Maybe it was cool in high school. I don’t think it was, but hey, maybe. However, it’s not cool now. Class rings are big, brassy, artificial-gemstone-y time stamps. Don’t carry high school around with you. It is decidedly un-classy.
  2. Don’t be that guy who takes pictures of himself. It’s annoying enough when teenage girls do it. We do not want to see a grown man do this to himself. It’s self-absorbed and emasculating. And please, please do not be that guy that takes pictures of his muscles.
  3. Don’t be that guy who loves video games. I get it. All guys play video games. However, don’t drift into that category of guys who not only play video games, but actually then talk about those video games with other people, refer to them like everyone knows what you’re talking about, wears a headset while playing, or (please don’t) asks a girl to watch him play a video game. This is the point of no return. If you let yourself fall into this category, be prepared to only date girls who attend comic book conventions or worse, only date girls who also love video games. You don’t want to date those girls.
  4. Don’t be that guy who wants to travel. This line seems to work its way into every fantastical depiction of “the perfect guy.” Fluffy books and Lifetime movies are made on this stuff. Some real girls probably swoon over this lie, too. I really don’t know why. Oh, so the guy you’re interested in says that he wants to wander around the world for the rest of his life, and he wants to do it alone to “find himself?” Cool? No. That’s code for he’s going to dump you and disappear, and he wants you to assume he’s on an uncharted expedition to Antarctica where there are no phones and he can ignore all your texts. And that’s only if he’s telling you a blatant lie. If he really thinks he is going to travel, then you can probably also expect him to stay in college for ten years, achieving obscure and lofty-sounding titles and degrees.  Then, when he’s finally gotten every degree he can think of and the only logical next step is getting a job, then and only then, will he finally decide to travel (say that part breathily and with a most self-righteous look on your face).
  5. Don’t be that guy who can’t grow facial hair. I think most girls are attracted to some scruff, and a lot of girls are even attracted to full-blown facial hair. The problem is, not all guys can achieve that look. You know who you are. If you can’t grow a beard, you know it. It’s not your fault. Here’s the solution- just don’t let anyone know that all you’ve got is peach fuzz. That’s the easy solution. Patchy beards are the same. That’s not attractive, so even if a beard is stylish, just keep it clean-shaven. You’ll garner a lot more respect that way.
  6. Don’t be that guy who drives a weird car. All decent girls know that not everyone can afford a nice car, and you’ll do well to snag a girl who doesn’t require you go out of your means to please her with your vehicle. So, don’t fret, all you ’98 Honda Civic drivers. This one isn’t for you. This one is for those guys who drive the ridiculous cars. Why would you drive a Nissan Juke? Just please don’t do it. Those things are ugly and impractical. A two-door, small SUV? Why? This also applies to lifted, under-lighted, and decaled cars. It’s weird and kind of juvenile. But the worst offense, by far, is that of the obnoxious-colored car. Think that primer-base you’re sporting is edgy? No, just redneck. Loving your radioactive green sports car? You just wasted a lot of money, my friend. Your Corvette is yellow, you say? Drive it on over to Hooters. I’m sure you’ll find some admirers there, if you tip well. And that really goes for any yellow car. Don’t be that guy.
  7. Don’t be that guy who was a legend. Guys love to talk about the good old days, especially the good old sporting days. But isn’t funny how every guy was some unsung hero of the sporting world? There are some guys who were really legends, but it’s usually obvious. Like, maybe I’ve heard of you? Or maybe you look remotely athletic? Perhaps your friends could corroborate that story? Yeah, I didn’t think so. If you weren’t that great, then just own up to it. Girls love a great story, even if it doesn’t include you being carried off the field on everyone else’s shoulders. It’s ok if you were the one dragged off by the trainers or the one just sitting the bench. It’s endearing.
  8. Don’t be that guy who quotes American Pie and/or Old School. It seems that this is a male phenomenon. Guys love these movies. Girls don’t. Please don’t quote raunchy movie lines to a girl you’re trying to impress. Not only are they gross, but when did those guys debut? Like 2000? Early 2000s. Now, to be fair, you were probably in the target audience at that time. I think every teenage guy saw it and loved it. But hey, that was a long time ago and you have (hopefully) matured. And if you haven’t, at least pretend like you have. When you spout lines from American Pie, girls think of you as that sweaty, spindly boy sitting in the theater, memorizing every word with your peepers popping out of your head. Do you really want her to think about you like that? Nope. So, before you open your mouth to make some band camp quip, think about what kind of images you’ll be conjuring. Oh, and also, if you say that band camp line, she’ll think you’re really stupid.

I’m sure there are other scenarios that are immediately off-putting to 90% of the female species, but this is as critical as I feel like being right now. If you aren’t guilty of any of these eight, then you are well on your way. And remember, most women are pretty forgiving. Maybe you should amend that story where you had the game-winner or have your car painted, but hey, those are pretty easy fixes. At least you’re willing to change. There’s nothing worse than a guy who refuses to admit when he’s wrong. Just don’t be that guy.