You Forfeit…

The game; the set; the match; the divorce hearing; the money; your character and your life…

when you don’t “show up”.

I didn’t show up. I called in.

I had asked nicely, multiple times, if I could schedule a couple of days off.

No dice.

But having an understanding supervisor say, “You might have to call in to get them,” focused a glaring light on today’s current, available, workforce… who call in like clock work, don’t call in and just don’t show up, and when scheduling a day off is available they burn all their days so fast in the first quarter… they have to just call in the rest of the year.

Leaving “the good” employees holding the bag and having to make choices that they really don’t agree with.

Like I said, I asked the question, “Can I schedule a few vacation days?”

LIFE said, “No.”

I’d like us to consider a concept today, presented by Dr. and Author, Viktor E. Frankl in his bestselling book “Man’s Search For Meaning.”

Mr. Frankl and his book are remembered because he wrote and published it in 1946, not even a year after having survived the Nazi concentration camps of Adolf Hitler in World War 2.

Two of which, Auschwitz and Dachau, would garner the most headlines.

His words are harrowing.

What he discovered and puts forth from his experience, can be life changing, can be hard to grasp, can be used to shed a light on a mans outlook about… his life, his faith, and his own failings when dealing with his fellow man.

The biggest thing I’ve garnered thus far is… understanding.

My new understanding hasn’t sunk all the way in yet, I’m writing this to capture, as fresh as I can, the understanding of suffering, pain, and hopelessness that Mr. Frankl has offered a solution for.

And while reading his words, the words of Jesus Christ started to come to mind as I would linger on, and go over more than once, the concept offered by Dr. Frankl.

I can honestly say, “I never battled my depression.”

It would cripple my mind every time, to the point of me coming close to taking my own life. And I’m not ashamed to say that it wasn’t my will to live that stopped me from following through on my plans.

It was a question, asked of me, as I was deciding to veer my car into an oncoming semi-truck…

“What would your mom think?”

Life at that point had let me down and shown me that I could have all of the expectations of life in the world, but life, did not meet any of my expectations I had for it, it had let me down, just like my education, my dad, and whoever God was, if there even was one.

In his book Dr. Frankl gives us the words of a soon to be dying man, once they regard hope as lost, and their life having no purpose, or aim, having all sense of being stripped away, and can see NO POINT in carrying on, they would say,…

“I have nothing to expect from life any more.”

What he and a few others had discovered was that a fundamental shift, a fundamental change, in our attitude toward life itself was what was being asked of those who would one day become survivors of the Holocaust.

He writes,

“We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the DESPAIRING men, that…

it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.

We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life [itself] daily and hourly.

[And] Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct.

Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to it’s problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for us.”

We fail to appreciate life because we look upon life as we would a vending machine, we think, “I put this effort into it, I press B22, and should receive this result, this THING should just pop out. And when that doesn’t happen, “Life sucks!”

But life isn’t a vending machine, it isn’t a dispensary, life is a person, one who goes unappreciated, un-acknowledged, and we out right refuse to hear any questions that are being asked of us… by HIM.

As I was reading “Man’s Search For Meaning” I was reminded of that day I heard that voice, I didn’t know… for sure… that that was the voice of God, I was drunk at the time, and only sobered up because that voice scared the crap out of me.

I know it now though.

I’ve trusted it a few times since then.

Even to the point now where I am a Pastor/Minister.

And so the voice I was hearing along side Dr. Frankl, as I read his book, was the voice of Jesus Christ, as heard in the book of Matthew Ch. 16:24-27 (28)

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” from NIV

Dr. Frankl posits that LIFE is asking us a question…

If what Jesus says, in another place, “I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE…” is true, then isn’t it he who is asking the question?

My thought: If Jesus is the life, and life expects something OF us, NOT from us, and Jesus is Lord of Lords, then the verse found at Micah 6:8 gives us the questions we need to be worried about!?!

“What does the LORD (life) require of you (expect)? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” ~ Micah 6:8

Therein lies our questions, that all other questions would stem.

“Are you acting justly? Do you know what that means?”

“Do you love mercy? Do you know what that entails?”

“Are you walking humbly with your God? Who is your god? We all worship something, even a golden calf at one point.”

You forfeit,

The game; the set; the match; the divorce hearing; the money; your character and your life…

when you don’t “show up”.

Just don’t show up. Don’t have to answer any questions. Don’t have to acknowledge any responsibility, or responsibilities. Keep your eyes down. Don’t engage. Just do the bare minimum to barely get by.

And don’t believe.

Don’t believe, especially, in something you haven’t read or studied.

I ask myself, “How am I doing with Micah 6:8?”

“How do my actions depict my attitude toward life?”

And I have to remind myself, “Dave, NOT doing something, is doing something.”

If I’ve done my job, and have gotten you to “stop and think” for a moment, please drop me a comment.

The Emerging Man, writing to ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & ENGAGE!

I’ve written a book, “Killing Suicide”, about my personal journey with depression and contemplating suicide, you may know someone who could benefit from it, the statistics say that you do, hopelessness can find you in a concentration camp, a high rise penthouse suite, and even in a drunken stupor on an empty highway at 4am.

4 thoughts on “You Forfeit…

  1. Thank you Dave for sharing your heart. Thank you for your honesty. Hope you and your precious family are well these days. Blessings and love, Rich


    1. Thank you Rich. All’s well on our end.
      Hope you and your family had a blessed Easter.



  2. This one makes me think deeper, thanks


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