Whining = Pushups

I really should be doing dishes this morning, but when it comes to house work I am a terrible procrastinator (admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery; of course, the second step is caring enough about it to change . . . and I don’t). And I had enough folks ask me what a recent Facebook status meant that I thought I would offer an explanation.

When I was in high school, we had a rule. At the time, I thought it was funny. Looking back, I think it was brilliant (yes, Bro. Poore, I said brilliant). It was a way of sucessfully keeping order among a group of crazy teengers without being heavy handed.

The rule was this:

We had to drop and do ten pushups for every instance of whining, rebellion or stupidity.

I still remember a trip to Table Rock Lake when one of our vehicles broke down and we were eating at a Wendy’s somewhere in Missouri, and I don’t know what happened but suddenly there were five of our group on the floor doing pushups. Wherever we went, our group was always doing pushups.

Now, of course, I can’t touch on this without bringing up the only time I had to do pushups.

I was either a junior or a senior in high school (can’t remember and don’t feel like doing the math) and I thought I would make it until the end of my four years in youth group without getting a single pushup, mainly because I’m a deplorable people pleaser (I was worse when I was in high school) and I thought I would just die if I ever did anything meriting it. It was one of our Mexico trips. We had been living in a village for a week, subsisting on military rations, and we were eating at a steak house somewhere in Texas, and the fact that I had never gotten pushups came up.

So. I got ten just because I’d never gotten pushups before.

Oh, my. I was such a weird kid. I wish I could tell you that I wasn’t upset, that I was mature enough to see the silliness in it at the time. But man I was angry. Looking back now, I’m honestly embarassed about it (so embarassed that even as I write this I feel my face getting red). But I was so angry. I don’t get angry very often, so the urge to spit nails was a new experience for me. I had to leave the restaurant and go out to the parking lot and just stay away from people because I was so angry.

But that anger didn’t compare to how awful I felt when my youth pastor apologized to me about it. I felt lower than dirt because deep inside I knew it hadn’t meant anything, and it was stupid for me to be upset about something like that. So I guess that was my life lesson about not getting angry about stupid stuff. =)

Pride. The great equalizer. You’d think it lifts you up above other people, but it really just drags you through the dirt with everyone else.

In any case, if you ever hear me or anyone from the Class of 2001 refer to pushups or use the phrase “just drop” after somebody does something stupid, now you’ll know what it means.