Bills, Bikes, & Balance

Last week, I realized I was experiencing a sensation, a feeling, that I hadn’t felt in far too long. . . . Excitement. That butterflies-in-the-stomach, adrenalized, wide-eyed sense of anticipating something. It was an odd moment to not be able to recall the last time I felt that emotion.

As men in this push-and-shove culture, the stress of life—bills, insurance, budgets, deadlines, expectations, failures, let-downs—it all mounts up to becoming all too familiar with negative emotions. A sense of excitement and hope can become strangers to us. We throw around phrases like, “Yeah, man, I’m pumped!”, “Stoked about this weekend!”, “Really fired up about working on that new project!”, more as patronized marketing than authentic exhilaration.

Last year, I met the guy who owns the biggest, most popular Harley shop in Nashville. Some of his more well-known clients are Tim McGraw and Toby Keith. So I asked him if he could tell me his demographic sweet spot, the guy that all the marketing is after, the guy who will actually walk in and drive out on one? He quickly answered, “Oh, yeah, it’s a 53-year-old white middle to upper class male. That’s my guy.” Then I asked him, “What’s your biggest marketing issue?” He answered, “The next generation of American males coming up. How do I get them to want a Harley too?”

The next time you’re out driving around on a weekend, check out the average age (by appearance) of the guys you see riding Harley’s. I think the marketing plan is working. White collar and tie on Friday, leather vest and bandana on Saturday—bad boys from the ‘burbs.

Now, cashing in some 401k for two weekend wheels isn’t a bad thing to do, to try and create some enjoyment and live some life. Unfortunately, so many men create their own brand of excitement in the wrong way when life just won’t seem to provide an opportunity for a little adrenaline any more.

When was the last time you got legitimately excited about an opportunity, an event, or a relationship? What does it take to excite you these days? What makes you lose sleep in a good way or wake up rarin’ to go, because you just can’t wait for something?

If you have an answer, then the next question is, is it a good thing, a positive thing? If your answer is like my own recent realization and it’s hard to recall the last time you felt that way, let’s figure out what part of abundant we’re missing out of life? What needs to be put in place to stop the life being sucked out? What needs to go to make time for what counts? What makes us live now and not die slowly?

This life is all about balance and when we stop getting excited about living it, it’s up to us to get with God and make a change—in the right way for the right reasons. And it’s likely more about where we’re walking than what we’re driving.

I came so {you} might have life, a great full life. —John 10:10b NLV



Nelda Gardner June 18, 2013

This is my nephew, Robert, son of my younger brother, Fred. I am proud of him.

    Robert Noland June 18, 2013

    Thank you so much, Nelda. Means a lot. -Robert

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