How Will I Laugh Tomorrow…..When I Can’t Even Smile Today?

dead end

If we fail to choose a destination, we most likely will end up in a place that we didn’t choose to be.

Punk/thrash band Suicidal Tendencies covers this concept pretty well in their 1988 song “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow…”   the next line is “when I can’t even smile today.


Day after day, we live moment to moment, with no vision or planning for the future. No intention in our actions, no direction.  Just getting by.  Our mental state and our next action are dictated by the circumstances that we find ourselves digging out of, instead of our planning and intentions.

“The clock keeps ticking, but nothing else seems to change
Problems never solved, just rearranged
And when I think about all the times that I’ve had
Some were good most were bad”

How did I reach this point? 

Maybe a better question would be, “how did I expect to wind up anywhere else?”

When my sons do something brainless and get a horrible result, my reaction is often, “Son!  What did you think was gonna happen?”

They didn’t think far enough ahead (or they didn’t think at all).  Their vision only reached the next 2 seconds and five feet ahead.

Extend this decision making process into adulthood.

Everyone has heard, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

Eventually, our days are filled with do overs and damage control.

We can’t concern ourselves with saving money when we’re stressing over scraping up enough to pay this months bills.

We don’t worry about where our kids will be at 18 when we are constantly at the end or our rope with a couple of toddlers.

We don’t worry about running a 5k race when we’re ready to pass out from climbing a flight of stairs.

We can’t make plans for a better career path, when we’re struggling to hang on to the job we have.

We ruin new relationships because our current relationships are such a mess that we stay in a terrible state of mind.

Try to give a youth basketball player advice on shooting mechanics.  Even if you’ve witnessed 15 straight misses and just want to offer a minor adjustment to their technique, the answer is always the same………”it just doesn’t feel right”.  Translation=I’m comfortable doing it the wrong way and I’m not gonna change.

We are all guilty of this; only willing to make changes and adjustments in cases where we see instant results, improvement, or gratification.

We only concern ourselves with making that “next shot”.  Five years from now, we still can’t shoot.  We lose our love for the game, doubt our value to the team, and basketball becomes a miserable experience.

How will I laugh tomorrow, when I can’t even smile today?

Make a choice to laugh tomorrow.  But making changes today doesn’t always mean that the laughter comes today.  Stay the course.  Change the future.

Make plans.

Make changes, even if you don’t see immediate results.

Obviously, we aren’t guaranteed of tomorrow.  But we don’t have to find ourselves in a mess when it does come …..because we ignore it today and fail to prepare for it.

Don’t settle for being comfortable doing things the wrong way.  Don’t be afraid to tackle difficult changes with an eye on the future.





I Forgot How Bad Walmart Sucks

walmart cart

I’m not just a “glass half-full” guy.  I’m a glass 3/4 full guy.

I tune out the chatter of all the ills and downfalls of my small town, my state, and the USA.  Look for the good and you will find it.  If you can’t find it, look harder.  Or better yet, just set out to make some small part of your world a little better each day.  Find the bright side.  Yeah, that sounds good.

And then I wake up in a strange town in desperate need of donuts, night crawlers, and chicken livers.  Without knowing where to turn for these three key items, I have a lapse in judgement and ask Siri those words that don’t seem natural to me, “driving directions to Walmart”.  I don’t do Walmart when I’m at home, but that’s another story for another day.

This is an early morning trip, designed to miss the first of the month mayhem.  I arrived in a good mood, happy to be away from a stressful job, free to spend a relaxing day of fishing with my family.  I drove away minutes later, convinced that our country is in complete and hopeless decay.

I suppose our view of the world depends on which part of the world we’re looking at, who we spend our time with, and what types of media we allow to invade our brain.  For those who work at Walmart, you have my sympathy.  Unconsciously, I have sheltered myself daily from a large segment of people.

As a teen, during the “rock music will send you to hell” era, I used to tell people that people didn’t turn to the ways of evil because they listened to heavy metal, but for those that were heavy into evil……heavy metal would obviously be the music of choice.  So I’m not saying that everybody that shops at Walmart is lazy.  But if you are lazy, then you wouldn’t dream of shopping anywhere else.

It’s an absolute haven for people who come from the school of thought that preaches doing as little as humanly possible and the greatest theme for life in general,

“Somebody else will get it.”

The store wasn’t very full at this particular time of morning.  I was amazed at the number of motorized shopping carts in use, not because they were needed by most……..just because they were so convenient and so dang available at this early hour.

Impaired lady in checkout line ramming her cart against the counter, causing the cashier a momentary panic……check.

Lady with a half-dressed infant slung uncomfortably in the bread basket of the shopping cart……check.

And the greatest scene of all came in the parking lot.  47 shopping carts.  Seven in cart corrals.  Forty running wild.  Forty people put their purchases in their car and listened to that voice in their head,

“Somebody else will get it.”

Too lazy to walk 15 feet to do the right thing.  Fifteen feet away from freeing up parking spaces and reducing the grave danger of runaway shopping carts.  But it’s too much to take on.  I’ll just get in my car and leave it there for someone else to deal with.

So I get judgy.  I go ahead and assume, that of those 40 cart leavers, zero have had a job and done it well.  If they do have a job, I bet they live in total fear of doing too much or doing more than their share (I’m sure they have nothing to fear).  I bet they talk quite a bit about what’s fair.  I bet they talk a lot about what they think the government should be doing for them.  I bet some have never worked, never tried, and never intend to.  I bet they’re too lazy to raise their kids right.

A real Sherlock Holmes.  Amazing what a guy can deduct from a few scattered carts on a Walmart parking lot.

But what if every cart was left by a 90 year-old WWII vet or a single mother with four kids under the age of 5? What if they were struggling and I didn’t even notice? Didn’t offer to lend a hand.

Maybe the guy with the 3/4 full cup needs to look past the empty buggies and silly judgemental assumptions.

Find a greater, God honoring purpose.  Count blessings.  If my cup is overflowing, I need to ignore the objects and distractions and open my eyes to the people around me.  Fill someone else’s cup.  Make some part of the world better even if that part happens to be a Walmart parking lot.  It’s not about the place.  It’s about the people.

But Walmart still sucks.



Daily “I” Exam

Kr's left eyekals eye


I don’t have to have clear sight of the final step.  I just have to have enough faith to take the next one.

I will not allow hurry to enter my world.

I don’t have to finish everything.  I just have to make steady progress.

I will accept responsibility for my own failures.  I refuse to blame.

I will not take actions that require apologies tomorrow.

I will learn from my mistakes.

I will pray.

I will give thanks to my Heavenly Father for all things.

I will forgive.

I will not ask for help if I can do it myself.

I will not over-react.

I will look for the bright side in every situation.

I’ll remember that I am weak but He is strong.

I will know how valued I am as a child of the King.

I refuse to allow discouragement to stick around.

I will be slow to anger.

I will search for eternal perspective in all of life’s situation’s.

I will allow God’s word to transform my mind daily.

I will lead patiently.

I will give.

I will smile.

I will laugh, and others will laugh with me.

I will sing, even when I don’t know the words.

I will learn something new.

I will encourage, pat somone on the back as I pass by.

I will listen.

I will approach my work as if doing it for the Lord.  I will not half-way do anything.

I will be a peacemaker.

I will choose my words wisely.

I will cheer others.

I won’t sweat the small stuff, but I will celebrate small victories.

I will value people more than tasks and schedules.

I will remain calm in the storms, knowing God is with me.

I will make myself last, not first.

I will model a life worth living. Someone is always watching. I AM a role model.

I will love.

I will make the most of today, knowing that God holds every tomorrow.




I’m Gonna Change My Name From “MOM”!


Being a parent looks so easy when you aren’t one.

You have all the answers.  “If that was my kid…….”

When a baby cries during church service…….I’d take them out, of course.

When a child speaks disrespectfully in public to his parents……..I’d teach him respect.

When a child whines and cries and gets on everyone’s last nerve…….I’d give him something to cry about.

And then, you are a parent.  And you realize that you have no clue what you’re doing.

The lessons that you were so certain you could teach, they escape you because you have

entered some sort of survival mode.

You are so clueless that you don’t even know how clueless you are.

There is no vision for lessons to be learned or direction

of your parental influence because it’s all you can do to get through the day.

If you have now or have had two in diapers at once,

and possibly an older sibling or another on the way……

Consider yourself lucky if you read this from the safe confines of your home

and not from an institutional setting.

But you aren’t lucky.

You are blessed.

Surviving those early years as a parent isn’t easy.  Figuring it out as you go, trial and error.

Are we doing this right?

Sleepless nights, pulling out every possible ploy just to allow yourself to eat a meal.

And for moms, the phenomenon of struggling to find time to shower

(or use the potty alone).

You don’t give a flying fudgestick if your kids annoy other people in public because your life is a warzone.


That day comes, you hear a baby squalling in church.  But it’s different now.

A wide smile takes over you whole face as you start looking around for that guy who’s thinking,

“if that was my kid…..”

You know now that it’s the sweetest sound in the world.

The days become more frequent when you can come up for air.

Kids can dress, feed, and bathe themselves.

Lost brain cells re-generate.  Perspective appears again.

This greatest realization comes at some point.

When you are blessed with children, every age is the greatest age!

Opportunities to teach lessons and learn them yourself,

they change in nature but not in number.

The joy of being a parent.  Some days, in the midst of life’s struggles,

you have to look harder to find it.  But it’s there.

Don’t become so occupied with life that you forget to look for the joy.

My own kids are 17, 15, 14, & 8 now.

I suppose having a senior in high school can bring one to a crisis of the mind.

For me, I find myself reflecting more now than at any other point in my life.

What did my wife and I do right as parents yesterday?

What can we do better tomorrow?

Now back to the original statement:

“I’m going to change my name from MOM”

Everyone has heard this humorous phrase in the world of badgering kids.

But in a world of badgering kids, there is no greater joy, blessing, or privilege

than being called MOM or DAD.

Each time we hear it, it should remind us that there is great purpose for our lives.

Every day that I hear the word “dad” (or daddy as my oldest still calls me),

it should remind me

that every day is the most important day of my life!