Sunday, January 17, 2010

The 99 and the 1 (Problems)

One of my closest friends, Matt Gaylon, took the now former Sara Kandt to be his wife yesterday.  Although, I've known Matt since we were in college together, we first really started hanging out in the summer of 2007.   We were two members of a group of guys that began to bond closer than our previous acquaintanceship and the Epoch Crew was born.  It was in the course of one such Crew hangout that Matt quipped that a friend was having problems with his girlfriend.  Another friend (Jason Myhre, I think) proceeded to quote the poet, Jay-Z, proclaimed that "If you're having girl problems, I feel bad for you son."  "Man, I would love to have girl problems," Matt quipped.  Several months later, his pursuit of Sara would begin.

Since then, Jason and I often come back to the issue of the 100th problem (and my planned tweet, should I ever acquire one).  That has led me to ponder, though, what are my 99 problems?  Both things that afflict me and things that afflict others around me.  Here's what I have:
  1. My Flesh
  2. The World
  3. The Devil  
  4. The lust of the flesh
  5. The lust of the eyes
  6. The boastful pride of life
  7. Jealousy
  8. Covetousness
  9. Envy
  10. Fear of man
  11. Osama ben Laden
  12. State-sponsored terror
  13. State-sponsored genocide (including abortion)
  14. Oppressive states that prohibit religious freedom
  15. The New York Yankees
  16. The Dallas Cowboys
  17. The Liverpool Football Club
  18. The Chelsea Football Club
  19. The Los Angeles Lakers
  20. The San Antonio Spurs
  21. Mo' money
  22. Playa's
  23. Haters
  24. Playa-haters
  25. NBC dumping my favorite late night comic (#teamCoCo)
  26. The fact that The Office jumped the shark sometime after season 4
  27. The Star Wars prequels barely lived up to half of their potential
  28. The problem of evil
  29. The proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
  30. The Bowl Championship Series
  31. Cancer (specifically, that my mom's had it three times)
  32. Asthma (it afflicts both my parents)
  33. Gluten Intolerance (afflicts one brother and my father)
  34. H1N1 
  35. Bird Flu
  36. The proliferation of pornography
  37. The ready-availability of drugs and cheap booze in my neighborhood
  38. That I struggle to reach out to my neighbors
  39. I never got to see Bleach, Five Iron Frenzy, or Noise Ratchet in concert
  40. The Grammy's seldom recognize deserving artists
  41. The Recording Industry in America focuses more on money than music
  42. So many of my dear friends and relatives don't know Christ
  43. That I struggle to speak the Gospel to my friends and relatives who don't know Christ
  44. I haven't left the country since 2006
  45. Work can be a grind
  46. The majority of Americans drink bad coffee
  47. The tangled maze of Southern Baptist bureaucracy 
  48. The vicious political infighting of the Southern Baptist Convention
  49. Clinging to the traditions of men over the clear teaching of Scripture regarding issues like alcohol.
  50. Blaming it on the al-ah-ah-ah-al-co-hol
  51. Inconsistency
  52. My inconsistency
  53. Revenge
  54. Bitterness
  55. Passivity
  56. Laziness
  57. Grammar-Check on Microsoft Word
  58. Frustration
  59. Anger
  60. Busy work
  61. Reading secondary sources when primary sources are available
  62. That the MDiv degree is 90 hours long
  63. The increased professionalisation of Christian ministry
  64. Rampant egalitarianism in the home and church
  65. Tarring and feathering one's opponents on a given issue
  66. Elevating secondary issues to primary issues
  67. The Baptist Identity movement
  68. Racism
  69. Classism
  70. Sexism
  71. Narcissism
  72. Soccer not being embraced by a wider spectrum of the America public
  73. Square 1
  74. Winter's cold
  75. Occasionally breaking out in hives due to unknown allergies
  76. Communication difficulties
  77. Dissension
  78. Factions
  79. Natural disasters
  80. Legislating from the bench
  81. Big government
  82. That there are only 24 hours in a day
  83. That I can't really function off of < 5 hours sleep
  84. Poverty
  85. Violence
  86. Spam
  87. High Fructose Corn Syrup
  88. GMOs
  89. PACs
  90. Partisan Congressional Bickering
  91. The Republican Party
  92. The Democratic Party
  93. Catholic school girls who order Frappuccinos en masse
  94. The mothers of Catholic school girls who order half-caf sugar-free vanilla nonfat 1 & 1/2 Splenda lattes en masse.
  95. My iPod has been missing for several months
  96. Yoko Ono
  97. Congress has a vendetta against Djarum
  98. Dissatisfaction and discontentment
  99. My heart seeks satisfaction from idols, instead of the living God
There it is, in no particular order.  Some are deadly serious.  Some are comical or farcical.  Such is my life.


At 11:45 AM , Blogger Brent Braun said...

I feel almost bad saying this....but I have seen Bleach like 3 times in concert. Actually was able to sit down with a couple of the band members one time because a friend of mine from church went to school with them at Kentucky Christian College. Did you know that they originally wanted to name the band Muffin?

At 10:18 AM , Blogger Jason said...

love the juxtaposition of the serious with the inconsequential. such is your life, and such is life. it is the prioritization of these matters that matters. much love in the Lord, brother.

ps, a couple i thought of later: wolves, wolves in sheep's clothes, sheep in wolves clothes, clothes (jk), Philistines, philistines, MSG, man this could really go on for a while...

At 4:11 PM , Blogger laceylou said...

11. Osama ben Laden.

Love it.

Also, I finally saw Up in the Air and read your post. The movie definitley poised some legitimate questions concerning the growing isolation of the American culture.

At 10:41 AM , Blogger Paul said...

Brent: Somehow, I think I knew about the Muffin, thing. All three of those bands, specifically, were concerts that my parents wouldn't let me go to, for some reason or another. :) But yeah, I still enjoy the 3 Tooth & Nail Bleach albums a whole lot.

Jason: Those are all great things. The wolves/sheep ones? Priceless!

Lacey: You love Osama? Are you American? :)

Good reading of "Up in the Air," btw. I think isolation is a key theme in the film.


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