Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Red Wing Boots vs Forever Lazy

In the early 1900s a guy from Minnesota named Charles Beckman started a business named Red Wing Shoes. Charles’ aim was to develop shoes that were tough enough for the harsh working conditions in places like coal mines and farms but also comfortable enough for the men who wore the shoes. Charles Beckman’s primary concern wasn’t comfort or else we’d be talking about Charles Beckman, the guy who invented the bedroom slipper. For Beckman, comfort was a means to an end: getting the job done.

The idea stuck and over a century later guys named Tully and Big Mike are still wearing Red Wing boots to the coalmine/farm/jobsite/Packers game.

Recently the United States of America was introduced to another invention. This one is nothing like Red Wing Boots. It’s called Forever Lazy. Guys named Tully and Big Mike would call their friend T-Mac to come do harm to you if you bought them a Forever Lazy for Christmas.

Unlike Red Wing Shoes, comfort is king at Forever Lazy. Getting the job done? Who said anything about a job? Pass the cheese curls!

In case you haven’t been introduced to Forever Lazy, here’s a frame-by-frame analysis.

0:04 – Our grandfather's fought other men in jungles halfway around the world. Thanks to Forever Lazy you no longer have to fight with those pesky blankets.

0:30 – Homework? “Okay class, for homework tonight I want you to find a blanket that you can wear and look at a picture book. Oh, and be sure to be way too happy.”

0:40 – If you’re ever invited to “party it up” with friends and when you arrive at the party site everyone is wearing one of these things, leave immediately. Nothing good can happen. Trust me.

0:57 – Dude, just move the TV and a chair next to your refrigerator. You’re already wearing a Forever Lazy so why hold back now. Take the plunge!

1:00 – College is a place of self-expression. It’s where you can finally be you without worrying about other people judging you. But I’m pretty sure that whether you go to “State” like these folks or the progressive Cal Berkley, you’re going to catch a beating for wearing this thing. So whatever you do, just don’t wear it outside.

1:04 – You just had to take it outside.

1:08 – What’s with all of this outdoor activity? How can you be lazy while tailgating? I’m sure the opposing team’s fans would have nothing to say to the group of people wearing their hooded pajamas out to a game. I’m not a gambling man but I’m 100% sure that these are Clemson fans.

1:12 – Okay, they’re cheering so they can’t be Clemson fans. Maybe Bayside High?

1:20 – If you are a reasonably young, able-bodied person who wears pants with hatches “for when duty calls” and you are not a cartoon, you have officially lost the will to live. Find a hospital bed immediately.

Comfort for the sake of comfort is a pathetic thing. Comfort should always motivate us to action.

As believers, we are not immune to adversity. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, Paul assures us of the hope that is ours in the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

But it doesn’t stop there. This isn’t God telling us to climb up on his lap so he can remind us of how great we are and tell us to cheer up. Instead, the comfort we have in him serves purposes greater than our own. He comforts us through adversity, “so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction” (1:4).

For many of us, this is the best time of the year. We get to eat a little more, see old friends and family and take a few days off from the regular routine. Oh, and there’s more football games on TV.

But for a lot of people these are miserable times. There’s an empty seat at the table. Perhaps the whole house that was once filled with laughter and the aroma of good food is now quiet and dark. For a growing number of people, stress is high as they think about all of the things they would like to buy for their family but just can’t afford anymore.

Not one of us is immune to hardship. We all know what it’s like to endure loneliness, heartache, doubt and worry. We also know what it’s like to find comfort in the “Father of mercies.”

Maybe more than any other time of year, this is a time for believers to move towards the hurting “with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

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