back in late november of 2007 i was at a basketball game with a group of friends. we were trying to make our student section better and there just seemed to be something missing. after making sure the friends agreed with me, i went to our athletic department for permission to start up a new club that promoted the fan experienced and helped build our student section up.

fast forward two years and four months and you’ll get to monday night where i turned the club over to a couple of sophomores to lead for the next two years.

throughout the 28 months of leading the lunatics we built it from a core group of about ten people to a group of over 60 people. we were called the best student group in the big south by a coach from another school. we pulled a prank that one opposing player called the funniest thing he’d ever seen.

most of all we had a ton of fun.

as much fun as it is to get lost in all of those memories and all of the stories of things we did, and believe me there are a ton, i’ve realized as this year has come to a close how many things that i screwed up. i’ve realized how many things that i should’ve done different. i’ve realized that we could’ve been a much better club if i would’ve changed a couple of things.

tonight in my last meeting, i brought all of those things up.

if you know me at all, you know that i always joke about being awesome. i say that if i don’t think i’m awesome, no one else will. it’s predominantly a joke but there’s always a little truth in every joke. personally, i think that i’m smart, that i generally have a good handle on things, and that my ideas are good ideas. i’m very confident in my abilities, sometimes to a fault. the natural and easy thing to have done would’ve been to overlook the mistakes that i made or to shift the blame onto someone else.

the easy thing isn’t always the right thing though. (i think i’ve heard that somewhere before…)

throughout my entire life i’ve made mistakes. i’ve screwed up in this aspect or messed up in that area. for the longest time, i’d make an excuse to justify it. i had coaches or teachers that knew i’d have a great excuse when i messed up. i just didn’t like thinking i wasn’t right or that something was my fault. i had that attitude in sports, in school, and even in relationships.

and the thing is, i didn’t even realize it.

over the last year or so, on multiple occasions, i’ve asked god to show me my weaknesses. i wanted to know what things i needed to improve. i knew that for me to be a successful leader in a church, or even a leader period, there were things in my life that needed to change. i also knew that if i looked at myself on my own that i wouldn’t admit something was a problem even if i saw it. i needed god to show it to me and help me fix it.

i was really wishing that god would answer my prayer and write me a list on a white board so that i could cross each one off as i tackled it. unfortunately, god doesn’t work that way.

a few weeks ago my youth class had a guest speaker come in and talk to us. he was the assistant high school pastor at a mega church. he asked the class what we thought were the ideal traits of a good youth leader. i raised my hand at one point and told him that i thought it was very important that a leader not be afraid to mess up and was able to admit it when he did mess up.

he agreed with me.

but wait, i’m the guy who has an excuse for everything. i never mess up.

it was in that setting that i realized that i needed to take my own advice. i needed to work on that trait myself. over the next couple of days i started to really examine myself and the things that i’d done and made excuses for. i felt like it was important that if i couldn’t go back and admit the mistakes to the person in question, i could at least admit them to myself.

just because things were completely crumbling with my ex didn’t mean it was okay for me to have that conversation with that other girl. it may not have led to anything and may have been innocent but it was still wrong and i shouldn’t have done it.

just because someone may have treated me bad doesn’t mean that it was okay for me to act the same way towards them.

just because i didn’t want to be alone doesn’t make it right that i stayed in that relationship so long.

i could go on and on and on and on with the mistakes that i made that i somehow justified in my head. it’s much easier for us to justify the things we do and make excuses for them than it is to admit that we screwed up and that what we did wasn’t right.

it is hard to admit that we’re not perfect but that’s the only way that we can’t grow.

i can’t expect to grow as a leader if i can’t look back at the mistakes i made as leader of this club and admit where i screwed up and learn from it.

i can’t expect to grow as a person if i can’t look back at the mistakes i made in my past and admit where i screwed up and learn from it.

i can’t expect to grow as a christian if i can’t look at the mistakes i make routinely and admit that i’m making them and learn from it.

we all like to think we’ve got it together. we like to think that we’re alright. we may even like to think that we’re awesome but the only way to truly be awesome is to take a step back and look at the times that we suck and learn from them.

if we can’t do that we just become a played out excuse, and that’s definitely not awesome.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.