Signed Stevie G Jersey

I wholeheartedly believe one is more blessed to give than to receive. 
Venue people ask me all the time “How can we pray for you pastor?” 
“Just pray for ____ instead. I’m good (I think?)”…is what I used to say. 
The Kopes are Dutch and self sufficient in the extreme. It is much easier for me to give than to receive something, which is mostly a great trait to have until it’s not. 
You rarely have to train a child to receive, but ask them to give a toy away? Enter a snatch-and-grab and quick run to their room with said toy in tow. 
Our society is very entitled these days and the large portion of the population is told on TV quite often how important each person is, and this leads to a huge shock when bad things happen. Why? Because we firmly believe we deserve good things and only good things
Ideas of sacrifice are quite shallow in that most sacrifices we make end up benefitting us in one way or another and can actually be a leg up for our own future, or at least our own ego. Do we truly give anymore and expect nothing back? 
So I’m not complaining that I grew up being taught that giving is better than receiving. To most people giving is a great way to add humility, but I find in myself, and self sufficients like me, that receiving is difficult. 
I don’t actually mind helping people. 
I hate needing help. I really hate asking for it. I don’t mind if you ask me for help because that’s what I’m here for (and you probably need it:). My mind does not naturally do the other thing well. 
I recently celebrated a birthday heading in the wrong direction (towards my demise) and some incredible people at Venue had collected what had to have been a considerable amount money and ordered a signed Steven Gerrard Liverpool jersey from the 2005 Champions League win in Istanbul in possibly the most memorable game in LFC history. 
Even as I write this it makes my skin crawl to think about it. I’m almost sick to my stomach when I think of their generosity and what it says they must think of me to do it. 
Now if you’re more on the “I don’t give much and really enjoy receiving” end of the stick you might be tempted to think I’m writing this as a carefully cultivated way of trying to get you to think I’m humble or something, or to get something next year at my birthday. 
In all honesty I was hoping when I opened it that the earth could swallow me up. 
I’m rarely at a loss for words but I just stammered and got all flustered and my discomfort was enjoyed very much by my church family, which is probably my own fault for teaching them to enjoy awkward moments (and specifically creating awkward moments for them:).
My self sufficiency has been a great trait in the industry I worked in, and in a high percentage of my life. Who doesn’t like a problem solver who doesn’t need babysitting and has piles of energy and can’t stand not finishing something? 
My motto was always “Tell me what you want done and it’ll get done (just don’t tell me how to do it. I got it)”. 
What it did get me into difficulty was in our family when our marriage was stuck. Self sufficiency can be a horrible curse because you just try to deal with all your problems inside. My life is much better now, but I had to learn to reach out and ask for help. 
Self sufficiency is a great solution to many problems, but it can also be a breeding ground for pride and control. I can tell a very independent, self sufficient person is foundering on the rocks when an unusual amount of unpredicted pressure and bad surprises land in the same week. They do what I used to do: WORK HARDER.
The thing with working harder is that it doesn’t always work. 
Every time I walk into my office I see my signed Stevie G jersey and it reminds me of their giving spirit and that it’s ok to receive something, and that receiving is a natural harvest for giving. Every zoom call it’s in the background and they get to have a chuckle about how uncomfortable I was and it probably makes them smile. 
I’m glad my daughters get to see it and get to grow up in a community of people that are extravagant and treat people well. I know our people shoulder the weight with me and will be there for them when they have their own families, and to keep them from dating idiots in the first place (imagine running the gauntlet of Venue guys just to get a date with a Kope girl??? Talk about awkward!). 
All this to say that a little squirming is a good thing from time to time…

One thought on “Signed Stevie G Jersey

  1. “I’m rarely at a loss for words but I just stammered and got all flustered and my discomfort was enjoyed very much by my church family, which is probably my own fault for teaching them to enjoy awkward moments” – Accurate 😀


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