Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Im not printing t-shirts today...

Ok I should start by first admitting that its 7am and ive already had way too much Pete's coffee - which is very strong and does some crazy stuff to my stomach every single time, which has helped me to get very acquainted with the lovely bathroom here at United. The part about my stomach doesn't matter as much as the part about it being so early! Its not that I really want to be up this early, but I have found my way into the 6am feeding for Camren and I hate waking up so much that each morning after feeding him I weigh my options of going back to sleep and having to wake up again, which would be terrible...or not going back to sleep and trying to face the day on minimal sleep, which is also terrible. Ok its not that bad really...and secretly I kind of like the new me.

ok, on with the blog...let me try to spill some thoughts that for some weird reason almost made me start crying while writing a simple email - (note that I did NOT start crying...it just crossed my mind and I got this tiny lump in my throat and wondered if when my eyes started to water if it was b/c they were dry and burning b/c its early and my eyes are terrible, or if my heart was aching a little bit - note again that my eyes ALMOST started watering, but they did not.)

This morning I was checking out a site I check out occasionally - Relevantmagazine.com - and ran across a featured ministry called Call and Response - www.callandresponse.com - In a nutshell it is an activist organization raising awareness and support for the slave-trade industry across the world. Check out the site to find out the details, but basically i learned some interesting things.
1. slavery not only still exists today, but there are more slaves today than ever before in history
2. there are 27 million slaves today in the world and 200,000 of them live in the U.S.A (land of the free?)
3. over 2.2 million children are sold into the sex-trade every year
4. In India, children cost less than cattle
5. it is an over $32 Billion per year industry
6. Slave-Traders made more money than Nike, Starbucks, and McDonalds combined in 2007

shocking? it was to me - like i said, check out the site and find out more - it is a very creative musical documentary these guys are putting together to shed light on this tragedy w/ artists like Matisyahu, Switchfoot, Natasha Bedingfield, Moby, and more.

but thats still not what made me want to post my 2nd official blog... it was just the road used to get me to write the email to Seth telling him to check out that site...thats when i started feeling something stirring inside (besides the coffee).
so here it goes...
I hate making t-shirts. Its not that cool. Its messy. Its hard. Its frustrating. Im simply not passionate about it. (but before you feel sorry for me, let me also tell you i love the benefits of working for myself, love working so closely w/ my mom, love the occasional opportunity to be creative, love the relationships I've built w/ customers/friends, and love the fact that I can make some cash doing it...) So when I say I hate making t-shirts, its not that simple. I understand that making t-shirts has a much bigger picture and serves a higher purpose than just slapping some ink on a shirt for someone...I've been told that you have to do some things you don't want to do in order to do the things you want to do...and there is some truth to that.
OK this isn't goign anywhere...let me try again. I got really moved this morning seeing this group of people that are spending their days and all of their energy on something with so much significance, in this case, the slave-trade issue. I see that and I think to myself..."what am I doing with my life?? all I did today was make tshirts for people who dont need anymore tshirts!"
I can't help but wonder what it would be like to wake up each day and spend my energy on what I am passionate about. And what am I passionate about? I don't know exactly...I'm pretty certain its not tshirts though. This morning, I am wondering if there could be a higher purpose in making tshirts...(and don't worry, the last thing on my mind right now is making 'Christian' t-shirts or starting a 'Christian' clothing line)...
I believe as a Christian, I have been called and commanded to be apart of the redemption process. The world is so messed up. These stats on the slave-trade are just a small picture of the brokeness of the world. I can choose to ignore this brokeness, which is pretty easy to do in SW Lubbock, Tx. I can choose to pretend everything is cool and just strive to make more tshirts for more people who don't need them in order to stack more paper...I guess thats what I've been doing, and on mornings like this, I realize thats its not working out that great. I wonder this morning if thats why I hate making tshirts - b/c thats all it is.
What if there were more? What if it wasn't that hard to get out of bed in the morning b/c you get to be passionate about something...you get to be apart of redemption...
I guess this can translate to everything that we do...do we do things just to do them? Is there a possibility of a higher-purpose in the things we do? Do we need to stop doing what we are doing b/c it doesn't matter?
I don't know...the coffee is wearing off though.
I've decided im not making tshirts today - im going to do something much more significant - actually, I think im going to play golf.


Becky said...

This was so good Coby. I've been thinking a lot about doing things with my life that make a difference. I guess I feel my life has no substance sometimes. It is so easy to ignore the things that go on in the world from where I sit. I guess I feel overwhelmed when I think about every thing that needs to be changed. I never know where to start and so I do nothing. Thanks for sharing your heart.
On a lighter note, I'm so happy for you and Jen. We were just talking about how much we miss spending time with you both.

Jennifer-Colley said...

Great blog babe! Thanks for sharing your heart with us! I know how much you want to do something with a purpose. I am going to start praying daily for you and for our family. As I am sitting here looking at our son staring me in the eyes, I pray that someday his life makes a difference in the lives of others! I love you so much!
Hope your having fun golfing!

the Gray's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the Gray's said...

i miss golfing..... i can resonate with this blog coby. i sit in my office and on many days don't see a single soul. i want so badly to not waste my life and do something meaningful to further share the glory of God, but i can only do so much being limited to sitting in my office here. just here lately as i've been freaking out about another baby coming along, God has given me the peace that in this season of my life i just need to relax, love him and work hard in this job that he's blessed me with. i feel that we have mundane spells in our lives that are just a stepping stone to a healthy and loved family that God will eventually use to change the world. So as i sit here thinking i'm a bum not making a difference at all, i see Gavin growing and think that maybe i am making some kind of a difference. It's just hard to fully see it now.
Thanks for making us think coby.

Laura said...

you are a dad now, that's a high calling with great responsibility and honor. and providing for your family is pleasing to the Lord. good post.

Vicki Miller said...

You don't know me, therefore you can delete this as soon as you read it. I am a friend of Traci Dixon's and found your blog off a link on her blog. I wanted to say two things....one, from your deep thinking I am very impressed by what must be going on in your heart. Two, I have read your wife's blog and know that you are brand new parents (Congrats by the way), you will do more as a Dad than you will ever realize.

The point of my contacting you....I don't know where you work, or what you make shirts for....but have you thought about something like asking your clientele to pay for an additional say 5 or 10 t-shirts with their order, and you can either take the money or the shirts and donate it to an organization that needs it?! I know it won't help the slave trade issue much (which I knew nothing about by the way), but it could make you feel as though you are doing something besides just earning a living....

Amara said...

People should read this.