Thermostat or Thermometer

Let’s face it, life can be difficult and sometimes things that happen to you, downright suck. Yeah, I said it. I mean this blog is made for men so let’s just put on our big boy pants and get real with each other. We deal with stuff every day and when it comes down to it, we always have the choice to make in how we are doing to respond to the situation at hand. Are you going to keep your cool, or scream and yell? So, I have a question for you- Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?

The main difference between these two things is this- a thermostat controls the temperature of the room, while a thermometer just tells you what the temperature is. So now let’s put this into real life play. Are you a person who controls the situation at hand with your attitude or do you just blow up and show how hot you can get? Do you respond to the situation by thinking rationally or just react to it with emotion?

Two things really helped me in my perspective and how I deal with situations. One is an awesome series of books by Tim Elmore called “Habitudes” and one of the stories in it described this exact thing I am talking about. He called it “Thermostat and Thermometer”. The other was my former pastor Troy Johnson. He once gave a message on how he reads the bible every morning to prepare himself for the day. He found that on days that he didn’t read, he would react differently to situations. You see, reading the bible in the morning gives you wisdom and perspective. Thankfully I did my daily reading on Friday and this segues you to my story over the past few days.

Responding versus reacting

Here is what happened to me on Friday morning. I am driving my kids to school and as I am about to pull up, I hit the curb. I holler out “curb check” and the three of us laugh. Then I roll up to the drop off spot and Bryce runs over to the window as I am about to pull away. “Daddy, you have a flat tire!” Great, what an awesome way to start the day. I have a lot to get done and this might set me back big time.

billy horton blog- thermostat or thermometer

So, my kids go to a Christian school and therefore most of the teachers, volunteers and kids are Christian. It is a relatively small school so pretty much everyone in the administration knows us. If I flip my lid, I show everyone what I jerk I am. So now I have a choice to make. Am I going to give in to my flesh and drop some colorful adjectives describing how I feel, or take a breath and figure out how I can fix the situation in a Christian-like manner and move on to the rest of the day? I thankfully choose option B.

My buddy Troy sees the situation and comes over to offer help. Our sons are in the same class. The school always has an officer on duty and he comes over as well. It turns the officer is also a friend of mine and I used to coach his son in baseball. Ok, God this is going well. We remove the tire and put on the spare. I haven’t done this in a long time, so I make the mistake of torqueing down on the lug nuts before I remove the jack- big mistake. The car wobbles and the jack spits out from under it. Now it’s bent and the tire iron I was using in slightly embedded in the asphalt. Super Awesome!!!

Thankfully instead of yelling at the sky and going postal, I laugh at my ignorance and Officer Modrick calls for the school maintenance men to come up front with a floor jack. The spare tire I was putting on was flat as well, so they take it back to their shop and inflated it. The guys come back up front, put the tire on for me (I have officially been removed from my tire duties at this point) and we do what guys do- high fives and the handshake hug thing. All is good. I’ll go to Firestone tomorrow and get a new tire.

The best part about all of this are the responses I received from all the people involved with the situation; those watching and those who heard about it. Everyone seemed taken back by how cool I was during all of this. I went inside to wash up and the secretary up front said to me, “I heard what happened and I hope your day gets better.” Like I said it’s a small school so word travels fast. I simply replied thank you and said my day is already good, just a small blip on the radar. I bet that response spoke to her and maybe gave her some perspective for the whole day. Troy sent me a text later to check in on me and my reply was “Everything is good. Just a bump in the road. Unfortunately, I happened to hit it!” I followed that with one of those smiley face emojis, that I rarely use. However, the message was sent. I am not going to let this event effect my whole day.

My Friday goes well, and I get a lot accomplished. We ended the day with watching “Ralph Breaks the Internet” at Roadhouse Theatres. By the way, awesome spot to see a flick with leather recliners and really good gelato. We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with family, playing some basketball and going to church. All is good. Then I get back in the car on Monday morning.

Testing your patience

I take the boys to school and head over to the Giant’s complex for my morning workout. This also helps set up my day. As I am getting close to my destination I notice that the tire that was replaced on Saturday has now gone flat. Dude, are you serious!!! I didn’t drive it all weekend and when I left the house it seemed just fine. I pull in to a service station and they fill it with air. The valve stem was faulty and apparently once I started driving the car it slowly began to seep out air. I forgot to replace my the jack in my trunk so I ask if I can borrow one from them so I can put on the spare tire. Ahh… We can do it for $35 though. Really! I respond politely and head towards the Giant’s complex.

I call Firestone and ask if they have a store near my current location. Thankfully there is one about a mile away, so I pull in. The guy there is cool and takes care of me, but said it might take some time and they don’t have enough employees there to drive me to where I want to go. Thankfully this location is also only about a half mile from the Giant’s complex so I decide to jog over so I can get my workout done. Again no stress, no one got hurt, roll with the punches Billy.

I start my jog and realize how much I hate jogging. I love to workout, throw around weights and even doing sprints, but I do not like to jog. I have never felt the “runner’s high” and I don’t ever plan on feeling it. As I am jogging, I start thinking, dude you have a lot to be thankful for. Your family is healthy. You have a beautiful wife and two great boys. I mean let’s get real- I live in Scottsdale, AZ, work for the San Francisco Giants, I get paid to run baseball camps, write books and go speak at events. I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about.

About two hours later the car was done and then I came back home to write this blog. I got some perspective over the weekend and I got the opportunity to be a Christ-like example to others when I was put into difficult situations. Things are good. It’s an everyday battle so my advice to you- prepare yourself for daily with the word of God before you eat breakfast. Allow His wisdom to prepare you for the day!

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