About Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes a 7-year-old beagle and a 5-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, dog boarding, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

Some of my favorite clever song lyrics

I remember a few years ago when I first heard REO Speedwagon’s “Roll With the Changes,” I thought to myself, “Are they still coming out with new songs? I love this one.” I was completely wrong. It’s not that they aren’t touring together, because they are, but the song is from 1978! I couldn’t believe it’s as old as me, since I’m from 1978, too. In fact, the album featuring the song was released 9 months before I was born… wait a second… ew gross, never mind.

I recently had Spotify on and this song played. You think people in 1978 ever thought in about 30 years you’d be able to listen to music in your car, through your phone, on your way to…say, vote for a woman President? They would’ve said you’re crazy! Oh, what, then you got in your time machine and hoverboarded over to the drive-in? Delusional is how they’d classify you.

I totally went down a rabbit hole there, sorry. This is about clever song lyrics! I didn’t catch this line till the other day…

If you’re tired of the same old story, turn some pages.
–REO Speedwagon, “Roll With the Changes”

I love the sentiment of taking action. The line is simple and yet, so clever. Here are a few other favorites of mine.

You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul. So don’t come back for me. Who do you think you are?
–Christina Perri, “Jar of Hearts”

All of these people I meet, it seems like they’re fine. Yeah, in some ways I hope that they’re not and their hearts are like mine.
–NeedtoBreathe, “Wasteland”

The bride walks down just to start the wedding, and there’s one more girl you won’t be getting.
–Young MC, “Bust A Move”

Ain’t it funny how some people pop into your head so easily. I haven’t seen you in there for so long.
–Dawes, “All Your Favorite Bands”

Or tell your Aunt Louise, tell anything you please. Myself already knows I’m not okay. Or you can tell my eyes to watch out for my mind, it might be walking out on me today.
–Billy Ray Cyrus, “Achy Breaky Heart”

If you have some favorite clever lyrics, feel free to share them in the comments!

-Out of the Wilderness

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I always wear protection

I don’t remember caring about wearing protection when I was younger. But now, I do it every time. It’s just too dangerous to take a risk, too much is at stake.

So every time I go out to mow the grass, you’ll find me wearing at least some of the following:

  • ear muffs or ear plugs
  • protective glasses
  • a giant Quicksilver straw hat
  • long pants

Now that I’m 38 and mature about all things, I know the danger of sun exposure. I know the result of not taking care of my eyes and ears. So if I go out and my shadow looks like Princess Leia, so be it. I would rather be mistaken for the fictional Star Wars character than get diagnosed with skin cancer (again), or damage my ear drums, or take shrapnel to the eye.

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Mowing the lawn whilst wearing ear muffs for ear protection makes me look like a princess

If you’re reading this and thinking it couldn’t happen to you, think twice! Wear protection!

-Out of the Wilderness

Worship made worship better

Yesterday I arrived at church somewhat ready for worship. I guess that is to say, I was coming off a week where I think I made strides forward in my relationship with God, which still definitely includes a generous amount of grace from above in those moments I come up short of the target. I walked in and grabbed a seat, the band started with one of my favorite hymns, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Bang! Worship has begun!

posture-worship

not my picture, got it here

But then something even more awesome happened. There was a particular row of folks in front of me, and a guy I didn’t know sitting to my right, a couple of seats away. The row of strangers along with the guy next to me made me fall even more into an awe of God, if that can somehow make sense. You see, when I’m in church, I don’t typically raise my hands, or move around too much. I would love to be that kind of person, but it’s not really my personality. I am more inward as far as that goes. So when I can be around people that are outwardly expressive, I LOVE IT. I love witnessing someone showing passion for the Lord that way.

Yesterday I was encouraged and my worship was even more personal ,somehow, by being near this kind of genuine worship. It made me think, yeah, I feel that way, too! And I might have even swayed a little 😉

-Out of the Wilderness

A guy who (sometimes) shaves his legs

Now before you judge this guy, we’ll call him “Wen” for the sake of privacy, he doesn’t shave his legs consistently. He may do it once every couple of months. Except maybe not in the winter, am I right ladies?

img_20170916_193736660.jpgIt’s not that Wen is interested in having smooth legs. Heck, he doesn’t even use a razor! He uses hair clippers and it’s more to keep things from getting out of control. Think about your front yard. You don’t mow it down to the dirt, right? You just clip the grass so it looks nice and clean. Manscaping, you might say. Wen also does this on his arms, too. It’s not vain, it’s not weird, and in reality, it’s not that uncommon. According to this graph, 48.4% of men in 2015 admit to shaving their legs.

In this world of gender equality, let’s give Ben– I mean, Wen– a little freedom to shave when he feels like it, mmmk?

-Out of the Wilderness

Percy Warner Park trail run

One of the best places to walk/run/hike in Nashville is Percy Warner Park. And there, a well-known location is “the stairs.” A friend of mine and I met there a few days ago and that’s where our trail run started. Let me just tell you, this is no walk in the park, if you’ll pardon the expression. It’s a rugged, tree-rooted, crops of rock-infused path rising to hundreds of feet from where it starts, then back down again. Here’s a view of the stairs, courtesy of Expedia. The hiking trail starts at the top of the stairs.

Expedia image of PWP stairs

image from Expedia.com

We saw some interesting things: Conan the Barbarian (or Outlander?) huffing it around the same path we were on, then saw him again sprinting up the stairs. He literally looked like a modernized caveman, but hey, he was running hard, so more power to him! We also saw a lot of people out to enjoy the beautiful weather we had that day. Then, the pinnacle of sights, a breathtaking view of downtown Nashville. A picture wouldn’t even do it justice, so you just need to go there yourself to see it. In the pic below, it’s the red peak point to the right of the gray 1 mile marker. It’s stunning.

By the end we both were exhausted. We’d climbed a total of 626.6 feet in elevation! My friend suggested as a way to finish our run, a sprint from the flag pole area up to the first wall (you can kind of see the wall in the picture above). Sooooooooo we went ahead and did that 3 times!

We’re crazy. Running with company is so much better than running alone, if only for the sake of having someone there to suffer with you. But I appreciated our conversation, and how he and I often find ourselves running side by side in the race of life, too. Here’s our course from that day…

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-Out of the Wilderness

I have a hard time saying “no”

No.

It’s a word I’m not very good at using. In fact, I’m not even good at the Canadian No. There have been many, many times in my life that I’ve actually said “yes” and regretted it. On the flip side, there have also been many times I’ve said “no” and regretted it. So this isn’t just about getting good at saying “no,” it’s about learning to say “no” to the right (or wrong?) opportunities.

I’ll definitely say “yes” to an opportunity to compliment myself: I’m getting better at figuring out my strengths, where I can really flourish, and where I can not be such a doofus! I recently had an opportunity that, on paper, fit me really well. So I jumped at the chance. I said “yes.” In the days leading up to it I was excited, although a bit nervous. In fact, my nerves and slight anxiety prompted a recent post titled Jogging in what’s left of Hurricane Irma.

I’m not going to give specifics but what I’d be doing is related to work I already do and an area that I am pretty good in. So it makes sense, right? That’s what I thought, too.

But then as I tried to sleep last night I had major anxiety about it. I didn’t rest well, probably waking up 8 or 9 times from the discomfort I was feeling. When I was able to fall asleep, I dreamt about it, which gave me anxiety in the REM world, too. Waking up this morning, all I could think to do was reach out to a trusted friend or two who would understand where I’m coming from, and then pray about it.

It’s just crazy because like I said, this opportunity appears to be right up my alley. It just goes to show that sometimes it must be OK to say no. It has to be. I think I must have an “obliger” personality. More on that here but basically it’s this:

Obligers don’t want to let people down. They want to be helpful. And in turn, they end up with way too much on their plate.

Now, to give a very brief history of my life and also to be totally honest, I’ve had opportunities similar to this recent one in the past. It’s been a while but I do remember a similar feeling of uneasiness with those, too. So this new opportunity that sprang up is probably one I should’ve said “no” to in the very beginning. Would’ve been better for my health, for sure.

I don’t often offer advice in my posts, I would rather you take what you can from each one and figure out if it can help you. But today, I’ll offer this to you…

You don’t always have to say “yes.” Don’t see an available opportunity as a sign that you are supposed to be the one to fill it. Know your strengths, and your weaknesses, what you enjoy and what gives you anxiety. Then make a choice that’s going to let you flourish, and at the same time be a blessing and a help to others.

-Out of the Wilderness

 

Jogging in what’s left of Hurricane Irma

I was about to title this The Art of Running in the Rain but I didn’t, for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s too close to the title of a great book called The Art of Racing in the Rain*
  2. It’s not so much artistic as it is just keeping your head down and finishing

Yesterday, as Hurricane Irma continued to dwindle down to a misty precipitation, I set out to run. The original plan was to drive over to a nearby Greenway but it was 4pm. So while getting there would be a cinch, afternoon traffic in Nashville is anything but. I’d get stuck in Google traffics dreaded red line with all the other people heading home for the day. I kept the car in park and went on foot around the neighborhood.

As I mentioned a few days ago, my goal is to beat my best 5K time. This run, however, I wasn’t going for gold. Just a jog pace. I needed to be in the rain. Let my mind and spirit be refreshed. I used this time to turn a few things over to the Lord. Any frustrations, nerves, fears, I prayed for God to replace them with joy.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

img_20170914_111415.jpgGod wants me to give Him my anxiety, my worries and fears, which is totally awesome because I don’t really want them anyway! As I was running I confessed how I was feeling. I asked God to take on the burden and with the new space in my life, for joy and freedom. Freedom in my heart that will spill over into my daily life, which brings joy.

By the end of the run I definitely felt refreshed. It was good for my soul to be in that vulnerable place of admitting my feelings to the One who already knew them anyway. The frustration and anxiety were gone. All that was left was a happy albeit fast-beating heart…and wet clothes.

I didn’t break any records. No gold medals. I didn’t even run very fast. And yet yesterday did more for me than any 5K will ever do. As my pastor would say, I had a front row seat to see God work. A chance to take God up on one of His promises and know that He didn’t leave me hanging. I’d say that’s worth more than gold!

-Out of the Wilderness

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I will receive a portion of sales associated with this Amazon link