Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Y is for Youth

A to Z Challenge 2013 Y is for Youth

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young…
1 Timothy 4:12 [NLT]

Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained by living a godly life.
Proverbs 16:31 [NLT]

Old Man

It’s funny. I’m kind of an old man where I work. I’m definitely not the oldest person here. But I’m also definitely not the youngest. By far. The late 80s, early 90s cultural references I make either go over my younger co-workers’ heads or it leads them to say something like “Oh yeah. They were big when I was in Kindergarten.” To which I respond, “Kindergarten? I was in college!” For most of my colleagues, owning a CD is old-school. Let’s not even think about cassette tapes or vinyl albums. Their Challenger/JFK moment was 9/11. And most probably didn’t ever have to use a rotary phone. It’s amazing how things have changed so rapidly over the last few years.

I’ll be honest: Sometimes it makes me feel a little bit old. Not too old. I guess just….older.

Young Pup

This is the complete opposite way I felt when I pastored the small church south of Muncie. Most of the people in that congregation had children that were older than me. Several had grandchildren that were my age. And while I doubt it was ever intentional, there were several times where some of the leadership made me feel like a young pup.

A too young pup.

A looked-down-upon pup.

You Have My Permission

If anyone catches me treating someone younger than me like that, you have my permission to call me out on it. True, my “crown of glory” might be growing with each passing day, but that doesn’t mean I have any right to look down on someone else because that person is significantly younger than me.

Every day, I’m surrounded by some pretty creative, passionate, and energetic people. And you know what? It’s exhibited by everyone all across the age spectrum. I refuse to box someone into a stereotype because that person “hasn’t lived life yet” or is too “out of touch.” All of our stories are different. In the same light, there are parts of our stories that are similar.  I refuse to define others by their age. Because, to twist a quote from Master Yoda

Yoda

Look at me. Judge me by age do you? And where you should not…

Besides. Age is all relative anyway. Right?

“Wax on…wax off”

I just finished watching The Karate Kid for the first time in…well, probably more than a decade. It’s definitely a classic 80s movie – the hair, the clothes, the music – even though it obviously wasn’t trying to be a period piece or anything like that. I realized tonight that Aiden is almost the same age that Christy and I were when the movie came out in theaters. It’s a strange feeling when you realize that your son is the same age you were when you watched certain movies for the first time. That being said, I doubt we’ll let him watch Karate Kid any time soon.

The Karate Kid is one of those movies where no matter how many times I watch it, the ending still gives me chills. You know Daniel’s gonna ‘Crane Kick’ Johnny in the face and you just can’t help but get excited. The hairs on my arms and neck stood on end as I watched the scene for the umpteenth time.

Watching this scene made me think of other movies I can watch over and over again, yet still get chills at the ending. These are the ones that make me want to stand up and shout, “Yeah!” every time I see them. Amazingly, they’re all from my childhood. Here they are, in no particular order.

* As mentioned, The Karate Kid

* Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

The chills begin the moment the Death Star blows up. Unfortunately, that scene is unavailable online as far as I can tell – and I just wasted 45 minutes looking for it (yeah – dumb me!). They probably go after anyone who posts it for protection of the image of Star Wars. Come on – after the release of the Special Edition, it became pretty clear that the real motive behind anything Lucas does is to squeeze more money out of a piece of art that revolutionized the industry and brought a generation together. He’s always said he wants to ‘protect’ the Star Wars name. Really? I think he just wants to keep making a buck. If he’s still alive in 10 years, I’ll bet he starts talking about doing another movie. And big ol’ dorks like me will still go to midnight showings of the premieres of yet another series of films that don’t quite live up to the original.

But I digress. In spite of all of the changes that have, in my opinion, ‘watered down’ the entire Star Wars saga, the ending to the original first Star Wars still makes me want to get up and shout for joy. It’s one of those moments in storytelling that inspires me to want to create something.

* Transformers: The Movie

When Hot Rod places his fingers in the Autobot Matrix and the music starts to play (5:13 mark on this clip), I can’t help but feel like I’m in the movie theater again with my friends. It was one of the coolest moments…ever.

Yep – I’m a big ol’ dork. So sue me. Are there any movies that still make you get goose-bumps and feel inspired, regardless of how many times you’ve seen it? Feel free to share!

Stop taunting me, Ratchet and Ironhide!

When did they start making Transformers so difficult to convert from vehicle to robot?  It used to be that you just had to make a few key moves.  Now you have to be a rocket scientist.  And it says it’s appropriate for ages 5+!!  They probably put that age on there just to make me feel really incompetent.

When i was a kid, I had trouble understanding what the pictures were trying to tell me to do.  I still have that problem.  It’s like some kind of spatial disconnect in my brain.  But I could eventually figure them out.  Now that there are pieces moving on their own when you move a different piece, my world has gotten a lot more complicated.

I’m sure Aiden will have it all figured out before school tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I’ll try to post more birthday pictures tomorrow.

Not Old…Just Older

I’ve heard this song before, but it’s kinda like I’ve rediscovered it. I can’t get enough of it. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reconnecting with so many old friends.

Just Older
Bon Jovi, Crush

Hey, man, its been a while
Do you remember me?
When I hit the streets I was 17
A little wild, a little green
I’ve been up and down and in between
After all these years
Can you believe I’m still chasing that dream?
But I ain’t looking over my shoulder

Chorus:
I like the bed I’m sleeping in
It’s just like me, it’s broken in
It’s not old — just older
Like a favorite pair of torn blue jeans
This skin I’m in it’s alright with me
It’s not old — just older

It’s good to see your face
You ain’t no worse for wear
Breathing that California air
When we took on the world
When we were young and brave
We got secrets that well take to the grave
And were standing here shoulder to shoulder

Chorus:
I like the bed I’m sleeping in
It’s just like me, it’s broken in
It’s not old — just older
Like a favorite pair of torn blue jeans
This skin I’m in it’s alright with me
It’s not old — just older

I’m not old enough to sing the blues
But I wore the holes in the soles of these shoes
You can roll the dice till they call your bluff
But you can’t win until you’re not afraid to lose

Well, I look in the mirror
I don’t hate what I see
There’s a few more lines staring back at me
The nights have grown a little colder
Hey man, I gotta run
Now you take care
If you see Coach T. tell him I cut my hair
It’s been all these years
Can you believe I’m still chasing dreams?
But I ain’t looking over my shoulder

Chorus:
I like the bed I’m sleeping in
It’s just like me, it’s broken in
It’s not old — just older
Like a favorite pair of torn blue jeans
This skin I’m in it’s alright with me
It’s not old — just older

Ash Wednesday and the Big 3-0

“Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return,”

Not the most comforting thing to be reminded of on your thirtieth birthday.

But what can you do? It’s part of the Ash Wednesday service. It was quite sobering.

I remember kids coming late to class at Stockwell. They would have smudges on their foreheads. I never understood it. I know they were tired of explaining why their foreheads were dirty. I just remember knowing it had to do with church.

As I sat through the service this morning, I tried to think if I’d ever seen anyone (news anchors, TV celebrities, etc.) on TV with ashes on their heads. As I was flipping channels earlier this afternoon, I came to Around the Horn on ESPN. There was Tony Reali with ashes on his head! I was moderately shocked.

I also discovered today that I share a birthday with Julio, an Emmanuel student from Brazil. He’s exactly two years younger than me. We both work maintenance at school. Doug took us out for lunch to celebrate today. I’d never been to Sunny’s Cafeteria. They have recently remodeled an old warehouse and the atmosphere is pretty cool. Reminds me of the Sophisticated Otter before it became a bar (which was before it closed). It’s definitely a place I’ll visit again!