Bronze Medal

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Bronze medal: (n) a medal made of bronze, customarily awarded for third place in a race or competition

It is easy to be cynical if you’ve never done anything. You can make an assumption that you would be great.

But I have a question–what is the value of third place?Dictionary B

Look at it logically:

  • You decide to go to the Olympics.
  • You get funding.
  • You get up every morning at 5:30 and do your workout.
  • You win at some local competitions.
  • You decide you’re ready to go international.
  • You bolster your confidence.
  • You keep a positive attitude.

The day of the race arrives in the foreign land and you’re suddenly standing side by side with some of the greatest athletes in the world. They do not resemble your local competitors.

They are strong, sleek and more confident than you could even have imagined possible.

More importantly, they’re relaxed.

You aren’t.

You’ve just realized you’re out of your league.

Further complicating your situation is that your nerves are scrunching your bowels and nausea has landed in the pit of your stomach. You throw up, depleting your fluids.

It’s time to race.

You are not going to win.

You try to remember how to be positive, but it’s been scared away.

They sound the gun and you’re off.

At this point, you have given up on gold, mocking the concept of silver, and you’re wondering if you can beat the scrawny fellow to your left, to get bronze.

You are suddenly struggling for the worst medal.

And then, on top of all that, your legs fail you and you come in fourth.

So your story from the Olympics is that you almost got a bronze medal.

See?

The power of the bronze medal is that it complements your ability if you’ve already won gold. In other words, “Bobby won two gold medals, a silver and two bronze.”

Then you have those people who will tell you that second place is just the first loser.

So I guess that means that third place–the bronze medal–is the punchline for the first loser.

 

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Bronze

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Bronze: (v) to make a person or part of the body suntanned.

I’ve often missed out on conventional wisdom because I could not afford to go to the convention.

So I frequently found myself going against the common thread of understanding and sewing up my own solutions.Dictionary B

On one such occasion, I scheduled our music group to perform in Miami, Florida, in the month of July.

Nobody does that.

Miami becomes a glowing hot rock, to be avoided by any living creature which does not wish to swelter. But our group wasn’t that popular–we were certainly never going to be able to be in Miami in January.

So we went in July.

It was very reasonably priced (since nobody was there) and really no hotter than the rest of the country, which was also experiencing summer.

But my achievement during those two weeks was something I had never experienced before and haven’t since. For you see, I worked up the courage to put on a pair of shorts, go shirtless, and walk around the beach until my skin turned bronze.

God, I loved it.

At night, I stood in front of the mirror and stared at my brown hide, realizing that I had never before enjoyed my body–because it was the color of pewter.

I was bronzed.

I wasn’t intimidated to step along the sidewalks near the ocean in my cutoff blue jeans and just act like I was one of the locals.

In the midst of those two weeks, a friend of mine debuted her new book and invited me to come to Nashville, Tennessee, for the signing. When I arrived I was the talk of the town.

“Where’d you get that tan?”

“Must be nice to lay on the beach all day long…”

Never in my life had I felt physically valuable to the world around me.

  • Spiritually–yes.
  • Emotionally–certainly.
  • Creatively–I hope so.

But for the first time, my “bronze” covered up some of my obesity, puffiness and, shall we say, “whitey-white-white.”

Now, I know you’re not supposed to get too much sun. I know there’s a danger of cancer.

But I am so grateful that on at least one occasion in my life, I got to walk around, for a little while… as a bronze Greek god.

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Brontosaurus

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Brontosaurus: (n) a large herbivorous dinosaur

In my silly brain, dinosaurs are like God.

What I mean is, they seem so unlikely that it’s hard to believe they actually existed.Dictionary B

I have gone to an African wildlife reserve and seen elephants and giraffes, which are quite impressive, but still plausible in size. The notion that there was a creature on Earth that covered half a city block is a little bit far-fetched.

But also like God, there is evidence that they were here and did roam about, leaving behind “bones for contention.”

But I’ve always favored the Brontosaurus.

So practical. Big long neck for reaching up in the trees to eat his fill, but never getting to the end of a maple tree luncheon and going, “Not quite full. I’d like to eat me a fat boy.”

They really stuck to that herbivore thing. Not like me–who becomes a vegetarian du jour, only to reject it at the first sniff of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The Brontosaurus stayed with plants.

So it’s my thought that they hung around longer than the T-Rex and the raptors.

Yes, they were around on Earth by themselves, so they could enjoy their salads … and not smell meat farts.

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Bronchitis

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Bronchitis: (n) inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes.

Odd as it may seem, the only way to stay well is to have been sick enough to build up antibodies to protect you.Dictionary B

It’s a strange system, isn’t it?

But without equity, some of us would believe that being ill was a sign of God’s anger, while others would conclude that clear nasal passages were a divine authorization to act superior.

So we all get sick.

It’s all about the timing.

When I was in my twenties, I recorded an album in Nashville, Tennessee, that started to get some attention. That in itself was remarkable, but then, when our group was invited to perform at a huge festival, our producers were nearly ecstatic, and were sure that this was the stepping stone to give us the focus to launch our career.

We planned the set, rehearsed the material–and somewhere along the line in the process, I got bronchitis.

I was so congested, choked up and stuffed that I was unable to produce any sound from my voice beyond a harsh whisper.

I tried everything.

Hot steam, over-the-counter remedies, honey and lemon and various configurations of prayer.

I stubbornly refused to cancel the festival, deciding that I would heroically see it through–that somehow or another, God in His infinite wisdom would grant me voice at the last moment.

In front of thousands of people, I croaked out what could have been our hit song–had I not been “Froggy McFrog.”

It was embarrassing.

No–humiliating.

Even those who loved me didn’t want to be around me. It made them try to be nice–and they didn’t feel nice.

So to some degree, from that point on in my life (since I kind of make my living from my voice) I have become a Cold Nazi.

If a sniffle is in the room or a child is dripping nasal fluid all over the house, I run away in horror.

I am not proud of that.

But my bout with bronchitis did warn me about the danger … of not having a voice in the matter.

 

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Broker

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Broker: (n) a person who buys and sells goods or assets for others.

There’s a certain male body type, where there’s enough blubber in the belly to put a lot of pink in the cheeks.

Such was Mick. He was my broker.Dictionary B

Now, before you get all impressed and everything, it was a very temporary situation in my life, when an inheritance enabled me to have money to invest if I so desired.

I was intrigued.

So I went to see a broker. I happened to land in Mick’s office.

He was a delightful young man–straight out of college–and had certainly aspired to something larger than his six-by-eight-foot office space. I was never sure what Mick wanted to be, but was pretty darned positive it was not a broker.

I explained to him that I felt the benefit of this influx of cash was to be able to live off the interest of the money, therefore not needing, for a season, to “labor in the fields.”

Now, Mick was new at this–so I was fairly certain that he had no idea whether my request was plausible or not, but he also had no intention of having me leave his cubicle without choosing him as my “guy.”

So with all of his plump self and ruby cheeks, he said, “Sure.”

It was perfect. He wanted to lie and I wanted to believe him.

But the truth is, the monthly interest from my investments never quite covered my personal lifestyle. Even though I was not angry at Mick because of the shortage, after two or three months he stopped taking my phone calls.

The experience did help me come to the conclusion that money is only valuable when it’s working.

When it lays around waiting for opportunity, like everything else in life, it is soon unemployed.

 

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Broken-hearted

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Broken-hearted: (adj) overwhelmed by grief or disappointment.

Research.

It is something every writer should learn how to do, and if pursuing the profession, it might need to become a favorite side-bar.Dictionary B

I wrote a book on the life of Jesus. I think indirectly every author writes his or her “Christ” book–a volume where the novelist pens thoughts about the sacrificial nature of love.

I entitled mine “I’M…the legend of the son of man.”

I did some research on the crucifixion–the execution, as it were, of Jesus of Nazareth.

Even though the Gospel writers knew nothing about the circulation of blood, which was hundreds of years from being discovered by a guy named Harvey, they described the fluids which drained out of the deceased, hanging corpse of Christ, as the sword pierced his side, confirming his death.

“Water and blood.”

That was their report.

The writers had no idea what that meant. Only in modern-day medicine do we understand that this particular gathering of fluids is a sign of a major heart attack.

As I sat back and read the information on the physical condition of the human heart of Jesus, I concluded that after all the strain, the pain, the disappointment, the betrayal and the denial he suffered–that the Prince of Peace, the lover of humanity and the Son of Man … literally died of a broken heart.

 

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Broken

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Broken: (adj) damaged and no longer in one piece

I walk with heavy hooves.

So recently, when I was passing through a lobby, I felt some of the tiles creak under my feet.Dictionary B

It was a bit embarrassing.

I looked down and there was no evidence of damage. In other words, nothing was broken.

But because I felt that “take from my give,” and heard that sound, I had to believe there was a weakness in those tiles. In other words, somewhere along the line, one of them was going to break because I passed by.

Or maybe not.

Perhaps that particular tile was just too tight or had some unnecessary stiffness which was merely relieved by my passing.

How do you know when something’s broken? How can you be sure that it requires repair?

Because I have been sick and performed at a top-notch rate.

I have sprained my ankle and still gotten around from place to place.

So I guess the definition is pretty simple: something is truly broken when it stops working. It ceases to perform the function it was intended to achieve.

There are many things in our society that have been broken for decades, which we continue to pretend are just fine–free of the need for repair.

  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Marriage
  • Child custody
  • Abortion
  • Murder

Well, I could go on and on.

These are things that are obviously broken, but because we have people hold them in great regard, we promote their strength.

Sometimes it’s good to admit something’s broken.

Because I am often astounded … how quick the fix.

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