“I am inevitable.”
This quote is not to be mistakenly attributed to Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. To me, it is now attributed to my roommate, Daniel.
After seeing Endgame, Daniel came up to me and said, “Kyle, I’ve known who I am for quite some time now. But I just never knew how to put it into words. And now, thanks to Thanos, I know. I am inevitable.”
I almost lost it when he told me that.
Needless to say, Daniel is one of my favorite people in the world.
A few months ago, Daniel came to me and said with great seriousness, “Now Kyle, I think it is important for us all to have as much information as possible as roommates. And I want to let you know...” (Daniel reaches behind his back) “…that I have this cake...”
I was not expecting that.
He continued, “Now you don’t have to eat this cake. But I just wanted you to have the information that it is here.”
We’ve actually gone back and forth for a while now sharing “information”. One time while he was watching tv, I stood in the doorway and told him this long story about my day on set. And at the end of it I told him that the director always thinks it’s best for us to have as much information as possible. So…
…that’s when I reveal I’ve been holding the chocolate cake the entire time and Daniel loses his mind.
Now, if you know me personally at all, you probably know these three thing about me: 1) I love Jesus, 2) I love Barenaked Ladies, and 3) I love sugar. In living with Daniel, he’s picked up on that last one quite a bit.
Now painful vulnerability here: If there is one thing I can really hate about myself, it’s my eating habits.
I can be pretty sucky at feeding myself well. And when I’m not doing well with it, I feel totally stuck.
Well the other night, Daniel had left a quite a bit of “information” in the fridge. And well I was hungry…
When Daniel saw this, he got nervous. He flat out told me that my eating habits scare him. He challenged me and asked that I’d at least reflect on these things. And it’s not the first time he’s called me out either.
I’m trying to be a bit more like Daniel. I’m trying to be a friend who boldly calls out my loved ones when they’re off-base.
Yes, I love them. That’s obvious. But I also want to get really really good at getting called out by my friends.
See if I can care for my friends enough to challenge them, it’s easier for me to be moved by them when they challenge me. Because I get where they are coming from.
Despite my and Daniel’s great boasts, we are not inevitable. We all have those things we are so ready and willing to become enslaved to. So we need people to call us out.
But there’s a part I think we miss when we talk about accountability. How many of us want it but won’t change when we have it? Worse still, how many of us think that by simply having someone “hold us accountable” we should automatically be freed from those things?
See, the point of accountability isn’t to try to never need someone. And it’s not just to be humble enough to admit it and listen to them. It’s choosing every time to be humble enough to admit it and actually listen to them.
Friends who keep you accountable are like guard rails. They encourage you when you’re driving well and clunk you on the head to get back on the road when you’re not. Need friends to keep you accountable?
1) Ask them. 2) Keep them accountable. Lovingly of course. I think they’re more likely to love you better if you are loving them better. And go into it with the mentality that obeying accountability is a conscious choice. You need to choose it every time.
Now I can be dramatic about my eating habits. I definitely have seasons where I am doing really well. I need to be honest about my victories because it keeps my eyes from being fixated on the low points. But there are other seasons when I’m not doing great.
I’d love to end this post by saying I’m launching my next diet [again]. But that’d be a lie. I’m not going to.
But what I can do is let Daniel’s words try to sink in a bit deeper. What I can do is a bit of course correction to get back on a healthy track. What I can do is wake up tomorrow and say, “Today, I’m choosing healthier.”
My dad once told us about this conversation he had with my uncle once, a recovering alcoholic. My dad asked him, “You think you’re ever going to drink again?” My uncle responded, “I know I won’t today. I probably won’t tomorrow. But past that, I’m not going to think about it.”
I think that’s a healthy way to think about accountability. Choosing to today.
After all, even Thanos wasn’t inevitable….
Oh yeah…spoiler alert….