Faithball

Five men came together to organize a football tournament with their respective families: Mr. Talbot, Mr. Fuller, Mr. Masters, Mr. Westminster, and Mr. Goldengate.  After agreeing on a time and location, the men decided they would meet early before the game in order to decide on the official rules and regulations.  The morning began with a cordial introduction.
    GOLDENGATE: Hi everyone, I'm Goldengate.
    FULLER: I have a message for everyone--I am Fuller.
    WESTMINSTER: Though I am indeed Westminster, I'm sure you'll see Christ in me.
    TALBOT: Nice to meet everyone, I'm Talbot.
    MASTERS: Masters, called to be a founder of the game in the kingdom of football, to the men of the five founders, grace and peace to you.
After introductions, small discussion broke out about some of the decisions that had already been made.
    FULLER:  Look at the beautiful weather; it's obvious that we were meant to be here.
    MASTERS:  The weather has nothing to do with our meaning.  The consequences of that thinking would lead us to believe that the meaning of life is shared by all within the same ecological community that experiences the same weather patterns together.  That's irresponsible belief.
    TALBOT:  It is a nice day.  Could be God's will, but we'll have to wait till heaven to find out.
    WESTMINSTER:  You're just not looking hard enough for the signs.
    GOLDENGATE:  Have you seen the pricing to rent out this football field?  It's way too expensive.  I'm gonna go do my own thing.
Goldengate left the group in order to start his own football game at a much cheaper field with cheaper facilities and cheaper equipment and cheaper regulating officers.  The remaining four began to discuss how to deal with his loss:
    FULLER:  We have to win him back!
    TALBOT:  Yeah, I agree.
    MASTERS:  We have to win him over, not back.  He obviously was never really a football player to begin with
    WESTMINSTER:  That's true.  If he were a football player from the start, he never would have left.
    FULLER:  No!  He was a football player first, but then chose not to be one anymore, but he can be one again if he changes his mind!
    TALBOT:  Seriously, it doesn't matter, we should still try to convince him to stay.
Alas, the four could not resolve their discussion until it was too late and Goldengate was far gone.  So the only thing left to do was discuss rules.  Each man was allowed to contribute one non-negotiable rule to the game.  Masters went first.
    MASTERS:  There will be One Referee, and His Word is Law.  Whatever He says is perfect, without error, sufficiently for play and practice, and a source of inspiration for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in football.
The other three men seemed a little shifty at his contribution.  Fuller thought it would be better to have everyone be a referee so they had more ownership and control of the game, removing authoritarian despotic implications.  But the others knew that this would definitely lead to everyone thinking they were referees and their calls would conflict with each other and it would be utter chaos.  Westminster then contributed his rule.
    WESTMINSTER:  Three points.  The game will have three points. 
Nobody understood why he was adamant about this rule.  But he refused to allow any more or any less; no one could add a point or take away a point.  Talbot went next.
    TALBOT:  Each quarter will be its own distinct dispensation of gameplay, wherein the Referee will operate with different protocols in order to elicit various gameplay styles.  Though we give a prize to the winning team, a remnant of the losing team will also receive a portion of that prize.
Masters agreed, Westminster did not, and Fuller didn't really care because he was still trying to argue that there should be more than one person who could make calls with the authority of the Referee.  Finally Fuller gave his rule.
    FULLER:  It is tackle football.
    WESTMINSTER:  What?
    MASTERS:  No, that's dangerous, chaotic, and unruly.  We agreed on flag football.
    FULLER:  You can pull flags, but you can also tackle.
    MASTERS:  No.
    FULLER:  Why not?
    MASTERS:  Because you're losing the point of the game.  You sacrifice orderly gameplay for sensational madness.
    WESTMINSTER:  Talbot, what do you think?  Should we have tackling?
    TALBOT:  Uh, I guess I'm open, but cautious.
The four men eventually decided that Fuller could tackle, but the rest of them would use the flags.  When they finally came to agreement about their other rules, they started with a practice game--a scrimmage.  During this time, Goldengate returned to try to re-enter the game.
    GOLDENGATE:  Oh man, you guys started already?
    TALBOT:  Already, but not yet.  We started practice, but the real game starts after this.
    GOLDENGATE:  Great.  Even though I found a cheaper place to play and practice, I thought I'd join you guys for the special events and stuff.
    FULLER:  Welcome back brother!  I hope as we play today, you will be overcome by a force that you cannot control that will lead you to tackle the other players.
    WESTMINSTER:  I don't know if you should be allowed to play until after you've read the rules and gone through the question-and-answer guide.
    MASTERS:  You should first admit that you were never a football player, and that your cheaper game is an imitation of the true sport, and leave those habits behind and commit fully to the real thing which will satisfy you beyond what any other game could offer.
    GOLDENGATE:  Okay, well, can my sister play too?
    FULLER:  Of course!
    WESTMINSTER:  I'm not sure.
    MASTERS:  Over my dead body.
    TALBOT:  It's up to you.
End.

 

Making Fouls

I am a master Game Creator.  I create all sorts of games, and they are all good.  Have you tried them?
    One day, I decided to make a game called "Basketball."  It would be very fun.  It would involve two teams--yes, a team game--where one team is trying to gain possession of the game ball and throw it into a hoop on a given side of the game court.  The opposing team tries to do the same with the same ball, but into a hoop on the opposing side.  In this way the game would be fun.
    On the first day I said, "Let there be lights."  And there were lights.  And I saw that the lights were good.
    On the second day I said, "Let there be an expanse to separate hoop from hoop."  I called the expanse 'court'.  And it was so.
    On the third day I said, "Let the ground on each side of the court be gathered to one place and let seating appear."  And it was so; I called the seating 'bleachers'.  And I saw that it was good.
    On the fourth day I said, "Let there be scoreboards in the sky to separate one team from another, and let them serve as signs to mark points and quarters and time."  And I saw that it was good.
    On the fifth day I said, "Let the bleachers teem with fans."  I blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the bleachers."  I saw that it was good.
    On the sixth day I said, "Let the court produce enforcers to regulate gameplay."  And I made referees, coaches, and announcers, according to their kinds.  And I saw that it was good.
    Then I said, "Let us make players in our image, in our likeness, and let them play ball in front of the fans of the bleachers, the coaches of the sidelines, and the announcers of the sports network."  So I created players in my own image, in the image of me I created him; offense and defense I created them.  I blessed them and said, "Play ball and increase in number; own this court and subdue it."
    I created the basketball court, the basketball fans, the basketball players--but most importantly of all, I created the basketball rules.  I set down ten simple commands to sum up the game (ie. Thou shalt not double-dribble).  But I knew that given the free choice of will to follow the rules, it was also possible for players to choose to 'foul'--that is, to break the rules.  So I warned the players that if they fouled, they would surely be kicked out of the game.  And foul, they did.
    In spite of their inclination to foul, I devised in my basketball rules a plan of redemption: the free throw.  This was already designed in the rules before the creation of the court, that fouls would not destroy my creation and the show would go on.  And all that I had created: the lights, the court, the bleachers, the fans, the coaches, the players--it was all good.
    But some upstart kid came up to me the other day and said, "Hey, my dad got kicked out of the game yesterday, you jerk."
    I said, "He fouled."
    The kid said to me, "HE didn't foul.  YOU did.  You made this stupid game.  You made it KNOWING that people would foul, so YOU are the one who created fouls."
    I said, "I didn't create fouls, I created the rules.  Your dad chose to break them."
    The kid said, "That's stupid.  You should have created a basketball game where there were no fouls; where it wasn't possible to foul."
    I said, "You're stupid.  That means if you don't have the choice to foul, you don't have a choice to play the game or not."
    The kid didn't get it, and decided to play basketball in my court, but didn't care to follow my rules.  He was a fouler, in the greatest sense.
    I didn't create fouls.  And God didn't create sin. 

 

Law and Grace

I had always been an underweight individual.  Throughout the years of my childhood and teenage years, I was unusually short and skinny.  Today, I'm just short.  Here is a track record of my weight benchmarks:
    6th grade: graduated at 80 pounds.
    8th grade: graduated at 85 pounds.
    12th grade: graduated at 108 pounds.
    2nd year college: ended at 115 pounds.
    4th year college: graduated at 125 pounds.
As you can see, by the time I was 23 years old, I still only weighed 125 pounds.  Today, 27 years old, I weigh 180 pounds, but I have not gained any height since my 4th year of college.  My goodness.
    My recent history (within the past 3 months) was riddled with health problems: etrocious weight gain, hypoglycemia, acid reflux, hypertension blood pressure, and my very first ulcer.  The combination and cumulation of these things started getting me thinking that I should watch what I eat.  But here's the dilemma I faced after speaking with several 'healthy eaters':
    1.  I can't eat sweets because the sugars are bad for my hypoglycemia (which borders diabetes).
    2.  I can't eat fast foods because the cholesterol is bad for my blood pressure.
    3.  I can't eat sit-down restaurant foods because the high fat content is bad for my weight.
    4.  I can't eat sour foods because the acidity is bad for reflux.
    5.  I can't eat starchy foods because the carbs are bad for my figure.
    6.  I can't eat salty foods because the sodium will make me retain water and fat.
    7.  I can't drink soda because the poison will kill me early.
    8.  I can't drink alcohol because the diuretics will dehydrate me.
    9.  I can't drink milk because I'm lactose intolerant.
    10.  I can't chew gum because the stickiness is bad for my crowns.
    All I was left with was water.  And I could not help but want to maim all those people who wanted to have a say in what I eat because every single one of them presented an unrealistic, unreasonable, unfulfilling diet.  I honestly would rather just die early from diabetes, a heart attack, dehydration, stomach explosion, or whatever else was around the corner because at least I would die with a smile on my fat face instead of living for a hundred years having forgotten the taste of a single stupid french fry.
    I saw these rules as absolutes.  I thought I could NEVER have sweets, fast food, soda, etc.  I didn't understand the role of wisdom, moderation, caution, or self-control in my diet.  I wanted black-and-white, to not have to deal with decisions.  This way I knew if I was good (obeying the Law) or bad (breaking the Law).
    And that's when I realized that I was trying to live by the Law.  The Law of Nutrition, that is.  I was trying so hard with my dietary behavior to obtain the perfection of body that all it did was lead me to the conclusion that I simply could not do it.  The Law made me see that what I really needed was a miracle.  What I needed was grace.
    So I searched God's Word and soon found people like me--people who tried so hard to live by the Law to obtain the perfection of soul.  But they had commited themselves so much to this Law that it was unrealistic, unreasonable, unfulfilling.  And all that Law did was make them see that what they really needed was a miracle.  What they needed was grace.
    They saw their rules as absolutes.  They could NEVER work on the Sabbath, touch a dead body, eat with a Gentile, etc.  They didn't understand the role of wisdom, moderation, caution, or self-control in their hearts.  They wanted black-and-white, to not have to deal with decisions.  This way they knew if they were good (obeying the Law) or bad (breaking the Law).
    Well, God provided the Law to let man understand his need for grace.  And as I tried to figure out exactly how that applied to my dieting--how I could know grace in the way I eat, instead of Law--I came upon the most simple answer: "Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of the Lord."
    That was it.  That was God's instruction on eating.  He Himself had personally removed all dietary laws and restrictions--in fact, he had to tell Peter THREE TIMES to get it through his skull.  There was no divine mandate to eat only salads, avoid fatty substances, stay away from carbs...none of that was there.  The opposite came out, as if He said, "Eat it, Pete.  All that stuff you thought was bad--I'm telling you it can be good if you know how to eat it humbly and thankfully."
    I am coming to realize that the way I eat is a manner of worship.  It's not the nutritional value of the food, it's the way a meal points me back to the grace of God and makes me say, "You are the best."
    So today, as I spent the entire day by myself, I drank three cokes, ate half a bag of salted pistachio nuts, consumed half a pound of Skittles, made a pot of ramen with three eggs in it (yokes included) and added two cups of white rice.
    I fought the urge to say, "I should only eat healthy foods so my body is healthy", as if that's what worship was.
    Instead, I spent the whole day enjoying everything that God had allowed me have in my home.  I was more thankful for those Skittles than most meals I've prayed over.  I was more thankful for pistachio nuts than many of the thanks I gave in sermon benedictions.  And I was more thankful for a greasy pot of noodles than I have ever been in a very long time.
    For all that God's given me, I was thankful.  And everything I enjoyed pointed me back to Him, saying, "You are the best."  And right now, one thing I'm really thankful for is being free from the Law that once held me captive.  To no longer be under the age of Law, but to be in the age of grace.  Whatever we do, whether we eat or drink, may we do it all for the glory of the Lord.

 

Secret Identity

In the dark city of Gotham, Bruce Wayne dons cape and cowl to fight the Never-Ending Battle against evil.
    In New York, Peter Parker hides a spidery suit under his clothing, in case an emergency calls for his aid.
And beneath the walls of a stately mansion and school lies a headquarters for mutantkind who build X-jets and Cerebros to facilitate their war on tyranny.
    Of all the heroes of comic book lore, one stands out among the ranks.  For Bruce Wayne, who has always been Bruce Wayne, has to wear a mask to hide and become the Batman.  Peter Parker, who has always been Peter Parker, has to wear a mask to hide and become Spiderman.  But earth's greatest protector, Superman, has always been Superman, and he alone is the only hero who must 'put on a mask' in order to be human.
    The motive to remain anonymous and inconspicuous drives Superman to reverse the notion of secret identity.  He is who he really is when he flies around and saves the world.  And it's really all just an act when he finally goes home to have dinner with Lois.
    The psychology behind the Man of Steel of interesting to me.  Every way he behaves as Clark Kent is a means to fitting in like a normal human being and not sticking out.  He is mild-mannered, considerate, responsible, and kind.  He is dedicated, independent, hard-working, and moral.  And this communicates either one of two things:
    1) Either he believes this is the way humans are, and so he's trying to dissolve, unnoticed, in their midst.
    2) Or he believes this is how they ought to be, and he is living a life that can be followed by those around him.
Judging from his incessant bouts with evil forces, our option #1 is simply ruled out.  Superman acts like Clark Kent because that's the way he wants humans to be.
    Though he is not real, I have a deep and profound respect for the last son of Krypton.  It was never a diabolical scheme that made him so important in the comics, it was never the growing love interest for the damsel in distress that made us root for him.  And the fact that he had no fault was not a point of disinterest. 
    It was simply the fact that he was in all ways "Super". 
    He was a force of otherworldly power, immeasureable, uncontainable, indescribable, unstoppable, burning energy in the flash of his eyes, bound to no law of man or nature--not even gravity, able to destroy yet devoted to protect, incalculable strength that could crush moons, but a heart that would bleed at a baby's cry. 
    This invulnerable titan was a god among insects, and yet chose to make himself one of us, to show us a life which we can all follow.
    And the greatest moment in all the Superman stories is always when Lois Lane finds out that Clark is not really Clark at all, but is Superman walking among us.  The wonder, confusion, fear, and yet deep reverence that rends her soul and spirit is what I wish I could one day know:
    "How could I have ever thought I knew this man?  I thought he was mild-mannered, considerate, responsible, and kind.  I thought he was dedicated, independent, hard-working, and moral.  I thought he was a good man, a nice man...JUST a man.  But he has turned out to be so much more."
    Can it be that in the mind of Lois Lane, she now regards this Clark with a more 'deep and profound respect' when she walks with him at work?  Does she feel fear when driving in the dark nights when he sits by her side?  Would she consult him last when trying to figure out what to do about her life?
    For those who sense that Lois would be drastically changed by knowing that a Superman walked amidst daily planet, we can simply say: Welcome to Jesus.
    For many, he is a story, a set of lessons, a weekly sermon, or a so-called savior.
    But were we to really know that Jesus was not just a good man, a nice man, and really not JUST a man--were we to know that he was a force of otherworldly power, immeasureable, uncontainable, indescribable, unstoppable, burning energy in the flash of his eyes, bound to no law of man or nature--not even gravity, able to destroy yet devoted to protect, incalculable strength that could crush moons, but a heart that would bleed at a baby's cry--were we to know this, I honestly believe that we would then regard Christ with a more deep and profound respect when we walk with him at work.  And we would rethink our fear when we are alone at night.  And we would consult him first when trying to figure out what to do about our lives.
    Superman: Man of Steel, last son of Krypton, come to earth disguised as a man to show us how to live.
    Jesus: Son of Man, only Son of God, come to earth disguised as a man to show us how to live.
    Whether in fiction or reality, may our hearts be drawn to earth's greatest protector.  Let us look at our lives and ask honestly whether or not we are beholding the otherworldly power that walks among us--even today.
    For Lois, that moment always changed her life.
    May it continue to change ours

 

Caveman

I met a caveman today while walking outside.  I told him “I’m Rand.  Welcome to my home.”

We got to talking for a bit and I discovered that he, being a caveman, was deeply interested in knowing who God was, and what He could do.  I told him that God was a good, all-powerful creator of everything.  He was intrigued and said he would ask God for a good hunt so he could bring home some meat for his cavewife.

Meat!  How rude of me to not offer food for my caveman friend—after all, one gets hungry after thousands of years.  So I decided to take him to the mall so he could choose some food from the food court that fit his tastes.

We got into my car and I turned on the engine and immediately a sequence of explosions within a combustion chamber thrust pistons and axles in cylinders to set my vehicle in motion.  I tried to explain it to my new friend.  “Fire” thought the caveman.  “I guess so, but it’s not like your fire.  It’s compressed in a tank, fueled by gas, controlled by my foot on a pedal, and harnessed to create force instead of heat.”

As we drove, it started to get hot in my car because this caveman was emitting a lot of heat (I guess that’s how he survives in winter without a jacket…in a cave.).  So I pushed a button on my dashboard and instantly the vents in the center and sides of the car began to spout a cool breeze.  “Air” he said as he smiled with his eyes closed.  “Yeah, air CONDITIONER.  Freon gas makes it happen, but don’t worry, you’re not breathing any of it in.”

We got to the mall and walked through the parking lot.  My caveman kept staring at the pavement and almost didn’t notice when we walked through double doors and landed ourselves onto metal stairs.  Each step was coming out of the ground to meet us on a level plane, and then they would rise to lift our bodies to a higher floor.  “Earth” said the caveman.  “Escalator, my friend.  It’s mostly metal.  We left the stones out in the parking lot and concrete.”

When we stepped out onto our floor, I took my friend to the bathroom so he wouldn’t eat with grimy hands.  I placed his hands under a faucet and a motion sensor blinked twice and responded with a gentle stream.  “Water”.  “Yes, water.  We really have to work on adding a second word onto your sentences.”

Finally we took a look at the restaurants in the food court and to my pleasant surprise, my caveman friend chose to eat McDonalds.  I directed him to the menu and he pointed to the Big Mac which I described as “all beef patty, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame bun.”  He liked the picture so he pointed, nodded and smiled.  “Two big mac combos, please” said I to the person taking our order.  Within seconds, workers in the back threw meat into microwaves, potatoes into slicers and oil baths, cups into fountain drink dispensers and not more than a minute later our food came out.  I picked up the tray and turned to hand it to my caveman friend only to find him on the ground lying prostrate before me screaming “Good hunt!  Give good hunt!”

“Uh, excuse me?”  I was confused.

“I am very smart caveman.  I know who you are.  You are God!”

“No I’m not.  I’m just a dude.”

“You say God is good, all-powerful creator.  You are good to me.  You are all powerful over fire, air, earth, water.  I point to picture and you create.  You are God!”

Well, it took all afternoon to explain to this caveman that he was mistaken, but in the end he got it.  But I got to thinking that I can’t really blame him for coming to the conclusion he did.  There is nothing we can’t do as men in 2007.  All the elements are at our command.  Information is instantly available on the internet, travel between continents takes less than a day because we learned to fly.  Pills and chemicals we create can program our bodies to fall asleep or stay awake.  Surely we are gods in some sense.  So no wonder we lose fascination with knowing a Creator.  No wonder we lose inspiration in knowing Yahweh.

Our view of Him can be so small, like a caveman’s view.  And because it is small, it is not very different from our view of ourselves.  God’s powerful?  So are we.  God’s smart?  So are we.  God’s good?  So are we.

But we are not God.  Not even close.  What is strength to All Mighty?  What is knowledge to All Knowing?  What is time to Eternity?  What is space to Infinity? 

I lose fascination with God when my view of Him is small.  Yet it makes me afraid of Him when my view of Him is big.  During those times, I find myself falling prostrate before Him crying out “Good hunt, give good hunt” for whatever it is I need.

So I turn to my caveman friend and ask “Caveman, what is your name?” 

He says to me, “Rand”

I should have known that all along, the one who thought I was God was me.

 

Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcyclists wear helmets. 
    Accident studies, of course, show that they don't really protect the head from dangerous impact--they're more like brain buckets to contain the mess from spilling onto the concrete.
    No, motorcyclists wear helmets to keep the bugs out of their face.  And I respect that.
    But I saw a strange sight yesterday.  I was driving in my neighborhood on my way to school, and right in front of me is a motorcyclist.  We wait patiently for the left-turn lane to turn green, when all of a sudden I hear the familiar sound of the Verizon cell phone ring.  I quickly reach for my phone, but I find that it isn't ringing at all; the sound is coming from the guy in front of me.  So I watch.
    The motorcyclist, in a frenzy, searches every pocket on his person and eventually retrieves a tiny little flip-phone.  He opens it up and says "HELLO...HELLO....WHAT THE @#$%!  SPEAK UP I CAN'T HEAR YOU!  HELLO"
    Now I've had that happen to me many times--calls that can't be heard on one end.  But the curious part of this was, the person on the phone was so loud that EVEN I could hear faint glimmers of shouting from my car.  The reason why this guy wasn't hearing anything was cuz HE STILL HAD HIS HELMET ON.
    And the best part was, he struggled with this phone message, cussing and swearing in frustration, for a good long time, and then finally pulls the phone away from his helmet, stares at it with deep contempt and slams it shut and throws it back in his pocket---as if it was the phone's fault.
    The episode was funny to me because he never seemed to figure out what was really the problem.  It wasn't the person on the phone.  It wasn't the phone itself.  Dude, I thought, just take off the helmet.  You are the one keeping his voice out, and then you blame him.
    Can I be allegorical for a moment?
    So I got to thinking: how many times do we do that to God?  How many times do we, during our lives that are desperate to find direction/purpose/fulfillment, hear that crystal clear message coming from him, but simply won't take off the helmet on our head that distracts us?  Maybe it's another worldview, a political angle, a sin that engrosses us, a relationship that fills a void for now, etc.  It happens to the saved and the unsaved.
    We keep these helmets on and wonder why God isn't SPEAKING UP, when really the message is there.  We simply put things on that make us deaf to him.  We keep him out.
Put simply: we treat him like a bug.  And then we blame him.
...
    What's your motorcycle helmet?
Hebrews 12:1-3
...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith....Consider him..., so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

Poetry of the Soul

Back in college I spent a lot of time wondering why everybody had experience with failed dating relationships, myself included.  Dating seemed like a popular sport where people would indulge themselves in the mock-semblance of looking for a God-centered relationship, when in reality His lordship wasn't the guiding force behind it at all.  Anyway, I ended up writing a simple poem to dedicate myself to remaining single until the time I was ready to commit myself to marrying someone.  This is the poem I wrote:

I spent countless hours chopping at trees

In the “Forest of Possible Wives”

I have picked up my ax and have done what I please

To bring happiness into our lives

I have swung, I have missed; these trees never tip!

I have never struck straight and true

Cuz I pick the wrong reasons for relationship:

I lack God between ‘me and you’

There’s a Rock I can trust, a God that I love

To sharpen me into this blade

He can wield me to live with strength from above

And His Character never will fade

And so I remember God planted these seeds

To be firmly rooted in grace

And if a tree grows to live out His deeds

It’s here that my ax I should place

So instead of chopping in mindless loop

All year round I will sharpen on He

Who will give me the life to (with one fell swoop)

This tree make fall for me.

After a very long time, and by God's grace, the next tree I saw was the one that I felled.  We've been married now for 4 months, and each day is better than the last.

 

110%

Today two different people coincidentally said to me they were giving their 110% to their work.  Wow, 110%?  That's a lot.  At first I was really impressed.  But then as I began to think about it, I realized that this presents a bunch of problems.
    Premise: 110% of someone's effort is a logical impossibility.  How can one give more than one is capable of giving.  If you had 10 apples, how can you give me 11?  If somehow you managed to pull that off, then 11 was 100% of your apples, not 10.  So with this in mind, here are the troublesome conclusions that came to mind to explain the 110% anomaly:
    1.  These people are bad at math.  They do not understand the proportionate semantic given by the term '100%', nor the term '110%'.  They erroneously believe that one can give 110% as a sign of giving all they have.  Or worse, they may even think that 110% is only a fraction of what you can do...perhaps giving your all would be 120%?  130?
    2.  These people are stealing.  If you had 10 apples and gave me 11, you may have simply given me your 10 and taken someone else's 1.  This is sin.  Do not steal.  The next time I hear you say you gave 110%, I will turn you in.
    3.  These people are Jesus.  Jesus was actually able to distribute more than 100% of his bread and fish.  In such a case, this is good news, for the second coming has occurred (though the rapture seems to be running late then).  Miraculous power could very easily smoothe out the apparent discrepancy of reality.
    4.  These people are really hard to impress.  They watch you give your all--that is, your 100%--and yet, they still think that's not good enough.  One of the prerequisites to satisfying their elitist criticisms is to provide a mathematical error which they don't notice, or steal, or perform a miracle.  In any case, the remedy is simple: just ask them to give you a 'high-5' by slapping your hand.  When they do so, act disappointed that they only provided 5, not 5.5 or 6 fingers.
    So I sent an instant message to the friend of mine that gave his 110% to his work.  I said, "How sure are you that you are going to heaven, as a percentage?" 
    He said, "100% sure".
    I said, "You lack confidence.  About 10% of it."
    Rebuked and ashamed, he logged off a sadder, but wiser man.