Posts tagged "god's will"
Perhaps the mystery lies within a crevice of the soul that has yet to be fully uncovered and explained in the midst of my constant journeying. Perhaps, the answers are before the mystery.
There are fewer things that I love to do when I go home then have a drink, a cigar, and seeing my friends. More specifically the mysterious light that shines from their eyes amidst new ambitions and the lowest of lows.
In a short weekend trip, these are four things that can happen very easily, and it reminds me of the simplicity of the life I enjoy when I reside in the 503. Yet, there is a wall to be breached every time I’m home, and I was walked in the Pearl District just a few nights ago, listening to a random street band perform on a stage that seemed to fit their personalities to perfection, that wall was breached.
It got me thinking what I’m really doing in my life - who I am, where I’m going, what I’ve done, and the adventures yet left to climb.
There are two separate worlds in my life - and there is very little that ever crosses intothe other. In one universe, I live in Los Angeles - I sit around a table with people who hang out with Keith Urban and the Red Hot Chili Peppers after a long day on set, I order coffee with Chris Pine, and I wander around Disneyland when I’m bored. And if it’s a really good day, I read at the beach. It’s a dream…and yet, it leaves me dying a little bit more each day, because I know it’s just a small stop in a long life that I hope to enjoy, no matter how long, because God gives it and takes it away. I want to make it last for Him and His glory. I want to do majestic things for the Kingdom. I want to save lives, because when I had none to give, He saved mine.
Then in my other world, I wander around Portland like a character from a Nicholas Sparks book…a tad bit confused, heartbroken, pathetic, and heroically daring at the same time. I sit around a camp fire and retell as well as listen to stories about the prime of my friend group’s lives when we were The Buck Crew. Before school, distance, women, men, and life decisions slowly but surely called us to grow up. I enjoy a cup of Stumptown Coffee with my mom as another cool Oregon breeze blows through the vacant and clean city streets of Portland.
It’s a vast comparison of the slow and romantic versus the fast pace and what seems hopeless. Yet I wonder why God has me in either. But there must be a reason I ask.
I have a tendency to look back and cherish, and a bad habit of looking forward and spitting out the taste in my life. On those (sometimes too often) seasons of life where I ride the arrogant horse into my future, I think I have it all. And then I come home. And then I don’t get that call back. Then I don’t get hired. Then I get kicked off a team with my friends. Then I make some terrible mistakes. Then I get reminded of grace. Then I come back to this spot.
If you’ve made it this far, this will probably remind you of my old blogs, where I was more confused and passionate. Perhaps it’s a good thing, perhaps it’s a terrible thing. All I know is that I love today. I love this trip home. I love where God has placed me, and I can’t wait to for the (hopefully) global adventures that lie ahead.
Degree or not.
Single or not.
Full of friends, or riding like the Lone Ranger, solo into the sunset.
Rich or poor.
Needless or needy.
It’s going to be a beautiful picture that will be finished when I’m XX years old.
I thought I left my heart in SF where my bachelor and city life could fly to new heights.
Before it was NY.
And it will probably be Portland this time, only for a completely different reason.
So where is that sunset…and pass the Stumptown and Rum please.
Memorial Day means one thing (besides honoring Veterans who have served our country proudly) to a Biola University student: Summer Break has begun. It’s insane to think how fast the past two years of my life have evaporated into the dusk on the unstoppable train of time.
It’s as if part of me believes that the summer months following my senior year of high school are a distant memory, still images taken in my mind, with flashes and blasts from the past when a smell, a sound, or a picture crosses my path – yet the other part feels as if it were just yesterday, still as fresh as the first time I walked onto the beautiful Biola campus as a student two summers ago.
So much has taken place during the last two years. That’s so vague to say; yet it’s the only appropriate way to start. I entered Biola with a “Cool Joe” mentality, expecting the clout of my ministry and high school past to carry with me, 1000 miles away in a city that is literally four times the size of my home state (Oregon).
As I’ve written in past blogs, the fall was a really humbling time spiritually, socially, and emotionally. I had to earn my accreditation from my peers, from faculty, and from the community I was immersed in.
It was a whirlwind – I was confused, hurting, and lonely for the most part…despite the fact on the external it appeared as if I was living the high life a college freshman.
Once Spring Semester hit, I finally hit a stride. I had a system down for school, for friends, and for getting around. Yet balancing my life was no longer easy like it was during high school. I learned the hard way that you have to invest in friendships to keep them, that you can’t bank everything in school and expect to stay sane, and you certainly can’t spend your time with one particular girl assuming you’re mature enough to do so.
By the time my first college summer hit, I was exhausted. Yet, I packed up my things and traveled coast-to-coast in 14 days. It was an incredible time where I got to experience the maturity and growth that had taken place the previous 9 months. As I wandered New York City by myself, I finally felt a large separation between my old self and who I was becoming and now I had a choice: embrace growing up and maturing, or return to my childish ways.
I would like to believe I chose to grow up.
The past 9 months now has been extremely interesting. God has revealed to me that areas of my heart and mind that weren’t quite ready to make the leap. I had to wrestle with breaking other people’s hearts, the breaking of my own, learning to balance school, work, and play, finding out how to further relationships in a healthy manner, and contemplating (and making) a switch on my major among other things. Life was crazy.
Now as summer has rolled in, I will be sitting in a cubicle a few days a week, spending my other days blowing a whistle and yelling at high school students to chop their feet, and thinking that life has certainly come and continued on real fast.
It’s taken me nearly a week to finish this blog, which is further evidence I chose the right option when I dropped my journalism major. Writing has burned me out. Yet, last night, the rain was falling and the smell of the humid air being lifted off of asphalt was fresh.
I took a walk outside, because it was a year ago I experienced the same thing in New York City, a trip, as I mentioned earlier and in earlier blogs, changed my life. Now, I’m living on my own, learning how to cook (my mom says women will love this – that’s of course before they try it), and learning out the new system of being completely on my own (exception being those nice surprises of cash my parents and grandma sometimes sends me).
I wish I had some sort of charge to you, some sort of divine wisdom or profound statement to give to you like I normally try to conjure up with these types of blogs, but it just isn’t going to happen today.
What I would like to do though is challenge you to seek growth and to seek change. Life is too short not to embrace everything we have here on earth. One day, we will have an entire eternity to enjoy a new heaven and new earth that is completely untainted by sin – our favorite foods, colors, games, sceneries, and everything in between will be made new. I personally can not wait for that day.
However, until that day, we have a very large earth that is still the creation of God at our fingertips. Take a leap of faith and travel, try new things, and say yes to things you would normally say no to.
Our journey (for most of you that is, who know Christ) has an ending that is already scripted. So it is the end that matters…but now we can explore the journey to it’s fullest. Enjoy it…you have once to embrace!
As I punch away on the silicone covered keys on my computer, and throw down another iced coffee, I cannot help but express both excitement and apprehension as the next few months in my life. Part of me is celebrating over the chance to really shine, to take the abilities God has given me, and part of me is nervous, as if I’m about to drown in a sea of overwhelming expectations and conditions.
For the past few months, I’ve been planning on a relaxing summer at home following an intensive process with my current status in school: student government, double major, 22 units, etc. I couldn’t wait for a chance to unwind, pick up some hours painting, and chill by the river. Funny how God completely changes that.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I never expected to live down here, much less go to school in the vanity-laced conditions of Southern California. Yet, when your passions align with God’s plan, and the doors open, sometimes you must take risks. That’s just what happened.
For the past month, door after door was shut. First, I was denied an RA position at Biola, which was extremely disappointing given the situation but totally relieving at the same time, because I knew God would open an opportunity and show me the way. Then, an internship put me in a crossroads between my morals and faith, and my job. I had to leave the internship for personal reasons. Next, my back got in worse condition, and the idea of surgery popped up as a possible answer. Mix in a few other social disappointments, and the last 30 days have been absolutely humbling.
Yet, when a professor told me to put my name in the hands of a few high school football coaches in the area, I had no idea what would ensue.
Ever since I have been playing football, my friends and coaches told me I’d probably be better at leading the game from the sidelines then from ever on the field. I was never blessed with extreme athleticism and I never got healthy enough to try. After five concussions, a broken back, a blown knee and a handful of other injuries, God was leading me away from the game I loved. It’s been two years since I’ve been anywhere near real football, and they have been long, agonizing falls.
After talking to Prof. Hazelwood, who teaches Sports Psychology at BU, she encouraged me to email a few coaches – including Whittier Christian High School. Turns out, they just got second in state and were in need of some help. I figured I could help by filming games or possibly holding bags during practice, hoping to work my way up. I had an interview last week, and as long as all goes well, I will actually be coaching this fall from the sidelines.
At the current status quo, I will be the JV linebackers’ coach. I’m extremely thrilled and nervous at the same time. The past week I checked out of school and have started reviewing drills, film, and thinking back to my playing days.
The next part of this story is the “big announcement.” I recently applied for an Advertising Assistant position at BU for the rest of this semester and the summer. However, once I found out that I would have to live down here, I was hesitant to keep my name in the hat. After the interview, Whittier Christian offered me a coaching spot, and after some prayer and a few phone calls, I have decided to keep my talents here in Southern California. Just kidding … for you non-sports fans, which means I will not return to Portland this summer.
As nerve wracking as this is, it’s completely of God and completely exciting. The unknown has never been better. Although the coaching position and the Advertising Assistant position are paid, neither are enticing enough alone to keep me down here. That’s when I knew that I was in a good situation, where I could finally admit that I have a job where I would do it for free…and now I’m getting paid to do it. Coaching football has been a dream of mine since I first picked up a ball…and now it’s becoming a reality. Who knows, if this is the track God has me on – helping young men become empowered men of God, playing a sport they love – then I couldn’t be happier. Maybe I’ll be the next Charlie Weis – a Notre Dame graduate who never played college ball but has coached at both the Collegiate and NFL levels…and has a few Super Bowl Rings to go with it.
If you will be in the area this summer, I would love to connect with you, because I have no idea who will be around and could use some friends! Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me and walking through this with me, and especially thanks to my Mom and Dad who I couldn’t thank enough. Although hurt (as am I), they have been extremely supportive in this decision. It’s a life changing choice…and I’m excited.