I’m glad that there are happy people in our world.
Prone to wander. Oh, how true it is.
My relationship with Jesus is like a wave chart with highs and lows. We go to new heights, and then I ditch him, because I get distracted easily (SQUIRREL!). He is constant, and I am the variable. But I always come back, given enough time I come back, because deep down I want Him and I need Him.
When life gets weird or I get stressed about what’s going on. I come back to the verse of coming after Jesus, denying myself, and taking up the cross. Although everything seems to be going wiry, I remember that I have life in Christ, and no matter what happens that will not be taken from me. Mentally I’ll make a list of all the terrible things that could happen to me, and then I’ll think, “yup these are all real possibilities,” but I know that even if they occurred I’ll still have Christ. All the conflict, all the drama and hoorah, will be surpassed by eternity with Him.
It’s all in the perspective.
Every spring we go outside for a night. It takes months of scheduling and talking to plan a date, and then eventually someone circles a day, and whoever makes it, makes it. I love this trip. It’s the perfect mixture of friends, wilderness, and eating crappy food around a fire.
I have this theory that if you want to turn a good friend into a great friend you sit around a fire late at night, watch the stars, and fall asleep wondering if scorpions are going to crawl into your ears. It’s just a theory, but I think most people would agree with me. This is a half-joke, but seriously, camping with people is friendship building material. There’s no television, no cell phones, no laptops, no distractions. Once the sun goes down, you’re limited to either 1) going to sleep or 2) sitting around the fire to ramble off story after story until the stories run dry. Permission to talk all night long? YES please.
Every camping trip carries individual memories. I’ve camped at this exact spot at least 15 times, and I can remember the distinct moments of each trip that make me laugh and boast and smile. There was the time we rappeled down a cliff or that time Tommy nearly died climbing up a pine tree or that time Kate told a really good story about the boyscout gasoline fire. I love looking back on these trips and reminiscing on the memories, and I look forward to many more adventures out in the woods with my friends. With all this said, do you have a free weekend this summer? Grab your friends and camp under the stars. You won’t forget it.
Every single day I get on the computer and begin the time wasting process of scouring the internet. It’s a vicious cycle of Facebook, gmail, twitter, blogz, adventure journal, and Reddit. One by one I open the sites, lining them up in tabs, until they’re all ready to go, and then I start the process of sifting through words, images, thoughts, messages, and silly comics. And once I have consumed them all, I’ll refresh the pages hoping to catch new material. I can and have spent way too much time doing this, and have found that at the end of the day it brings me little joy.
So I’m cutting back for a week or two to see the results. I’m not going out full cold-turkey, just some boundaries that hopefully will make me feel like a world class champion.
Only Reading Blogs/Adventure Journal/Other Article Sites on Wed. & Sat.
I am one blog in a sea of one billion, and I read all of them. I KEED, I KEEED, but I follow quite a few of them. Probably 3% are material that will actually impact me. With that said, I’ll search for those 3% gems twice a week. Any more than that, and i’m just a dude daily panning for gold and getting a bad sunburn.
Check Email Once in the Morning, Once at Night
I realize this isn’t for everyone, but I hardly ever get important mail. As of right now, I check my email like 30,000 times a day so that I can delete SPAM the very moment that it arrives in my mailbox. Is this necessary? Probably. Will it have to wait to the morning or night? Yesiree.
Facebook. Once. a. day.
If there’s no red balloons, then i should get off. Otherwise, it’s scrolling scrolling scrolling scrolling scrolling scrolling so that you can see a photo of some dude’s breakfast burrito.
NO MORE REDDIT
It’s the king of waste, and is only useful when talking with other Redditers. Did you see that photo of the dog stuck in the chimney? Today there was an AMA with the guy who invented Cheetos! SUPER interesting!
Those are the guidelines. We’ll see how I do. I figured getting them down in words would help me to keep to them. Have any of you foos done anything similar? From all the time you saved, were you able to create a life-saving cure or learn an exotic language? That’s what I’m planning on doing with all my freetime. That and quote Shakespeare.
Today is the Gran Fondo Bicycle Ride. For 98 miles cyclists will ride a giant loop through the Salinas and Carmel Valley. They’ll pedal over farm roads, down old paths, across highways and up mountains. For 98 miles they’ll sweat and burn as they move onward and upward under the California sun. It will be 98 miles of pure bliss.
When I heard about the ride, I knew that I wanted to do it. There is an alluring romantic quality of pedaling such a distance that I wanted to experience. I loved the thought of spending a day grueling through the countryside, and finishing the day with a cold drink and friends. Plus, there was the stoke factor of riding with a mob of others. I couldn’t wait to hoot and holler alongside my fellow riders as we zipped down roads, and shouted out joy making our way through the fields of Salinas. It was going to be a great day! I registered for the ride, and started my training with friends on the weekends. Little by little, week by week, my legs got stronger and my excitement for the ride grew. I seriously couldn’t wait.
and than unexpectedly I crashed. My collarbone snapped, and in a single slippery turn my dream was crushed.
The disappointment was harder to bear than the actual pain. Physical pain can be addressed with advil, disappointment functions at a deeper level. It was like being rejected by a woman except that I was actually wounded. My heart was metaphorically broken, and my collarbone was literally broken. After the crash, I kept telling myself that the dream would still happen. By some miracle my collarbone would heal, and I would be able to ride in the Fondo. But this was only a foolish thought, and to ride would be stupid and painful. The ride was out of the question for me. The dream was done.
I sat in my self pity for some time, but then I had an epiphany. My dream was crushed, but the dreams of my friends are happening right now. For weeks they also dreamed of this. They imagined themselves at the different points of the ride. The excitement of the start, the grind of the middle, and the pride of the finish. They’re going to have a great day, but I now had the opportunity of making their dream even more sweet, and this is how.
Around mile 87-89 is the toughest, most miserable, pain-inducing, “this sucks” moment of the ride. After all day of mostly riding in the flats, the ride takes an uphill turn up Los Laureles Grade, a beast of a mountain. For three miles they’ll rise from Carmel Valley up into the clouds, and for three miles they’ll question whether they’re cut out for this. In the weeks leading up to the ride we all talked about how “the grade” would test our mettle. “Just shift to the lowest gear, don’t despair, and keep pedaling,” was the motto.
Here’s where I come in, I’ve decided that I want to make this part of the ride an absolute thrill for them. Gathering up friends, noise makers, signs, and squirt guns there will be a rally troop waiting for them in the middle of the climb. We’ll be waving our signs, running alongside them, shouting out encouragement, and the best part of it is that they have no idea that we’re planning on doing this! I literally can’t wait to see their faces as they realize that a group of their ridiculous friends have been camped on the side of the road to love on them. It’s going to be a grand surprise and a complete joy! I’m seriously so, so excited!
Life is full of good and bad surprises. Life doesn’t always happen as you plan, but we have a choice to adapt and make it beautiful. I could have sat around today bummed that I wasn’t out riding, but instead I chose to make today a great day. My dream was crushed, but I shifted gears and changed the dream into something new. Today my dream is to hang out on the side of the road making the dreams of my friends even more joyful. What a good day today will be!
“Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”
There will be a day when I will be with you in the New Jerusalem.
Years ago, a friend got married 1,864 miles away from my home in a little place called Houston, Texas. Friends and I wanted to go to the ceremony, and so we all made arrangements to get there. Some of us drove, others took planes, but across the nation we went until we arrived at Houston a day before the wedding. We had all booked rooms at the same hotel, and I still remember the moment we all saw each other. It was funny, because most of us had just been together in our hometown, yet there was this overwhelming excitement and joy that came from being together in this new setting. We were all so far from our homes, but here we were, still together. We threw a grand party that night, and it’s a favorite memory of mine. I think it gives a good picture of what heaven will be like.
When friends move, and circumstances drift relationships apart, I turn into a sad puppy. I wish we could live close, and hang out every evening around a fire talking about our day. I just want us all to be together forever. I combat the same feelings when life takes me to new places. I don’t want to leave friends. I don’t want to leave my brothers and sisters, but I know the change is for the best. It’s a sad moment, but the hope and joy comes from the thought that I’ll be back with these people someday again. There will come a time in which we will all be back together and that it won’t just be for a season of life, but for eternity. We’ll all go to this new better place that is now our new home, and we’ll be together with our mutual friend Jesus. He’ll throw the grandest party ever, and it will be great. I can’t wait.