It’s the little things…
How many things do we say, “I really need to do that.” to? For me? quite a bit. I’m a bit ADD (in theory, not diagnosis) and have a tendency to move from one task to another very randomly. Coupled with a perceived inability to say “no” when asked to do something, this makes for a life filled with frustration and an incomplete wish list as far as I can think.
Today, however, I had a thought. In recent memory, the only thing I’ve accomplished with some level of success is to lose weight. Almost 2 years ago I began a journey that has ended with me losing 30ish pounds and keeping it off.
Was it an amazing plan? A force of sheer willpower? Electroshock? All great ideas, but alas no. My secret was actually embracing failure and making nearly imperceptible steps in the direction I wanted to go. It was a total experiment.
So, thought I, why not take this to the next step? Why not make a list of things (maybe 2 or 3 to get started) to work on. This can be my constant failure list. My, “It’s really ok to fail as long as I keep pushing the ball forward list”.
My plan is this: Take 3 things, identify where I want to go with them and then make goals (even if they appear almost imperceptible) in the right direction. For example, when trying to lose weight, I didn’t even change what I was eating. I just wrote down what I was eating. My thinking was, “I don’t really eat THAT bad, do I?” Well, after a week or two, my delusion was on paper. Next I cut out cheese. Then I cut out something else. Then I started juicing. Here I am, 30lbs lighter and feeling better for it. Wouldn’t you know it, even I can stick to something!
So my three things? Workout, daily focused time with God, Finish Berean School of the Bible.
Let the experiment begin…
Amerivespa with a side of chill out.
I’m finally doing something I’ve been thinking about for years. Scooter road trip. Armed with my phone, Bible, and camping gear, I’m looking forward to leaving the noise behind and reconnecting with God on this trip in a deeper way.
January 16, 2012 at 12:42am
Skip to the end
I find myself in a familiar rut. Ideas aplenty but low execution. It’s kinda aggravating. What is it that is so appealing about not doing things? Or worse yet, doing the things we know we shouldn’t do.
It doesn’t take a physical therapist to know that eating junk food makes you feel and look horrible. It doesn’t take a pastor to know that not spending time with God and toying with sin makes for a miserable cocktail. It also doesn’t take someone of Steve Jobs caliber to recognize an idea without execution is worthless.
I think this is why I live frustrated most of the time. I know all of these things and yet I still fail frequently on all counts. What am I trading for happiness and satisfaction? Pleasure, fear of failure, selfishness. Ugh. Very frustrating.
Maybe writing about this mess will help me over these hurdles somehow. I really need to skip to the end. Skip over the junk in the middle to a year or 5 or 10 from now and look at what that version of me is like.
Do I want to be full of regret or will I have finally got it through my skull the right things to do? I think a good strategy is to look ahead with hopeful expectation, weigh the costs and pay them daily.
In other words, skip to the end. Then work backward. Make micro goals (spiritual, work, physical, and relational). Right now I’m a tad disgusted with how careless I am but I do find comfort in 2 Corinthians 12:9:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
May God help me. Because I am at the end of me.
January 14, 2012 at 11:45am
There’s nothing new here…
So in the spirit of my only real resolution this year, I’ve decided to start blogging again. What was that resolution? Well, really to not make any. To only do what I know I SHOULD be doing but don’t. That should keep me occupied since I’m a great starter and dreamer…but not a finisher.
So, I guess I’ll see you in a year when I say, “Yeah, I need to blog more”
September 29, 2009 at 1:34am
I can say with some certainty that I haven’t felt the way I do in quite some time. I feel so drawn to God in ways I thought were gone. I had come to a place where I thought my usefulness was past and that I had missed my chance.
Now I can’t stop thinking and talking about what God is doing in my life. He’s constantly on my mind and His completely amazing grace is overwhelming to me.
I have been the person to turn away, to toss away things of value for things temporary. I have done horrible things. I have been a person lost, lonely and running from the truth. I have been the unfeeling drone that goes through the motions. The one seeking for some special truth that maybe somehow I missed.
You know, what Jesus has for us is simple. It’s grounded in his intense love for us all. Somewhere along the way I had forgotten how much God loves me. I had forgotten how much he truly adores and cherishes me. THAT is liberating.
When I run. He loves.
When I act the fool. He loves.
When I fail. He loves.
He loves through the bad.
He loves when I’m lost.
He loves despite rejection.
I’ve gone and returned.
I’ve taken and I’ve turned.
I’ve defied and I’ve hurt.
Yet, despite all of this. The One and the only. The Eternal. The Magnificent. The Holy.
It’s funny. When I focus on loving God and loving people, the other stuff just seems to flow. I WANT to share what God is doing in me because I want others to experience what I am experiencing. We all want something MORE. Truth. Freedom. Happiness.
I’ve had little and I’ve had much. I’ve done right and I’ve done wrong. I’ve been full and I’ve been a vacuum. I must say, tossing out my religion. Getting rid of the rules and just getting back to love is the most amazing and best thing that has happened to me. I think it’s great to “know stuff” but I really just want to love God. Truly love. To love people the way God does. To be close with the One who loves me more than words can express.
It’s really hard not to sound like a total weirdo when discussing this because it is so different than what people are used to talking about. I’m still trying to understand it all myself.
I do know that I feel like I’m going the right direction again. I feel like I’m on the path.
Lowdown makes cucumber planning easy
Tonight we just finished our rails rumble site http://www.lowdownapp.com and I ran across this blog post talking about using cucumber to test Flex:
So I just HAD to do it in lowdown to see how easy it was! Of course, it was crazy simple!
It’s been a long time since I feel the way I do right now. I had become a professional Christian. I thought I had everything together. Yet over time this feeling gave way to dread at the thought of God or rather people finding out that I haven’t been living for God.
It’s so easy to attend church and even be in leadership with no heart. I can fake a smile and be dead inside with the best of them. I can be cordial and “do the right thing” because I had heard all the sermons. I knew what Jesus expected of me.
How hollow does that sound? Very.
In truth I was pretty ashamed of myself. My life had become a turnstile of faking and sinning. I think somewhere I really was miserable and really wanted to be true to God, but I acted with no heart or desire to change. I had become a double-minded person, very unstable, untrustworthy and not good for anything. I only write these things down so that hopefully it may encourage someone.
I have been on the mission trip, preached the gospel boldly in the street. I have been kicked out of my house and abandoned by friends. I have lost all things and gained an intense desire to know God. I have been in a place where I felt so strongly that God cared deeply for me and was actively taking care of me.
I have taken that love He gave and thrown it away. I have been the one to hear but not do. I have returned time and again to the same sin. To failure. I have taken what was holy and pure and tarnished it. I have been to the place where I thought there was no return. I have felt alone. Dead. Fearful. I have been without hope.
Yet. God loves.
A few months ago, it got to the point that I had to strain against the desire to cry because of what I had become. It seemed as if every single Sunday sermon was focused on me. At first, of course, I fought the urge. Then I just decided that no matter what, I couldn’t live this way anymore and if God still wanted me (of course He did), I would make a change.
I think somewhere along the way, in my desire to serve or do I forgot that the bible was for me too and that God wanted to have MY heart and MY life. AGAIN I was reminded of things God showed me in the past. Things I have apparently yet to understand even though I knew them. Simple stuff like:
Love God with all you are
I was about to type a list, but the rest doesn’t matter. I’ve really been stuck on this for the last few weeks, and to be honest, it’s where I plan on residing for a while. Love God. With everything. With every fiber. With every thought. To desire to be intimate with Him. To return to being excited to spend time with God and not watch TV or waste time with other things. To yearn for Him to be near me and to truly understand His value of me and His love. His ways.
It’s this simple thing that I feel has brought me back from the brink. I must love God. I honestly just asked God for a ‘reset’ of sorts. I needed a reboot. So I threw everything out. The good and the bad. What I need to focus on is loving God, so that’s what I’m doing.
I don’t exactly feel spiritual about it at all. I literally started reading “our daily bread” and praying along with whatever the day’s scripture was. I also began to ask God to teach me to truly love Him. Since I began this exercise, I can truly say I am changing. So much so, that a friend of mine noticed enough to comment on it.
I know this post is a bit of a ramble, but if I can share any hope with you it’s this: Throw out every formula, every idea except loving God. You see, we can have all things. Know all things. We could be pastors or servants. We could be rich and not have a financial care. But without love, it really is worthless.
Even now as I write this I want to feel God more. To know him and have Him know me more. Faith really is this mess. It’s not meant to be a system that we can sum up in 3 steps or 5 laws. We can’t explain it away with leadership lessons or howto guides. We can’t force it with making everyone a Type-A personality or will it into existence by sacrifice.
We must love God. simple. We must tear down the walls between us, the pretense that we may bring and open ourselves up…laid bare before God. We must not be afraid to not know what we’re doing and just be honest and say, “God, I have no idea what to do…I just want You. I don’t want religion anymore. Just an openness and intimacy with You that words can’t express.”
That amazing, profound doctrine to change us and the world was so simply stated by Jesus, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind”.
For now there are faith,
hope, and love.
But of these three,
the greatest is love.
Reset me, Lord.
December 30, 2008 at 2:15am
The Button made me do it
There’s something that most people don’t know about me. I’ve been preoccupied with getting old and dying. I’m naturally a philosophical person; so I would be remiss if I failed to write down my thoughts…so here goes something.
I remember as I turned 20 a bit of mourning that I was no longer a teenager. I groaned that I couldn’t go back and I had to become a man and be “responsible”. It seems like I’ve always been wary of the future. Which is odd for a person of faith. You see, in High School I discovered what I still hold to be true (despite the times when my actions and thoughts deny it), that there is a God and that the knowing and believing of such should change my life. I’ve always been concerned about turning out on the wrong side of things and making the wrong decisions when so many people in my family have done just that. There is, of course, pressure from everywhere to have things and “be something”. There’s no mulligan in life. We really do only have this minute (this second) and we must choose how to live it.
I think I had a few years of living without really thinking about it (what I usually refer to as coasting) during most of my 20s and early 30s. I fell into what most of us do. I awoke in the morning. Got dressed and went to work. Came home when I was off, watched TV and went to bed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. However, ever since I turned 35 something has been bugging me. It seems that all around me are reminders that life is short and questions of what am I doing about it keep rearing their head.
I’m most certainly not happy with where I am in things. Not that I’m miserable or anything. In fact, I have a great family. I have an amazing wife and five wonderful kids. I live in a nice house and I work doing what I consider my hobby as well as what I do to pay for everything. I go to church on Sunday and I try to raise our kids to have Christian values and an honest faith. That being said, I feel there is more. Something missing.
So thoughts of what really matters have been floating around in my head and my heart seems to ache a bit for something more. Some might say, “You’ll never truly be happy until you find your true calling” and perhaps that is right. I’ve tried working at a church and found it to be more like pulling teeth than anything fulfilling. I think the happiest I’ve been was when I was working with a good friend in youth ministry but that’s over. He’s moved on and since then I feel a bit like I’ve not had a true friend or a place that I can call home. That may sound pathetic, but my intention is to not sound all “woe is me” but to explain things. So, if you read this, then take it however you want.
At any rate, I haven’t “figured it out” or anything so grand…but I have come to a point of decision. You see, the other thought that is incessantly in my head is this: What should a true believer in Christ be like? How should he feel? What should he do? How should I have peace? Surely you can agree that if we are to guide others to be like Christ, then we should know what that “like Christ” is. My answer to that and all my other searching, fears, and loneliness (for now) is very simple. Love God.
Now I know that might sound cliché or trite (and stupid by some standards). I don’t however mean a weirdo, non-thinking drooling after an invisible being. Rather, it causes me to think back to when I had first decided that following Christ was the right way. I decided that there was no other way, no matter what.
My nightly ritual was to go alone, in the middle of the night to the bathroom in my parents’ house. I could turn on the light and not disturb anyone. It was in this odd sanctuary that I spent hours on end reading about the mysteries of God. It was also the first place that I learned to pray. I just talked. I didn’t have the churchy vocabulary that only trained professional Christians have. I just employed the simplest of words and spoke from my heart what I truly thought. I developed an intimacy that sometimes I do forget, but other times (when I whisper to my “Daddy”) it reminds me just how close I should be.
Tonight I saw Benjamin Button, which, without a doubt, would explain my thoughtfulness. But a silly movie did make me think of this: It’s not the coming or even the going, but the in between bits that really matter.
So once again, I remind myself that I can become all kinds of things. I can lose it all or I can have everything. Nothing, however, matters without a truly intimate and invigorating relationship with God. Fortunately for me (and you too) He’s so very willing to be with us just as we are.
Just signed up with ping.fm..seems nifty.