Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Pursuit of...

For anyone who has seen the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" with Will Smith, consider for a moment replacing the word "happyness" with something important to you. For me, at various points in my life, this pursuit has included "the pursuit of graduation" (right now), "the pursuit of victory" as with a basketball game, and most importantly, "the pursuit of God." The point of this movie which struck me deepest was when Will Smith finds himself in deep poverty ($20 in his bank account), recently evicted from his home, in the middle of an unpaid internship, and the responsibility of raising a son. At this point, he and his son are sitting in a subway station in the middle of the night with nowhere to go, with only each other. The scene closes with Will Smith holding his sleeping son in the subway bathroom, baracading the locked door with his foot, and tears streaming down his face. His pursuit of happyness had brought him to this place. And it reminded me that often times those things which we pursue wholeheartedly, will often lead us to these kind of places, and it is in those places that we are faced with the reality of whether or not what we are pursuing is truly worth it. Unlike Smith, I think that my mindset likes to be focused on receiving only, as opposed to obedient risk-taking. It is easy for me to try to take the path of least resistence. And for a while, I thought that the path of least resistance meant the right path. But this is far from the truth I believe. Just look at the the life of Jesus. The life of His disciples. Resistance was the air that they breathed. But they knew the truth, and Jesus knew what must be accomplished. Resistance then can be used for good, because we are forced to trust in strength that may not be our own, but rather comes from Christ. The beauty too of facing resistance as we pursue what our goals, pursue our God-given calling/passions is that in this time we become truly thankful, and grateful. It is not the times that things come easy that we are most truly thankful it is when we put sweat, tears, prayer, and time in to something. What Will Smith had left in that subway bathroom was really nothing more than hope and his determination amidst an on-slaught of responsibility. He was faced with the choice to keep pressing on, keep hoping, keep fighting, keep loving, or give up his pursuit. As we press on, as we take the next step, as we set our eyes on the goal, we constantly have with us what has already been attained in Christ as stated in Philippians 3. Christ has been pouring in to us our entire lives through experiences, mentors, and relationships. And so as we can press on in our calling, and the pursuits which God has given us a desire for... but we should never forget where we come from, or what has been accomplished for us, and how he has been faithful. Sometimes we are freely given what we don't deserve. Other times, we have to fight, struggle, and obediently take risk. William Wallace said it this way, "Fight and you may die. Run and you will live at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now,would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Burned to a cellular crisp

So, I am kind of bad with phones. That's an understatement. I kill phones somehow... regardless of what I am doing with it, what I am not doing with it, when I am awake, and now, even while I am sleeping.

The new phone every two years with verizon should be more like 2 months for me, because that's around the average life span of mine. Since April '05 I have gone through more phones than I can count. I broke the screen of one playing air soft at a friend's apartment. I got one wet in the river fly-fishing. I got another one wet mowing the yard in the rain. I left one in Boston when I went up to visit Gordon-Conwell in the Fall. But the most recent story of how I killed my phone happened this week, and tops them all for sure. My phone burned... while I was sleeping... on my dresser... from a candle lit next to it. I could hardly believe my eyes when I woke up. The good news is, it only melted in two, and I can still make calls using a headset. The moral of the stories are:

a. don't go to bed with a candle still burning
b. don't set your phone next to a burning candle
c. don't let me borrow your cell phone... ever.
d. I am that guy who keeps candles out of dormotories

So, after a lot of generosity from friends and family in letting me use their old phones the past couple years, and a couple way over priced phones I had to resort to getting, I have finally caught up to my 2 years with verizon. This weekend I am sticking it to the man, and getting my 'basically' free phone from them... finally.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wolfpack or Tarheels

This is a video by Rhett and Link which Mark Valentine showed me last week. With my brother being a graduate of UNC, and preparing to begin a the graduate program at NC State in the Fall, I found this video not only hilarious, but also very relevant. Enjoy... and Chris, hopefully you can access this is China.