Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pick, Pluck, Pluck off, Gather...Horace Regrets Using this Title

People that say that they live their life with no regrets are either lying or have no goals. I think it’s safe to say that I have probably 10 to 15 regrets per day. Let’s take today for instance. I woke up and wish I’d went running but instead I can’t even remember what I did. Regret number one. Redbox blessed me with another half interesting movie that I watched by myself. Regret number two, watching the movie. Regret number three watching Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to make myself some eggs for breakfast but the thought of preparing food for myself, alone, was depressing, so I just ate cereal. So when I went running later in the day I was hungry because I didn’t make eggs.  Regret number five.  The sun was out in full force when I did decide to go running and it was miserably hot. Regret number six.

(It’s amazing how not doing something can be a regret and then once you do it you regret it equally much.)
Now you might say, “Page those are all stupid regrets and when people are talking about living with no regrets they are talking more about big life decision regrets.” So I’ll take some time to address the big life decision regrets that I have now too. I have credit card debt from over-spending on good things and bad. Regret. I have hooked up with girls selfishly that I wish I hadn’t hooked up with. Regret. I never did a main stage play in college. Regret.  I didn’t make good grades in high school, something that I could have easily done. Regret. I didn’t make good grades in college, something that I could have easily done. Regret. I flew to Wisconsin. Regret. I got into an argument with my sister and pushed her down. Regret. I’ve made a lot of people angry with me because of the way I spoke to them. Regret. I have spent a lot of time doing stupid things like playing video games, reading news articles, and watching the news. Regret.

While you live your life, there are regrets, big and small, each and every day that you encounter.  Just because you don’t call them regrets doesn’t mean that they aren’t. Things that you wish didn’t happen. Some regrets are simple and some aren’t so simple. Now you can take these regrets and chose to let them run your life, always feeling guilty for things, or you can repent of them and turn and follow Jesus.

If you tell me that you’ve lived life with no regrets then I won’t believe you. Because there is at least one thing in your life that you wish you’d have done differently. Even if you have regrets, that doesn’t matter because living life isn’t about living with no regrets but rather loving God and loving the orphan, the widow, and the stranger.

Things to think about:
-Hanging a towel to dry in the bathroom, the moistest room in the house. 
-Carrie Bradshaw beating Kramer by two in Entertainment Weekly’s 100 best characters of the last 20 years. Get real.
-What type of awesome stuff is in the White House that we don’t know about.
-Obama taking a vacation during the 40 day oil spill

Things to read:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Remember Now Your Creator in the Days of Your Youth, Before the Difficult Days Come

In the grand scheme of things a lot doesn’t matter.  Girls who give you their number and really don’t want you to call them, people you meet at parties that are too drunk to remember you, and all the things you collect in your house that sit…and don’t get used.

I spend a lot of time wishing people weren’t the way they were. I spend a lot of time trying to understand why it is that people do the things that they do. Most of my understanding has come from wisdom that I’ve prayed for. I’ve prayed for wisdom more than I’ve prayed for anything else.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity… For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

For what it’s worth I’ve found this to be true. Although I don’t have a lot of wisdom I have seen what it means for wisdom to cause grief. It causes you to question why people do everything. It makes you sit back and wonder about everything. One of my friends once asked me why I wanted to gain so much wisdom and I didn’t know why. Now I know that the reason is because I don’t ever want people to think that I’m a fool.

Then I saw that wisdom excels folly As light excels darkness. The wise man’s eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness, Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens to them all. So I said in my heart, “As is happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?” Then I said in my heart, “This also is vanity.” For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool! Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.  You should read on…it gets better. Love. War. 

Things to think about: 
-Life, love, liberty
-The order of the books in the Bible has been changed over time
-Jesus in pictures is always white.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

If Your Life Sucks a Good Antidote is Nostalgia, or Adventure

I think I say to my friends, more than once each day, how crazy life is. I’ll say something like this, “gosh, life, man it’s crazy.” I have one more exam till I’m done with my undergrad education. Something that has taken me roughly six and half years to complete. That’s crazy.

I feel pretty nostalgic currently. I had a devastatingly sad fit of nostalgia two nights ago, aided by Coldplay and being alone.

So what’s to be learned from being nostalgic?  It’s sad to think about all the people that I used to be friends with that I’m no longer friends with. It’s sad to think about the amount of classes that I’ve been in that I just tried to pass and didn’t spend as much time as I could learning the material. I’d like not to give a life lesson on making the most of your time in college by putting all you have into it, but rather, tell you with an analogy.

There is a climbing wall on Appalachian State’s campus that I just recently started climbing on. My friend Elisabeth, with an S, asked me if I wanted to climb and since I love doing new things, I, of course, wanted to. She introduced me to bouldering and I have been forever hooked. Particular routes, with hand and foot holds, are marked using tape and are rated by difficulty. One star, two star, and three star. The rules are that, in order to complete a route, you can only touch with your hands or feet the holds which have the particular color of tape of the route you’re climbing.

I wasn’t a natural but I picked up climbing fairly quickly and enjoyed challenging myself. Once I got past most of the one star routes, one in particular making my hands bleed, I started on the two star. The jump from one star to two star is almost unbelievable. I’ve said out loud many times when trying a two star, “Is this a joke?” But this isn’t the analogy yet. The analogy is this.

The two star climbs are so hard that I had to spend hours and hours working on them. I’d go up to a route try it and not even get the first hold. I’d work on it an hour and finally get that hold. I would leave, come back to the gym and try that same route again. I’d see people do the same route with ease and knew that I could also do it but I wasn’t strong enough yet. Just to give you an idea there are roughly 5 to 7 holds per route and I would spend about forty five minutes to an hour trying to get to the next hold. Mind you, that when you get to, say hold 4, and you fall, you have to start all over again to accomplish the route. I would go to the gym for an hour each day and get one more hold.

Some of the two stars came easier than others but there was this one that haunted me every time I entered the gym. Like every other time I put my shoes on, put chalk on my, once bleeding, now callused hands, and attempted the climb again, I would fall and people would give me advice and I would try again.   There was one hold that I couldn’t get. I looked at it in the face thinking: it’s so stupid that I can’t do this. After spending roughly 6 hours on this climb I got to a point that I’d never got to before, I hung on for dear life, willed myself to the next hold and finally jumped to the final hold 12 feet off the ground. I hung there for a second in amazement thinking, “I did it.”

I let go and landed on the ground and let out a huge yell that could be heard by the hearing impaired. The staff said, “No yelling please.” This sense of accomplishment has almost never been rivaled in my life. I worked so hard and so diligently on one route for 7 hours and finally, one time, I got it. I was ecstatic. I was elated.  I was jubilant. I was triumphant. The only thing I could think was: why does it feel so good to accomplish something that took so many hours and why are there not more things like this in my life.

I want my entire life to be like this climb. I want to see my end goal in life, have 5 to 7 holds to get to that goal and work on each hold till I get it…even if it takes an hour on each. The desire to have a story to tell when I die doesn’t permit me to live my life like I’m not climbing a route. Some people work this hard at college, I didn’t, and don’t. I didn’t care about the goal of graduating. This next season of my life is going to be spent accomplishing goals that I want to accomplish and not wasting time doing things that aren’t story worthy. If you’ve never climbed before, turn the TV off, get out of your bed, and do something you've never done. I’d love to go with you. Depression years for a happier life. Nostalgia yearns for a return to the past. This man isn't going to spend any more time on depression or nostalgia, rather I'm moving on. I'll end with a quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. "...I wish people who struggle against dark thoughts would risk their hopes on living a good story-by that I mean finding a team of people doing hard work for a noble cause, and joining them. I think they'd be surprised at how soon their sad thoughts would dissipate..." I agree. Love. War. 

Things you should think about:
-Fire just happens to burn things. The eyeball just happens to work. There has to be something else going on than happenstance. 
-Doing things that make your hands bleed makes you feel like a man
-Drinking beer gets old
-Women are beautiful

Things to watch: