It’s been a whole year since I began recording my thoughts an musings here (wow, time flies). As a thank you for bearing with me as I try to make sense of life, here’s a few shots of some runners I recently picked up:
More can be seen at http://www.footwearexchange.com
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 But when He, (R)the Spirit of truth, comes, He will (S)guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will (T)glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 (U)All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” – John 16:12-15 (NASB)
The Holy Spirit is a Christian’s personal guide in regard to the specific will of God in that individual’s life. He speaks to the Christian on behalf of God, so there is no reason to doubt or fear his message. His sole purpose is to glorify God the Father and God the Son, at all times.
Learning to discern, interpret, and implement the wishes of the Holy Spirit is crucial for any follower of Christ to be effective in his discipleship.
This past weekend my wife and I were in Baltimore for my friend’s wedding reception. Devin is one of the few people I still communicate with from undergrad. He was one of my groomsmen for our wedding. He and his wife did a destination wedding in Jamaica last December. Though it would have been a great time traveling to the Caribbean, Monica and I weren’t able to go. The stateside celebration was a great opportunity to come show our love and support for their new union.
Monica and I planned to arrive a little early to take a look at the campus; an impromptu reunion if you will. Although it was night, we could see drastic changes. The new student center, Engineering buildings, and off-campus housing made me a tad envious of the current students. But much of the old charm remained. Like Soper Library. I’m guessing it’s abandoned now, or at least being used for a different purpose. One of the peculiar features of this building was while the elevator buttons allowed you to select floors B-10, the building only had 4 floors. Soper Library is special because this is where Monica and I had our first “date” 15 years ago (wow; can’t believe I just typed that). And then there was the Refectory. Many a meal was had here, as well as heated debates on topics ranging from who had the better diss track?: Nas or Jay-Z, to Operation Iraqi Freedom. As we drove through campus, all these forgotten memories came rushing back. I constantly amazed at how the mind just stores these things for what seems like forever, only to recall them at a moments notice.
The reception was pleasant; glad to welcome Devin as his bride into the fellowship of the ring.
It’s been over 36 hours, but I’m still in disbelief.
By now you’ve probably heard that the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX by defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 28 to 24. Much of the game was pretty ho-hum, until the final 3 minutes. The Patriots took the lead on a go ahead touchdown, leaving the Seahawks a little over two minutes to orchestrate their own comeback.
Seattle by luck, skill, serendipity, or whatever you want to call it managed to get to the Patriots 1-yard line, with a little over a minute to go, and a time out. All the Seahawks had to do was travel 3 feet, breaking the plane of the end zone, and the likelihood of them winning a second Superbowl in as many years was all but secured.
But that’s not what happened.
There’s a debate raging about who is to blame for what occurred next. What is certain is that the worst play call in Super Bowl history (and probably NFL history, given the gravity of the situation) ensued. Instead of handing the ball off to their All-Pro “Beast Mode” Running Back (Marshawn Lynch) who was having his way with the Patriots defense, the Seahawks decided to attempt a pass play.
From the 1-yard line.
With less than a minute to go.
In the Super Bowl.
Patriots Corner Back Malcolm Butler jumped the route and intercepted the pass.
I was speechless. Why? Why would the Seahawks decide to do such a foolish thing? Anyone familiar with pro football knows as the field get shorter, the difficulty of completing passes increases exponentially. There was no reason to take such a risk.
Over the past day and half, I’ve tossed this dilemma back and forth in my head. I’m not a fan of either team (go Giants!) but I was mortified by the events that took place on Sunday. All the hard work, training, preparation, and luck it takes to make it to the biggest game on the biggest stage, and it evaporated just like that.
I’ve been where the Seahawks were on Sunday Night before. The obvious solution is staring you in the face, but you think you’re too cleaver. You’re trying to cover all the angles, attempting to solve “a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma“. But often times in life, things are as straightforward as they seem. There are no angles, no catches, no provisions, just action.
It takes a lot of courage and self-awareness to make the obvious choice. There’s a sense of humility and surrender in doing the logical thing in the moment. Our hearts may tempt us to do the grandiose, over the top; kind of like an in your face to everyone who ever doubted you. I know, I’ve been there. It feels good initially, but then better judgement washes over you.
Wisdom has taught me, keep it simple son.
I want to introduce you to someone: his name is Clay Jenkinson. He’s the guy in the revolutionary attire participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Mr. Jenkinson is also, among many other things, historian who host a weekly syndicated public radio program called the Thomas Jefferson Hour.
Each week, Thomas Jefferson (Jenkinson) and his co-host talks about events and happenings from Jefferson’s life and time as one of The United States’ founding fathers. Later in the program, Jenkinson jumps out of character to discuss what he spoke about earlier, while in character. I have caught the program on a number of occasions, and I can’t help but laugh to myself whilst shaking my head.
I didn’t have high expectations for the show. I have listened to discourse on the weather in Paris while Jefferson visited, to the quality of that season’s tomatoes from the garden at Monticello. I will assume that the subject matter has been more substantial on other occasions, but I’ve not had the privilege of experiencing it. What I would like to point out is the manner in which the show sets itself up. The premise is a leisurely conversation with one of the greatest human beings ever- Thomas Jefferson. The 3rd President of the United States, Jefferson is portrayed as a warm, kind, fatherly, almost angelic being of the highest moral standard. The listeners are made to feel a sense of gratitude, awe, and wonder as you listen to the sage words of this infallible man. The Jenkinson gathers a great deal of pleasure portraying the Jefferson character. It comes across in the way he roars his oratory and monologues across the airways. This man is proud of his President, so much so that we went to great lengths to become Jefferson.
It makes me realize how powerful (and dangerous) it is to re-write history. Even the most staunch Jefferson supporters should blush at the way his legacy has been delicately preserved. But preservation has turned to cleansing, as not so endearing facts about his life are vehemently criticized.
Mr. Wiencek states that none of the information presented in his text is in fact new, but one wouldn’t know this based upon to reaction to his, and other less than flattering works about Jefferson. The problem is that over time, some have decided to dismiss the baser aspects of the man, whilst maintaining the Legend and Prestige. This is disingenuous at best, and at it’s worst nearly criminal. The goal of history is for present and future generations to look at events from the past, and learn from them what we can, in an attempt to repeat the good while being vigilant to prevent the bad. But if we are unwilling to acknowledge that which we are not proud of, can we say an honest attempt at self-reflection and learning has been made? I would like to see more movement in this direction.
One of the things I find most helpful during the workday is to get up from my desk often. I try to get up at least once every 20 minutes; bathroom break, water cooler, co-worker’s desk, whatever. Even more helpful have been the instances where I worked within walking distance of a park, pond, or walking trail. I will forgo consuming good food for a walk any day.
A good walk needs to take you away from the building and grounds of your place of work (traversing the parking lot doesn’t count). 10 minutes by foot is ideal, and the more natural the surroundings, the better. The purpose of this is to provide an individual with the time to mentally and spiritually unplug. This is why I’m not a fan of eating, or even spending lunch time at your office. To get the most out of the “break” one needs to remove themselves; break out.
Some of my most poignant moments of clarity and self-reflection have occurred on such occasions. I think best when I’m out and about in nature. It’s not unique; most humans experience similar phenomena. The problem occurs when we don’t allow ourselves to indulge in the activity often enough.
Try it; that report can wait.