#33 – Encouragement from the Proverbs

Yes, it has been a few months since the last e-mail. So let’s briefly catch up. Most of you knew I spent the summer in ‘East Asia’ aka China. In a sentence, we learned how to live out the book of Acts. As for present things, we’ve now all moved in to the house. This ‘we’ being Joe, Nathan, Cal, RA, and Travis and this ‘house’ is better known as the First Lady (none of us are quite sure why either). Triathlon training will begin shortly. Enrolling in a swim class may eventually fix my freestyle, but as of now all it has taught me is that I am unable to survival float. Finally, I have launched a new website to host all these e-mails along with all the pictures, quotes, and other writings that aren’t intended for these e-mail. The site? http://www.thetinymite.com. (credit Fitz for the nickname given to me 10 years ago during YMCA football). The Maroon Bombers will never die. There’s more going on around here, but I’ll update you on that as time goes on.

Spending the summer overseas put most of my life on hold. So once I set foot in the DFW Airport, the combination of reality mixed with a very slight taste of culture shock just didn’t sit well in my stomach. The part that I found so hard to swallow wasn’t the fast-paced American materialistic life. No, my love for our country grew stronger – Communism can do that. One of the more difficult things for me to grasp was this awful fact that each day brings me closer to life on my own. Lately, these thoughts of graduation are consuming my mind. Choosing the right career (or avoiding one altogether), being financially independent, and leaving all my good friends in College Station is of no concern compared to this verse in Proverbs 14: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but ends in destruction”. Keep reading and it doesn’t get better…

13 Even in laughter the heart may sorrow,
And the end of joy may be grief.
14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways,

That’s really frightening. As I seek to know which steps to take next, I can’t help but wonder if I’m already heading down the wrong path. These mind games I always lose. So what can I do? For one, be obedient to the last thing God told me. And listen — listen long — long enough to know which voice is actually speaking to me; long enough to hear the still, quiet whispers of my God who is inexhaustibly wise, true, and sovereign. Remember “the preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD” (Proverbs 16:1). What then? Dare to do live out those whispers that call to something so impossible that it would be doomed to fail if God’s hand did not see it through from conception to completion. Verse 14 ends, “But a good man will be satisfied with his [way],” lest we think this endeavor lead to unparalleled misery, unwanted celibacy, and every other unpleasant thought misapplied to full devotion to God. I leave you with this quote by CS Lewis:

“Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

The Favorites

Music: Did you know that if you have a home network and iTunes you can share music legally? We can play songs from any one of my 5 roommates computer without downloading it on to each computer. Point being is that I have a load of new music to listen to, including Ross King.

Books: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eli Goldratt. It’s required reading for my Intro to Production Systems class, but it’s really good! I never knew a book about manufacturing could be so interesting. Also I’ve been visiting JR Vassar’s blog (http://manhattanpastor.blogspot.com/) and reading some online stuff by John Piper (http://www.desiringgod.org).

Moment: So many honorable mentions: FOCUS, particularly Sunday morning at the Fort Worth Stockyards with Brian and Brett, hiking the Great Wall (don’t believe me, check out the pictures), Tyler Tag, dropping Jennifer off at OU, seeing my family after 10 weeks apart and only two phone calls. But there can only be one winner and it has to be Ivey and Sean’s wedding; every single part of it, but the reception was one to remember forever. The rumor about me dancing is a complete lie! If you see any video that says otherwise, please destroy the phony version of the wedding. Alas, too many stories, jokes, and memories generated from 4 days that I will stop now.

Sports: Beating SMU soundly makes coming home much easier.