I sit here on the eve of my 30th birthday, not quite sure what it is that is making this birthday loom larger than any in recent memory. It's caused me to look back over the past decade and wonder what happened in (or to) my 20's. Below is a not so brief list of some of the big events that defined my life in the last ten years. These are in no particular order:
I got married.
I had kids. (see previous point)
I became a youth pastor.
I got liscensed to the ministry.
I performed at Youthlink 2000.
I graduated college.
I had a distended colon.
I saw U2.
I lost 81 lbs.
I gained 20 lbs.
I went to Europe. (1998)
Bethany was put on bed rest with a tough pregnancy. (for more on this see www.xanga.com/butterneverbleeds historic posts)
I experienced some of the best of Christian behavior and service.
I experienced some of the worst church experiences.
I got paid to do what I love.
I moved 6 times. (since being married)
I read all of the Bible and kept track of my progress. (finally)
I attended the funerals of my final two living grandparents.
I spoke at my uncle's funeral and read scripture at my aunt's.
I performed my first weddings.
My parents got divorced.
I decided I'm neither cool nor punk rock after all.
I realized kind of who I am.
After realizing this, I decide I don't like myself very much and begin to change and let God change things about me.
I realize that I still need help with all of this.
I got my first acoustic guitar.
I directed 4 youth camps.
The last ten years have been very busy. They've often times been uneasy and difficult because things seemed so uncertain. The more I think about it, the more I can see the one constant through all of those years. God was fathering me. He was letting me spread my wings and He was also clipping them where they needed it. In all of my life I have never been more amazed by God than right at this moment in life. I have agreed with my friend John that once you become a father, you understand God's love for us much better. It's like I can feel what it's like to watch that child take a first step and then start to run. I can also feel what it's like when that child looks up at you and raises their arms for a hug. Sometimes I think we forget that we just need times of saying "here I am Daddy", and letting God love us. It is my hope for you that you would experience God's love today and everyday. I'm so grateful for the last ten years and look forward to what God teaches me in the next ten.