I Don’t Have Time to Read

December 31, 2008

Once again, it’s that time of year when people frantically bust out a pencil, a sheet of paper, and a list of resolutions for the new year. One rather common resolution is quite simple: read more. I know this has been a goal of mine in the past. However, this lofty aspiration eventually becomes a victim of this daunting creed:

I don’t have time to read.

Enter this article a couple of days ago. On New Year’s Eve three years ago, Karl Rove decided it was time to read more. (His original goal was a book a week.) He told this to the President, who joined in the resolution and effectively turned it into a contest between the two. The totals for 2006? Rove: 110; Bush: 95. They repeated the contest over the last two years, and Bush read 51 and 40 books. For those of you keeping score, he has read an average of 60 books a year over the last three years. Not too shabby for the leader of the free world.

I like to think of myself as a busy guy, but I cannot bring myself to say that I am busier than the President of the United States. I feel as if my “I don’t have time to read” mantra has been incontravertibly refuted.

So as my white flag of surrender, I am going to resolve to read more in 2009. A book a week seems a bit ambitious, unrealistic, and probably a set-up for failure. So I think I’m going to start out with a goal of reading 20 books in 2009. (Baby steps, right?)

Who’s with me?

Happy New Year, everyone!

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The Joys of a Fan

December 27, 2008

For those of you who think I’ve been so bored this break and read so much John Piper that I’m contemplating how that thing on your ceiling that keeps you cool during the balmy summer months helps you see and savor Jesus Christ, think again.

I like sports.

I mean, I really appreciate sports. I think it’s awesome how God designed us physically and how he gave us that drive to compete, and I love participating and watching good athletic competition.

But even more than than, I love being a fan. Now let me define the term a little bit. Being a true fan goes beyond appreciation to a certain level of commitment. Beyond just appreciating an athlete or a team or a sport, real fans will cheer and support their team. A real fan does not just enjoy watching a good game, he follows every match his team plans. A real fan does not just jump on the bandwagon of the latest dynasty, he sticks with his team through thick and thin. And this is where the joy of being a fan kicks in.

The joy of the fan (while bittersweet) is there in defeat. Even though you are upset (maybe severely so) that your team lost, the silver-lining satisfaction you still have is that you were there with your team. You may be mad that your team lost in the championship or did not even make the playoffs, but you were there with them on Opening Day, and you will be there again next year.

The joy of the fan is magnified in victory. When your team is hoisting the trophy, that’s your team. No real fan actually even says, “My team won!” He says, We won. And sometimes the glory of victory is all that much brighter because of years of defeat. I learned this from my Grandpa. He was born in 1922, and as a life-long Boston Red Sox fan, he did not see them win the World Series until 2004. (For those of you keeping stats on this blog, that’s over 80 years.) That’s the joy of a fan.

Tomorrow I will experience the joy of a fan. As I Miami Dolphins fan, I have had the (dis)pleasure of watching my team be terrible for last few years. (Especially last year, when they went 1-15) But tomorrow the Phins have a chance to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2001. If they win, they’re in. If they lose, they’re out. Simple as that. So either way, I’ll know the joy of the fan.

Maybe it’ll be sweet victory. Just maybe they will complete the Disney-esque season of going from worst to first. Oh, that’d be great.

Maybe it’ll be defeat. Then I’ll know that I was there when they were 1-15, and I was there when they barely missed the playoffs. And as the Brooklyn Dodgers used to say, “There’s always next year.”

What fun…

Semester’s End

December 24, 2008

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I almost forgot my WordPress password…sheesh… I could begin by listing some excuses for my lack of blogging, but they would probably be lame and unacceptable, so let’s just dive into a new era in Step Onto Liquid.

I just finished my seventh semester of college; that means I have ONE left. Wow. Time flies.

Last night I read through my journal from this semester. (I strongly recommend journaling, but that’s another blog.) It was both an enjoyable and encouraging experience. One fun thing about reading through an old journal is remembering funny things you forgot about. But more than that, it’s refreshing to see what you’ve been through, both in your relationship with God and with others.

One thing I noticed about this semester was that it was a tiring one. For starters, I came into the semester tired. There wasn’t really any “break” last Summer break. I came straight from two weeks of Summer Camp back to school. Once back at school, things stayed busy. The weeks leading up to the beginning of classes is always a whirlwind full of meeting with the Servant Leadership Staff, welcoming the new students, and winning The Master’s Cup (well, only if you live in Hotchkiss.) Then classes began. On top of a full-load, I was heavily involved in Dorm Ministry as well as at my Bible study.

Fifteen weeks later, I’m tired. I’ve come into Christmas Break exhausted and got sick as soon as I got to my parents in Texas. It’s times like this that questions start coming up in my head. What am I thinking? Is what I’m doing worth it? Where is my motivation in this?

And it’s times like that where reading back through my journal is encouraging. It brings back Scriptures that have encouraged me over the last semester. It brings back events that have done the same. It helps remind me, “Oh yeah, this is what I’m thinking, this is why what I’m doing is worth it, and this is my motivation.”

One particular happening the encouraged me was in my Sermon Prep class. Pastor Scott Ardavanis was critiquing one of my sermons when he recalled one time when he got to meet John Piper. He asked JPipes, how do you preach like that? Piper responded, “You just have to fall more in love with God.” And that’s the advice Pastor Scott passed along to me and one thought from my journal read-through that I’m trying to take with me through Christmas Break. As I think through things and ponder the future this Christmas Break, I think that is a good thought to keep central.

Well, that’s it for now, hopefully I’ll be doing some more blogging over the break. Peace!