Alright.  What did I learn from the Storyline conference, if I consider how I’ve been living my life thus far, and how I want to make sure it is a great story?  Well, the first thing I realized is that even though I am always asking God to come through for me with this or with that, and definitely sometimes getting bummed and frustrated with various things, I have so much to be thankful for.  The conflict I face isn’t actually that awful if I take a step back from it and look at it objectively and unemotionally.  It does feel awful at times, but it truly isn’t that tragic or devastating.  I really want to be more content; I really want to better learn the secret of being content in every situation (Phillippians 4:12).  I am making progress.  I have a long way to go.

Secondly, in terms of my story, I am incredibly thankful to absolutely love what I do professionally (which is also a passion to me), to have significant influence in the lives of a handful of people around me, become grounded and invested in a church and local community where I believe I am affecting lives, to be very close to my parents who remain together and to my sister who I adore like none other, to pour into communities in India and Africa that I care about, and to do the things that make my heart come alive and keep me close to God.  And I feel like I’ve overcome a number of tremendous and painful obstacles, and that when the credits roll on my life, if everyone finally saw all of the facts and all of my heart, they would be definitely inspired and moved.

That said, I guess what I wonder if there is something even bigger I can get swept up in.  Some massive, world-changing dream that truly will not be achieved in my lifetime but that I can spend my life doing.  I’ve done missions locally, nationally, and internationally, and for extended periods of time.  Each trip has meant so much to me.  But maybe there is some sort of a consistent, single-hearted, focused endeavor that I will be called and compelled to do.  Maybe it will be introduced to me by a friend.  Maybe it will be a passion in the heart of my wife, when that happens, and that will be one of the things we get to do together for the rest of our lives.  Maybe God will just give me something in a dream sometime soon.  I have no idea.  I am here, surrendered, and open to anything!!!

If a person’s life feels meaningless, it’s likely because they live in an existential vaccuum where their basic needs are met but they’ve yet to identify a noble cause to ignite their passions. ~ Donald Miller

Third, I continue to feel like I am meant to help others live great stories, specifically through encouragement manifested in intangible and tangible ways.  I feel like this is one of my gifts, and I feel like I am blessed to be a blessing (as they say).  I have been trying to do that more and more.  I want to pour myself out in doing this when God clearly puts someone in my life for that reason.  And He definitely makes it clear, so that’s awesome.  And I want to do it for the rest of my life.  We believe that Love is the most powerful thing there is, and I know that I am uniquely created to demonstrate that love through symbolic and substantive encouragement.  Maybe this is a massive, world-changing dream – but one that occurs a person at a time.  I don’t know.  Anyway, if you need help in this area, let’s get together for coffee and talk it out!!!

You have never have less time on this earth as you do right now. ~ Louie Giglio

Finally, I am gripped by how quickly life flies by.  I was listening to a message by Louie Giglio yesterday, and he stated, “You have never have less time on this earth as you do right now.”  This doesn’t make me freak out or lose sleep or rush ahead of God’s timing (although admittedly sometimes I really want to).  But it does imbue the attitudes I adopt and choices I make with a sense of urgency.  Again, we want our lives to matter.  And I don’t want to waste these years on drama, or screwing around, or distracting myself with good but not great things, or being caught up in stuff that is meaningless, and purposeless, and temporarily gratifying – but ultimately so very unfulfilling.  I want to live from my heart, and I want to make an impact.  And I know I will.  So, yeah, that’s where I’m at, and I would so love to hear your thoughts!

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