My point is that restlessness and discontentment can lead to change. They can inspire someone to wander, to travel, to go someplace else and find their Pimlico, or to plant themselves and work to change the place where they are already.

What I want to feel is Wanderlust, or a love for wandering. A love for change. The need to travel, and to find wonder in everyday life.

While I don’t really think of Wanderlust as being “romantic” like the above writer is, I can definitely relate.  Being in my position, it would have been so easy to be discontent with living at home after 4 years away at school, and yet embrace the introverted, timid part of myself and become a recluse rather than look for wonder in this new stage of life.  As I said in an earlier post, I’ve been learning to find fulfillment and healing in this time of transition through being outward focused.  As a friend recently told me, “When I find myself getting tense or anxious for no apparent reason, it usually means I need to get out there and serve somebody (paraphrased).”




Wheaton Snippets – Part 1

Well, I’ve written a bunch of heavy stuff on here lately, so here’s the first of many entries of lighter stuff. It’s been 4 years since my freshman year at Wheaton, so in this moment I thought I’d throw in some gems of quotes for your amusement and/or recollection, if you know me!

“Hey CHARLES! Can I GETZ some cheddar on RYe-ANd some soda?”
– Jimi S, Ben G, Joe O

“Nathan is hiding in fear” – Nathan Skinner’s facebook status after our floor’s collective birthday “surprise” and kidnapping of our floor’s Texas boy Adam Southern.

“Orphans are the new puppies, they’re awesome”
– Nick T.

“Heeey, what’s crack-a-lackin?”
-Alex S.

“It’s better to give than to receive, but its better to GETZ than to give!”
– Joe O.

“Aaron, stop yelling!”
– pretty much everyone at some point

Layton B: “So you’re a pirate all the time?”
Hal L: “Yep”
Layton B: “How about you only be a pirate on Thursdays?”
Hal L: “No”

(Shaking his head and grinning) “Ryan, there was NO EARTHQUAKE last night”
– John R, the morning after a 5.6 earthquake woke me up at 4 AM.

This is interactive, and I KNOW I forgot a lot, so feel free to leave a comment if you know me from Wheaton.

Time to ramble

Blogging is a funny thing. I’m sitting here, thinking “Hey! I should update this thing” when I sit down and my mind goes blank. Well, it doesn’t really go blank. I COULD write about a lot of things. But I have to search for the thing that’s the most “real”, the most “worth sharing.” Kind of vain when you think about it.

So, before I go any further, keep me accountable in this if you read this. Feel free to leave a comment that might challenge me.

So moving on…dang, there’s that problem again. The truth is, my mind has been racing all day. I’m what people would call a pensive guy. I zone out a bunch. A lot of times when I’m speaking a sentence will come out awkwardly because I’ll change my mind mid-speech about how I want to phrase something.

One thing that will help in this is this project I’ve been working on at my job as an analyst at Fillmore Capital Partners. My father and his business partner have this little investment entity that they want to make into something. As of now, its a whole bunch of cash sitting around doing zilch. So, what I’m doing at work is basically a business application of the parable of the talents. Right now, we have all these resources that are sitting there doing nothing, that is until we find the proper investment vehicles and take action. So that’s my job. Take ideas and probe, summarize, probe some more, dig. Articulate my thoughts on a daily basis for feedback. I even got a stockbroker to help me bounce ideas around. So this project is one way to harness these racing thoughts into focus.

The neat thing is the more we succeed at this investment experimentation, the more resources we will have to invest. I think its the same way with the Lord. He’s saying “Look, if you’ll just trust me and let me use you the way you were meant to be I’ll reward you. But its not just for you to keep. It’s for you to invest again.” Repeat ad infinitum. I think in the age to come believers will still be learning and finding new ways to serve the Lord. And it will all be done joyfully, because we will be fulfilling our original purpose.

A neat thought

Sometimes I feel like a walking oxymoron. I realized recently that asking God to help me get past my regret and having trouble trusting him with my future creates conflict. I never realized the two were directly related. So, to those struggling with similar issues (whatever they may be) I suggest this: Sure, completely entrusting your future to the Lord can be scary. Satan wants you to believe that yielding to the Lord means that you are giving up all of your desires in favor of God’s, which are inevitably contradictory to what you want. But are we not fearfully and wonderfully made? The truth is, by yielding, all that sin and regret holding you back loses its power. So while Satan wants us to believe that yielding to the Lord is only giving up something good, God wants our allegiance because He wants to save us from what weighs us down! Cool eh?

Falling Up to the Blue Ghost, amidst the Slow Waves

I know I said that Tuned Up! would be my music blog, but since this blog is more about life in general, I don’t see the problem with picking apart some songs that I’ve been hooked on lately.

Falling Up has been one of my favorite bands for very long time, and lately I’ve been thinking about two tracks from their latest release. Here are the lyrics to “Slow Waves,” also a great ambient track.

They had my lungs on machines
Their rhythm is pumping air – I’m terrified
But I won’t let my hope go
I won’t let my heart keep from leaping out
It’s leaping out

To me, this is a gentle reminder not to let the things that weigh us down keep us from pursuing our passions, and that God will lead us every step of the way. The periodic rhythm of trials can indeed “pump air” into our lives in a way that terrifies us. We mustn’t lose hope, nor prevent our hearts from leaping out into the arms of Christ.

Here are the lyrics to “Blue Ghost”:

You can see I am in shock
To catch you wearing wires underneath your heart
It was mechanical
But we were born to endless architecture
Spinning to a fault and infinitely strewn
Where you’d be ahead of your time

Cause in this place it’s beautiful

Tracing lines your flaws connect the starry skies
He is tracing lines like flashes right before your eyes
Grace comes like a thief in the night
It comes like a thief in the night
It blooms in the weak and the blind

Then they finished their machine
It’s algorithmic parts perfectly in time
And that’s how they found you
But listen you are born into a landscape
That’s glittering like water and covered by a blood
It has been bruised at the heel, the wire’s been cut

I interpret the first stanza to mean that while it might initially be a shock to discover that motives of humanity may be flawed fundamentally, we were born in a universe that “spins with a fault (sin)”, so it really shouldn’t be that surprising.

In the chorus, I believe it is referring to how God is able to trace the lines of a sin-tainted universe and use it all for His glory. Grace comes like a thief in the night because God manifests Himself often in ways we wouldn’t expect. That is, when we are weak, He is strong, no matter what the enemy might try to tell us.

The second stanza I think is talking about how if we look hard enough, we can find God in everything we do. Phil Ryken gave an excellent sermon at the academic convocation of Wheaton College (so weird I’m not there right now) about how the eternal signifance of a liberal arts education – Learning will not end with the current age transforming into the one in which the cosmos are renewed by God. True learning ought to point to the nature of God, and leave us in awe. The truth is that this destiny of God with us came at a price, Christ’s death on the cross (“You were born into a landscape that’s glittering like water and covered with blood (of Christ)”).

Heart attack! (but there’s hope)

I’ve been thinking a lot about issues of the heart lately. Spiritual ones. I’ve had iterated to me multiple times that particular sin struggles ought to dealt with by examining one’s heart. And by dealing with it, I mean not dealing with it. I’ve learned that I need to start each day by admitting to God “Lord, without Your intervention, I will NOT pursue Your will. I need You to change my heart for me, because I simply cannot.”

Case in point, last night I went to a worship night at my church, Linworth Road Church. I really wasn’t terribly keen on the idea initially, with a myriad of reasons popping up in my head (We just worshipped this morning! Or how about that service last Sunday night? Redundant much?). I attended with the intention of fellowshipping with my friends from the Alive Ministry, and with the somewhat reluctant admittance that worship SHOULD be redundant…if that even exists. I found it to be refreshing (surprise, surprise) and challenging. Things sort of came to a head when the band played “You won’t relent” and I was meditating a ton on some trust issues that a typical recent single college graduate might be thinking about when it comes to him and God, and I was repeating that prayer I mentioned in my head earlier. I all of the sudden thought that maybe I should kneel just to show submission to the Lord. Almost immediately, my own mind retorted with “No, that’s not my style of worshipping. Besides, if you do something out of character you’ll draw attention to yourself.” I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe I should and as the song was wrapping up I thought “Aw heck, the song’s almost over” and kneel I did. Yep, I was self-conscious but in that moment demonstrating obedience to God was more important than that teeny bit of pride I harbored.