May 31, 2013

You Can't Always Get What You Want. Thank Goodness!

You know what I like? I like not getting what I want. 

I like not getting what I want, because there always seems to be something better lined up for me. I was reminded of this on Tuesday night as I headed to the church in my community to help build the new gym. I had been looking forward to this event for over a week, and had even prepared a special ensemble. They had put a call out for anyone with carpentry skills, a passion for carpentry, or people who just want to help. I was the third category. I showed up ready to hold boards, hammer nails, and maybe even use a saw. I didn't get what I wanted. I was wasn't fast enough when it came to hammering, I wasn't strong enough when it came to the moving, and more than anything I was in the way. I wandered over to see if the electrician needed help; he didn't. I walked away and sat on a pile of lumber thinking to myself, "this isn't what I expected at all!" Things started looking up as the electrician called me over to hold a spool of cable, then to pull it and weave it behind the stud beams. Before I knew it I was wiring the new gym! I even helped decide where the outlets should go! How cool is that? There were spaces that the cord needed to be pulled through that only my arm could fit. It would have been really easy for me to think that I was fired from the carpentry side of things, but when the head carpenter asked what I was doing on the other side of the gym I proudly told him that I had been promoted to electrician's apprentice. 

As I reflected on this experience it got me thinking of other times that I haven't gotten what I wanted....and instead got something better!!!

Last summer I was really hoping that a friend of mine would be hired at a very interesting job. When she didn't get the job I was quite disappointed and maybe even frustrated, but I later found out that if she had gotten the job she wouldn't have gotten a better job offer, and I wouldn't have had one of the best summers of my life. 

I also got thinking about a guy that I dated a few years ago, and how perfect I thought the relationship would be. It's funny how things don't always line up with how we idealize imagine them to be. Our imaginations are so limited! Just like my construction project, no matter how I constructed the scenario in my mind, there was something waiting that was far better than I could have ever imagined. We can think up the best person for us, or the best job for a friend, or even how a simple volunteer project should be, but more often than not, by not getting what we want we get something so great that we couldn't even imagine wanting!

I guess I'm just doing my best to remember that the best is yet to come, and to go with the flow, because getting what we need is far better than getting what we thought we wanted any day. 

"Sometimes not getting what you want is a brilliant stroke of luck." -Lorii Myers

May 4, 2013

Marked for Replacement

After one of my last days of school I was walking home from the bus stop and stumbled (quite literally) across this section of pavement. It got me thinking, "why do they have to mark it? Isn't it obvious that it needs replacing? Is it so that the public knows that it is being worked on?" I liked my newly found sidewalk message. It assures me that those in charge have seen that this brick needs caring for, and that soon it will all be better. 

A few days later I started doing some serious weight lifting at the gym. Now, three years ago when I started this whole gym endeavour I was lifting hand weights that weighed 2lbs. My progress has been quite successful as I am up to 15lb weights, and to my surprise I can bench press half of my body weight! As I started pushing myself to do more and more, my body started to make the changes the accommodate the weights I was lifting. I learned that inorder for muscles to grow, they must first break down; the fibers tear due to the pressure, so that they can be made stronger. Being broken is healthy! Being broken means that it is making way for something stronger, and better.  As you can tricep muscle fibers have been marked for replacement.

Being marked for replacement doesn't always mean that we get a super cool looking bruise, some times it means we stumble...sometimes over large chunks of concrete. Sometimes we are broken, sometimes we are those big broken chunks of concrete. But these broken times just mean that we are being made stronger, and built for better things. We just have to remember that we are never given anything we can't handle, and that the best really is yet to come. How are you marked for replacement this week? 

May 2, 2013


I always learn things from youth group. I know I'm not considered a "youth" anymore, but I'm a big believer in learning through everything. Tonight we were going over fitting in, opinions of others, and what scripture has to say about it. Francis Chan began to talk on a video and one of the first things he said is that "you should be happy when someone puts you down for following God". This whole idea of standing apart resinated with me as I recalled an event that happened a few weeks ago.

I had recently moved in with one of my best friends and I was at school one day enjoying some tea when all of a sudden the girls at the table beside me started talking quite loudly about my roommate. They were saying things such as, "he's just so lame", and "what a downer", and my personal favourite, "and he's all about no sex before marriage, I mean, what is that?!?" 

I was faced with the situation: what do I do? Do I butt in and refute what they had to say? Do I stay quiet and listen to everything? 

No, I didn't interrupt their conversation and pipe up. I could have, and I had the courage to, but it just didn't feel right. In this particular situation, I felt that the best way to show love to the girls, to my roommate and to myself was to hear what they had to say, chuckle to myself, and share the conversation as soon as I got home. My roommate was rather excited about this conversation, and I think I was too. The things that the world sees as lame are some of the top things that I love about my roommate. Staying away from drugs, waiting until marriage to have sex, and being in the world but not of the world are demonstrations of faith, and it is my roommate's faith that gives us such a strong bond, and more importantly it is what keeps a strong bond between him and God. It's laid out pretty clearly in the bible that we are blessed when people mock us, persecute us, lie about us, and say all sorts of evil things against us because we are followers of God. 

You might think it's lame, and the table of girls might think it's lame, but I think it's rather cool to have a friend who stands up for what he believes in, and welcomes blessings no matter how they may come. 

Just because something is trendy, doesn't mean it's truth. What's trendy today, may not be tomorrow. 

May you be encouraged, filled with courage to keep on the narrow path of truth, and to always stand up for what you believe in. It is my hope that you find a bit of joy when others call you a downer for being down with the gospel and what it has to say. Don't be afraid to stand up, and don't ever be afraid to stand out. 
Here's to choosing the narrow road.