The above picture was taken in 2004, most likely around September or so when I visited UGA’s campus – my wife’s alma mater. Although we weren’t married yet my plans and intentions were plainly obvious; that’s the direction we wanted to head.
At the time I had just gotten done with a very long stay over in Sarajevo, Bosnia working with Campus Crusade – I had green-colored hair and spiked it up a tad. We walked the campus that day sharing stories of the summer and the things that were happening in our lives as well as just enjoying the new-ness of our relationship.
I snagged that shot by putting my camera on a garbage can and timing it. Little did I know that 8 years later we’d be able to take the same picture except my oldest daughter would be the one helping us out:
I couldn’t remember exactly how we had positioned ourselves but I tried – when I got home I flipped through my archives and realized I was closer to the camera – doh! I have a terrible memory for details; my wife can confirm that for you easily.
I can’t believe how time has flown by – and it’s true, it’s getting even faster every single day. I was incredibly naiive about so much and through God’s good grace I survived a bunch of challenges that were mostly my doing.
My wife, though, is still very much the same – she’s just a heck of a lot wiser and weathered (again, my fault)! We took this shot at the fountain and then attempted to get @Roenne to sit in the same spot (again, by memory):
I took a couple of shots just to be sure.
Wow, how so much changes and yet how many things stay the same, right? I’m trying even harder these days to slow down, focus my efforts, and concentrate on the few very few things that really and truly matter. Back then everything seemed to really matter and now I’m finding it harder and harder to care about the things that don’t interest me.
It’s not that I scornful of those things that don’t interest, mind you, it’s just that although I have an opinion about everything (like we all do) I no longer share it as if my opinion mattered that much. Dogmatism, when you’re young, is part and parcel of being brash and a bit arrogant – heck, I still am that way but for far fewer things and I don’t vocally express them publicly anymore. Back then it was important that people hear and know my opinion – now I keep it to myself.
Why? Because it’s just not as profitable as being valuable to others and serving their needs before my own. Somehow this all loops back but you don’t serve others because of the kickback down the line.
Blogging has been one of those few things that has survived the chopping block of interests and things that caught my curiosity. It’s one of the few things that I can imagine I’ll continue to do for quite a long time. My motivations have changed, certainly, but I still enjoy the process of clearly stating my thoughts in a way that’s simple, enjoyable, and engaging.
It’s one of my few things that I would consider my “craft.” In fact, if I look back as far as second grade I was enamored by words, phrases, and typing them onto a piece of paper (now digital). I had no idea that I’d be doing it for a living many, many years later.
This is important for me for a few reasons, the most important being that as I get closer to that milestone marker of 30 years I am caring more about how I invested the first 30 so that I can hyper-focus my investment in my next 30. I don’t want to waste anything and I only want to concentrate on the things that I am uniquely qualified and gifted to do and forget all the rest.
This has everything to do with your ability to focus on what matters the most and has more application than just blogging, to be sure, and this activity doesn’t have to wait for any major birthday milestone – it can happen today.
As you look back on your years as a human being on planet earth take stock of what you’ve done and where you’ve been and isolate just the few things that you do uniquely well. Then, forget the rest and invest everything you’ve got into those very few things.
The world isn’t looking and doesn’t need more mediocre performers – what it needs is passionate excellence from unique and talented people. The world attempts to dilute and generalize your skills – do the exact opposite.
And of course, focusing on what matters includes more than just your work and vocation – it inevitably includes your relationships:
Be encouraged this day and do what you do well and with heart!
If writing and blogging is a part of your life’s equation than don’t quit! You can do it – I believe in you!