Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year-end thoughts

As a writer (in my own way), I can’t help but try and put some year-end thoughts down on paper. This year could write a book by itself. I’ve traveled more than 30 thousand miles in my little yellow beetle, and if only I could quantify the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual journeys 2008 has taken me on, I’m sure it would amount to a number greater than the miles my odometer states in my car.
I’ve attempted several times to write something about this past year. As I am rarely brief and short winded, the endeavor has often led into a haphazard rambling mess. So to keep it readable, I’m just going to go for a few lessons learned.

On Passion

Passion is unpredictable, and can lead you to many different places, it can be volatile, jealous, and self-seeking, yet God given. It must be held in an open palm, but not let loose. Somewhere in 2008, I realized I had neglected my passion. In an effort to remember what it was I found myself driving across the country to spend another summer in eastern Michigan. It wasn’t until the end of the summer on a road trip where I found myself in Atlanta, GA that I reclaimed that passion and found the peace to come back home to San Francisco.

On Faith

Faith is yet another intangible that is more easily misplaced than expected. I spent a greater part of the year nursing the wounds that can sadly come with sharing faith in a community. While God is unchanging, people do not have that privilege. Even though I left my church, I can thankfully say I did not leave God. Unfortunately, bitterness settled into my wounds, and my relationship with God and the church as a whole suffered. There came a dark moment that scared the beejeezees out of me, when I realized that losing faith and my relationship with God wasn’t about leaping off the deep end, but rather small quiet steps. Thankfully the end of 2008 saw more steps towards God than away. My bitterness has edged off (I’m not very good at holding grudges for too long), and I’m reclaiming my faith.

On People

People come in and out of our lives. They just do. Sometimes, for better or for worse, people leave when you least expect them to. Other times, people stay when you wish they would just go away. And again, other times you get to do the coming and going. I did a lot of coming and going this year. So, in this moment I’m going to apologize to those who I left. There are a few people I couldn’t have made it through some painful times without, and I don’t think I took nearly enough time in letting them know how much they meant to me. Thank you for being there, and I’m sorry if I didn’t let you know at the time. With that said, I could say something similar (perhaps without the apology) for people who have come into my life this year. God does not leave you high and dry. He created us for relationship, so I’m sure it’s no mistake, as some go, others come.

I think that’s as brief as I can get for 2008. I’m looking forward to 2009 – the changes, the challenges, the triumphs, and the growth.

I hope everyone has (or had) a safe new years eve.

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