June/July 2015 In Review
I’ve been doing pretty well. I feel like a lot has happened in the last 2 months, so I’ll start off with some bullet points and then elaborate afterwards.
- wrote 3 programming articles (what we can learn from React, a Redux tutorial, and a GraphQl tutorial)
- did a lot of running and feel like I’m finally coming back into form, despite some hot weather and some random tweaks in my feet/legs. I’ve been feeling pretty good, but things still look like I’m going to take one last shot this year at a BQ at the Seattle Marathon and not Portland, since I don’t have enough time
- trying to tell more people the gospel (Seattle U, ID dragon fest, beacon hill block party, VBS)
- Tune held their annual Postback conference and announced the acquisition of a company called Artisan from Philadelphia
- read Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller and Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
- started listening to Francis Chan/Tim Keller sermons and memorizing Romans 9 during my commute
- submitted a super basic React Native app to the iOS App Store (I think I did something wrong in the submission process, though it was approved)
- becoming a host family - we’re hosting a college student who needed a place to stay for the duration of an internship up here in Seattle
This past month, I’ve been challenged a lot in my Christian faith. I’ve started to realize that I have not arrived yet and that I should not be satisfied with a “good enough” faith (if such a thing were to exist). In a similar line of thinking, I should not be content with a pretty relaxed velocity in my pursuit of God and to become more like Christ, but I should be intentional about accelerating that velocity as much as I can, just as I am not content running a race at a pedestrian pace when I know I am capable of going faster (and when running faster will be expected of me). [In a marathon, you obviously run as fast as you can and those who don’t run fast enough will even fail due to a time limit.]
A lot of this was kicked off because Fred came back from seminary and was asking me who was discipling me currently, and I realized that I still very much needed to be discipled because I’m not there yet. Fred challenged me to lead spiritually and to set an example - both in my marriage and in our church. About a week later, we had a conversation with Pastor Matt, and I realized even more that I wasn’t where I needed to be. I’m formally the outreach leader at church, but I had actually been avoiding opportunities of outreach on Sunday morning or Friday night! It didn’t make any sense. And I had plenty of training, but the biggest gap in my character is my lack of confidence - and confidence isn’t the sort of thing that you can learn from someone, but something you just have to start having and accepting that sometimes you’ll make mistakes and look like a fool, but it’s worth doing when it’s balanced with grace and truth.
In light of all these realizations of my shortcomings, I didn’t feel discouraged or demoralized like I usually do. This time was different - I felt encouraged and convicted. I actually went home that night and studied the Bible. I started reading the Bible more - I’m currently in Ezekiel. I started memorizing new Scripture again (Romans 9). I listened to Francis Chan on the bus instead of reading programming articles. I did outreach and started thinking about what it would mean for us to be a church that is outreach-oriented and how we can push ourselves to be doers, not simply hearers of the Bible. It’s been good so far, and I think it’s something that God has blessed me with (it’s not some sort of formulaic artificial thing I managed to invoke).
Other than this, work has just been okay lately - I’ve worked on a handful of random projects, but sometimes don’t feel very productive or like I’m making much of a difference. Running has been quite good, and I’ve been able to stay healthy and build my mileage, which is definitely not something to take for granted. I’ve done 9 miles a few times at a conversational pace and have just now started logging some sub-7 minutes miles randomly on runs, which is good for me.
Things with Suzi… well, are okay. If anything, our marriage has gone a bit neglected/underemphasized over the past few weeks. It’s not like we’re fighting or anything, but we’re both running around a lot and trying to stick to various commitments and endeavors. I can’t say that there have been any big new changes in the context of our marriage, besides hosting a college student in our home and our third anniversary coming up in just a few weeks. We had a misunderstanding late last week and were able to resolve it pretty quickly instead of letting it fester, which was a pleasant surprise.
Other than that… I’m not sure how to end this post. We are heading back to Oklahoma in about a week and a half for a funeral for Suzi’s cousin Kou who passed away this past weekend. I think of him highly and I know a large number of people who do as well. If there’s one thing that stays with me, it’s that this earth really is fading away. It doesn’t last, and it will one day grow strangely dim, upon physical death or by Jesus ruining those things for us before then. Earthly things, and my own self, and my legacy, and my company, are not worth living for - they all fade away. One day, I’ll stand before a holy God and know that He was always God, He was always there loving me, seeing me, pursuing me, but I was more often than not oblivious and rebellious. I’ll crumble in awe of His holiness and I expect the words “holy, holy, holy” will tremble out of my mouth in realization of how impossibly greater He is than I thought He would be, how much higher His ways and His thoughts are than mine. I’ll be overwhelmed with joy and grace, I’ll feel as if I was drowning in it. By Jesus - and nothing else - I’ll belong. For Him, I’ll live and I’ll die.