A time to reflect.
February 3, 2013, 1:52 am
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ImageI think it would do us good to reflect on the past now and again.  Today was a quiet day, I slept in because it was rainy, and I stayed up way too late with good company last night.  I spent some time trying to learn something about playing the mandolin; I did some drawing and cooking and then just sat down to reflect on where all the twist and turns of my story have brought me.  A feeling of satisfaction overwhelms the tension of pending decisions when I reflect on the precious days I’ve been given.  Every now and again I lose myself in memories of piercing sunsets or meaningful conversations, of right decisions made or the joy of learning something new. It doesn’t take long to settle into the understanding that my life has been showered by grace.

There are often the moments where I question the next step, wishing I could let someone else make my next move.  The unknown often challenges me to forget the grace and satisfaction that has become the theme of who I am. But another great benefit of that grace is the ability to look back and gain perspective on the grandness of this adventure of life. The decision at hand then comes to life and the endless opportunities to inspire and create and fall more in love with my own story become vivid and spectacular.

I think planning is good.  I also think that there are times to throw the map out the window, to allow the adventure to ensue in a way you can’t really control. Your suppositions are unarmed in a world of adventure, where your expectations collide with something you never could have planned.  Those moments we so intimately acquaint ourselves with the unknown are the fabric of stories we will share with future generations, inspiring them to pursue the adventure and challenge conventional wisdom.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that the lack of planning will surely lead to lost time, but the lack of the spontaneity and risk will take every bit of flavor and joy out of that time.  Lack of risk will make your story lame.

Today, reflecting on all the good times, the current adventure became all the more captivating.  I’m still up here in Alaska, trying to forge a plan. I took the semester off just to get away and gain a little perspective, I suppose, and coming up here without a plan has surely made it interesting.  I’ve had a lot of free time to read and think, to enjoy the good company of strangers and to embrace the beauty of this strange land.  I’ve started messing with a mandolin and spent some time laying out turns on the local mountain. The time to reflect had given me a boost of motivation to live the moment well and take no opportunity for granted, times a wasting!


An unfamiliar land
January 21, 2013, 11:42 pm
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eaglecrestA month or so ago I finished the business administration program I was a part of at home. It has been non-stop since the day classes ended.  I left a few days later to drive across the country, to help move a friend to Truckee, CA and to be inspired by the beautiful landscapes and even more incredible people of America.  As we went we were blessed with the privilege of visiting close friends, enjoying good music, good food and some amazing skiing as we put the miles behind us. After skiing a big storm in Tahoe it was time to fly home, go back to work for a few days and prepare for the next jaunt.  After a week of deep, light powder in the backcountry I picked up a couple friends and drove to Connecticut to visit my best friend for a reunion week of shenanigans with good friends. After a week of belly laughs, less-than-deep conversations, death threats and other awkward moments I was back home for four days. This month of adventures served as a sort of precursor for another adventure, one that I’m having a difficult time defining.

After spending four days finalizing a million odds and ends I finally got on a plane headed to Juneau, Alaska.  Actually, I started a long exhausting day with 4 layovers spread all over the USA but the fuse was lit to a new adventure. My best friend lives up here in Alaska and I’ve been dreaming of the place since I was a kid so somewhere along the line I purchased a one-way ticket and did everything I could do to keep myself free of unnecessary expectations.

I’ve been here for about a week now and it has most definitely been a sensory experience thus far.  I’ve never spent much time near the ocean let alone trapped between the ocean and wall-like peaks.  I have never had a fire on an ocean beach (without birch bark, too). The weather, the smells, prices and people are all different from home. This place is unlike any place I have ever been. Boats are bigger here. This place isn’t manicured to death like many places I’ve been. These people seem be well acquainted with simplicity. I can appreciate that.  The mountains here, although not much taller than the Adk Mtns, are like walls. They don’t have the gently bell shape of my home mountains but are massive knife like spines.

Already I have been blessed to have a family away home, good company and great adventures but the overwhelming feeling of unfamiliarity has surely blanketed the experience. I have never left home for an extended length of time without a plan or expectations.  Having no routine invites anxiety but for the most part anxiety has been drowned out by great conversations and the beautiful landscape.  It’s a pleasure to visit another place that so powerfully yet elegantly portrays the creative nature of our loving God. There is no artistic medium more powerful than the natural world and the people therein and their single creator operates with all perfection.

I’m not sure what this little journey will bring and I’m trying to stay free of expectations but I will expect this: I expect to be overwhelmed by Gods portrayal of beauty and grace in the people around me and in the unique landscape I am surrounded by. I will expect to be drawn closer to my God by His work in my life each day and I expect to have a great time in the process!

In an unfamiliar land, I am overwhelmed with excitement to turn the next page…