Thursday, January 30, 2014

Remember When...

Rob Hartman taught class last night at church and his lesson started with the question, "Reflect back on a time or two when everything just fell into place and felt right, like it just couldn't get any better than this." (ok, that is paraphrased a bit but you get the idea). His overall point was that, regardless of how great that moment was, Heaven will be better--much better. Those moments aren't even appetizers for Heaven because Heaven is that much better. Excellent point and a good way to frame it.

It was fun though to reflect back on some great moments and reminisce a bit. I like doing that from time to time, not because I live in the past but because the past creates the present. You are where you are right now because of events from the past. Some were your fault, some were not. Some were "circumstance", some were very purposeful manipulations of your environment. Some events were gifts from others, some were due to the failures of others. Regardless, all those events shaped you into you, with all your baggage, all your strength, all your wisdom, all your insight, injuries and prejudices.

Here are a few defining moments from my life:

1) My parents moved us from South Texas to Middle TN. 100% not my choice (I was 4) but it absolutely was a defining moment in my life

2) I had the choice to go back to Smyrna Middle with all my friends or to go to Stewartsboro for 8th grade the year it opened. I chose Stewartsboro. I didn't get to take algebra 1 in 8th grade and that affected me in high school but I did develop a relationship with Daniel Chunn. He is still my best friend and his friendship led to many other friendships that have totally shaped my life--including, ultimately who I married.

3) Hanging out with my best group of friends at Camp Meribah in the lobby when we were supposed to be in bed and then raiding the kitchen. That is still one of my all time favorite memories. That and camping with Tater's mom (inside joke).

4) The anti-prom party my junior of high school

5) Going to MTSU--I could have gone to lots of other schools but I stayed around here and went to Middle. I can't imagine how different my life would be right now if I had chosen otherwise.

6) Marrying my wife--Can't imagine life without her.

7) Parties at the Trailer--including Bocce OVER the trailer

8) Kids--I have two amazing kids. I also have some amazing nieces (no nephews yet though!!) and young cousins. They all help shape my life because they add value and perspective that no other adult can.

9) Spiritual decisions. I have made several. I joined a different church from my parents when they did not want me to. Then I kept going to it and was very active in the youth group. Then I turned my back on it in college. Then I was redeemed after nearly losing my life. We have considered leaving a few times (and did once), but we've always come back and now are very faithful members. That church has been good to me in so many ways. I hurt when it hurts. I rejoice when it rejoices. I now work with the college kids at church and they are simply a blessing to my life and my family.

10) Moving to GA and then back to TN--it was an awesome adventure to try a different state and it really made home that much more special.

11) Real Estate--I was a teacher and I got fired because I wanted more time with family (ultimately). I could have sulked and not done anything with that opportunity but instead I re-evaluated everything and decided to go a different way. I am not cut out to be a teacher. I want to be a teacher but I am not built for it. I have supreme respect for those that are because I am not and it is truly a noble profession. I am cut out to do what I do now. I still get to teach but I don't have the same kind of restrictions or the same kind of pushback teachers do. I can fire my clients if they are disrespectful (they never are though). If I had been the type to feel sorry for myself, I never would have been bold enough to try something new.

Remember that life is a process not an event. You have countless moments that make you who you are. If one of those events was unpleasant or painful, don't dwell on it, learn from it. Understand how it shapes you, tempers you, puts your guard up. I do have some regrets and that is ok. The idea of "living with no regrets" is stupid. If you have no regrets, you probably didn't learn anything or you are not being honest with yourself. It is not noble or macho to "have no regrets." It is also not mature or introspective. You make mistakes and you should regret making them. If not, you will likely repeat them. All that said, you should not live in regret. Learn, adjust and move on.

What are some of your defining moments? Maybe even just some nostalgic moments that you love to visit in memories?

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