Back in college, I struggled to maintain healthy, close relationships. I was eaten alive with insecurity, which made it hard to have friendships without operating on a relational barter system that left people feeling used.
It’s amazing how quickly unintended destruction can happen to a home. A few years ago in my hometown, a family was shooting bottle rockets in front of their house on New Year’s Eve. Someone lit a rocket and accidentally tipped the bottle over. The rocket shot out, flew through the open door, and into the Christmas tree.
If you’re anything like me, just the thought of a new year’s resolution provokes a sense of dreaded guilt – the feeling that you’re only doing it because you’ve already failed in the previous year, and you’re going to end up failing in the next one anyway. I’m thinking this is not one of those things Jesus was talking about when he was talking about coming to give us abundant lives (John 10:10).
Recently, I was headed down Connecticut Avenue in the morning while it was still dark. There are several pedestrian crosswalks on that street that nobody uses at 5:20 a.m., so I was understandably surprised when I saw an old man standing in the middle of the street waving at me and yelling.
Let’s play a game. I’ll describe someone, and you tell me who I’m talking about. 1. He’s an old man with a long, white beard. 2. He sees everything you do. 3. He keeps a list of your deeds, good and bad. 4. He lives in a far-off, magical kingdom you couldn’t find if you tried. 5. He never allows himself to be seen; and 6. All the movies about him are fairly lame.
The last three months have been pretty hard on my family. A lot of it had to do with me traveling too much for work and struggling to find the time to complete a challenging feature article. Plus, the girls started school, which changed our whole routine, and my poor wife has gotten pretty sick a couple of times. And as much as I hate to admit it, somewhere in the midst of all that stress, my wife and I stopped being our best selves with each other.
The other day, I was walking through my neighborhood with my two girls, who are three and four years old, when we passed an older, serious looking gentleman. “Hello!” they both said, waving. He looked over at them and kept walking.
I’ve had close friendships with countless Christians in my lifetime, and if there’s one thing we’ve all got in common, it’s that we’ve all got some bad habit, some addictive sin, some hangup that we just can’t seem to overcome. People struggle with all kinds of things — rage, overeating, jealousy, passive-aggressive behavior, and porn addiction, to name a few.
I used to spend a great deal of my time digging in my soul for spiritual brokenness. I was on a manhunt for sinful motives, ungodly habits, and character flaws – for badness, brokenness, ugliness – all the things I thought kept me from God.
When I was 16, my mother and step-dad got married and we began packing our things to move into a new house. At one point, my step-dad came into my room and looked in my closet.
When I was in eleventh grade, the entire high school was summoned to the gym for what can be fairly described as an exercise in mass hypnosis.
The other day, I was at this salad bar where they had one of my favorite salad ingredients: chopped, boiled eggs. They had a small teaspoon that made it really difficult to get out as much egg as I wanted, so I decided to pick up the whole container and turn it slightly sideways to make it go faster. Let me tell you something: it worked. About three quarters of the eggs dumped onto the floor, right in the middle of the busiest hour for the little restaurant, which only had two employees working. And when I got the attention of the cashier…
Before I got married, I drove however fast I wanted and took whatever route I wanted. Granted, on my way to wherever I was going, I also had a knack for running late because of my propensity to get lost. And although I hate to admit it, even now my inner compass doesn’t function like the other people out there who have an unexplainable good sense of direction. One of those other people is my wife, and it wasn’t long into our relationship before she figured out that when it came to finding our way around unfamiliar areas, she and…
Dear girls, The two of you have reached the ages of four and three, which is about the age your Uncle Caleb and I were the night of the Brown’s Chapel Baptist Church Christmas program. Stick with me, girls, this is going somewhere.
The other day, I asked my wife to bring my daughters to downtown DC for lunch because it was my youngest child’s birthday, and I wanted us to celebrate as a family. It was probably a bad idea.