Where to start? It’s been a while, since June 5th. Back then I was young and full of life, I was looking forward to directing Youth Camp, excited about the summer, and was single and ready to mingle. Now as we enter 2020, I am old and tired, Youth Camp is so far in the Rear view mirror that I am already starting to plan for next year, and I am not longer mingling.
Change is the only constant. The TL;DR since my last post is “A lot can happen in 6 months.” As I sit here at the start of 2020 I want to recap a few of the things I have learned or am in the process of learning.
Lesson 1: Sin has far reaching effects.
This is the big one. Sin is devastating, painful, and not limited to hurting only yourself. “Be sure your sin will find you out” is a verse that has always been in my mind, but still kind of ignored. From the “smallest” of sins to the “largest” ones, someone is going to get hurt. There were times in my life I thought that my sins, whatever they were, weren’t going to hurt anyone. Well, I was wrong.
It is a bit surreal when I stop to think about it. Looking back, I remember thinking in the moment that “I know this is bad for me, but at least no one else is getting hurt”. Like that some how made it okay. Not only was it NOT okay, but the only thing I used as a justification, “No one else will get hurt” was wrong. It did hurt other people, it does hurt other people. The most important person it hurts is Jesus. He was willing to die for me. Worse then that, I was directly disobeying His clear command. The good news is that Jesus is still working on me.
“This lesson hurt.” -Nolan, 2019
Lesson 2: Don’t waste time
You only got a certain amount of time here. Use it well. Make an effort to move forward each day. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel everyday, but make effort each day to move your progress in life forward.
Of course the most important thing is growing your relationship with God. Certainly work on that everyday, make the time, period. If you work on nothing else, work on this each day. Don’t worry if the steps are small, as long as they are forward. Over time if you keep the pace, eventually you’ll start taking bigger steps.
Spiritual principles can apply to everyday life too. This means that we should be making an effort to improve ourselves each day. Weather that is to be healthier, better fitness, or to learn something new. Take smalls steps each day to meet your goals and improve yourself.
Lesson 3: People
This is a four part lesson.
a. Humans are social. This doesn’t mean I need to spend every waking moment with other people. Or even everyday, but you do need to make time to be with other people, especially your friends. Find people and just be with them. Make plans to be with people you don’t see as often. Be an encouragement. Go for a coffee.
b. Show compassion. Sometimes people get hurt, make a dumb decision, or have a bad uncontrollable thing happen in life. The last thing these people need is someone brushing them off, being the guy who “told you so”, or telling them to “Suck it up”
“This lesson hurt.” -Nolan, 2019
c. Let people like things. Lets just accept that some people like Spikeball other people like D&D. Some people think both of those things are dumb, who cares. Let people enjoy the things they enjoy. Even if you think their hobbies are weird.
d. People are weird and do things differently. Lets not talk about them behind their backs. This is something I have a problem with. I really like gossiping about the weirdos in my life. Some people are super weird, but that doesn’t give us a license to belittle them. They are still made in God’s image and deserve human decency at the very least, but give them more. God did.
Lesson 4: Work hard
Just do it. I don’t have any thoughts other then I am really lazy and struggle with this. Yup, short and saweeet.(Ironic, aha!)
Those are the fours major lessons I have learned this year. I am sure there are more that I have over looked. All I can say now is that I am excited to learn more this coming year and to see what God has in store. It’s going to be an adventure.
P.S. I got a girlfriend. She is amazing.