Long and self-reflective Year In Review entry:

What a difference a year makes. This time last year I was in Hidden Valley with Lindsay, Dave, Tiffany, and other members of a group to celebrate New Years, and in the process nearly destroyed my relationship with my family. Now, I’m closer to my family than I’ve ever been, I’m no longer with Lindsay, and Dave and I have tatters of a friendship through difficult situations. When I think about back then, I feel all varieties of sad – nostalgic, angered, sullen, disappointed, and a few others in the middle. But, there are a few things I’ve learned, and looking where I am at the end of 2004, I’m amazed at where God took me. Here are some of the major things:

1. The #1 I have realized, as morbid as it may sound, is that death is a real thing, it could happen at any time, and every day I recieve is a gift. As such, each time I waste time doing something less than what is expected of me is simply ruining that gift. It’s certainly not that I want to die, but quite to the contrary – I want to live more richly and make each second worth it. I always run this line about wanting to make every day better than the last, but now I think I get it. It’s remembering that 12/31/03 at 10:35 won’t come around again, and that I can’t let myself be bogged down by anger, trite scuffles – just forgetting to love other people. Just look at the tragedy in Asia. I don’t want to be mad at my friend because he did something stupid and then have something like that happen. Time is short, and won’t come back, and for me, I guess I want to try to do what I can to live a peace with others. That being said…

2. Standing my ground in my faith, in my life, and in my friendships is the path that leads to integrity – something I desire more in my life. So often, I let things slide. I didn’t stand up for things I believed for fear of conflict. I’ve come to realize that if it’s something I really believe in and think is Biblically bounded, the conflict is only part of the growth and discipline. I might not like it when it’s happening, but I’m so much better off in the end (think Hebrews 12).

3. Little things are the chief driver in any friendship. I agree with so many of the big things with people. God, general direction in life, what type of jeans to wear… that kind of stuff. But the little things are what seperates your close friends from your niche friends and your acquaintences. The people you trust with everything are the ones that agree with you on your heart’s level. And I know it’s good to have different friends with different ideas for the sake of being well rounded, but how do you trust someone about the richest parts of you if they don’t agree with them? You just end up collapsing under the pressure.

Great things have happened this year. CCO, Senior Year, Revitilzation Committee, SL&L and Dr. Thompson’s mentorship, the Buffaloes and hanging with those guys, Kaylan, a new friendship with Lindsay, and strengthening of friendships with Josh Bush, Adam Benjamin, and Jeff Hodge, Natalie. And all of these things are getting better. I’m excited for what the new year can bring and where I’m going.

peaceandlove, happy new year.

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