Sunday, October 31, 2010

Things I Like About Halloween

1. It's also Reformation Day.
2. Baked mostaccioli - our family's traditional Halloween dinner.
3. I look good in the color orange.
4. Spending time with family
5. Any chocolate candies with the name ending in "-eese's".
6. Little kids in cute costumes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Busted Knee

Yesterday, I ran farther than I've ever ran in my life. I don't consider myself a runner, but I run often enough. I probably average running about 2-4 miles a week...

So, about five months ago, I was rock climbing with my friend, Steve, at night, in the dark, at Devil's Lake State Park, in Wisconsin. I peeled off of this boulder, landed on a sloping, rain-soaked slab, and proceeded to tweak my knee. I didn't hear anything pop or tear, but it felt weird. It wasn't sore at all.


I've been in mild discomfort (because of my knee) since about one month after the original injury. I went to an ortho-sports-med guy, who took X-rays and an MRI, and everything looked normal. He said to give the knee about a month or two, but I should fully recover - no problem.

Now to present-day.

I ran 6.4 miles yesterday, on the Illinois Prairie Path, which runs right by my apartment. At about the 4 mile marker, my knee started screaming at me. The pain started to trickle up and down the outside of my leg, radiating from the knee. I told my knee to shut up and continued to run.

So, here I sit with a pretty stiff knee; it's pretty sore. It's not swollen. But, as of this morning, I could only walk on it for about a block before it started to throb.

Well, more on the knee later, I suppose. Until I can see the doc again (I have an appointment on 11/11), I guess I'll just have to deal with it - any that Hot Chocolate 15k run I'm signed up to do on 11/6...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Finding Victory in the Everyday Struggles

Okay, so this is a pretty lofty-sounding post title; and, to be honest, I don't really have any good answers to this major life-issue. But just because I don't have *an* answer doesn't mean that I don't think I have a few ideas that might help us out. I'll just share one, though, for now...

Being individual beings, we find it really difficult to put ourselves in the shoes of other individuals; and even if we feel like we're gifted at being sympathetic - or even empathetic - we likely don't maintain a perpetual state of being that is accompanied by a constant burden for others and how they feel or how they would react to our actions. And thus, our principle:

One way that we can find victory over our common, everyday struggles is to remember that we don't "do life" on our own - but in community. Every action affects the whole - no matter how small.

It's a simple enough statement, but it's much harder to practice. One thing that I've been trying to do to help reshape my worldview to reflect more of a communal living-type of attitude is to simply think about what my friends and family are doing while I am washing the dishes, hanging laundry on the clothes line, or playing with my son.

So there you have it. That's one thing I'm working on in my own life; and, by grace, hopefully it's one area that will improve in this 29th year of my life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Life is so Busy!

I can't believe it's already the middle of October! Where has the time gone?

Over the past few months, I have been learning about how short life is; and how, all too often, we allow the things of the now (the present reality) to influence how we live - instead of the future. I have often heard it said that we should "live in light of eternity", and I think that's a trustworthy saying. But how do we do it?

Pretty much the only method I can think of is to try harder to contemplate the things that matter most - as often and as regularly as we can. It's a tough challenge, but a possible one. One idea might be to stop to think about the future every time you eat a meal, or when you're driving to or from work, or whatever.

The point is, the only way to slow down the pace of reality is to think about the future - the very distant future.

For me, present life has a full schedule: promoting the up-coming solo record release (Fundamental, some time in November?), spending time with my family, recording another album with my band, The City, doing pre-production for the next Restoration Project record, practicing music, writing music, rehearsing for up-coming shows, mentoring college students, volunteering at my church, training for the Hot Chocolate 15k Run in Chicago (next month)... Wow. This is a long list of things - and it's not even all of it.

Life is a balancing act, and by focusing no the future, we can curb the anxiety about the present, keep our priorities in check, and, at least graciously stumble through life.