On Four Years …
As of yesterday, September 30, it has officially been four years since I left the Navy and Hawai’i behind and returned to Colorado. It’s been an interesting four years, full of incredibly awesome experiences (such as marrying the love of my life, Amber) and some terribly awful ones (such as my grandma passing away).I initially believed that my four years in the military was the pinnacle of my personal growth. Because of the extreme circumstances of military life, I didn’t think my faith or character could be more challenged than in that environment. Looking back over the years since I’ve been out, I realize that I couldn’t be more wrong.I had originally thought about writing out some of the significant events of the last four years and commenting about them, but after a few drafts of that approach, I’m going to go with some general statements regarding the things I’ve learned:
- Being a pastor is not easy. Dealing with people in that capacity is probably the hardest thing anyone could ever aspire to do. Those who succeed at it should be respected and admired for their patience and tenacity.
- Being married is probably the best way for a man to learn and constantly re-learn what servant-leadership really is. It is at once the most joyous and challenging experience; creating intense personal growth in ways previously thought impossible.
- Calculus is extremely easy to forget if you don’t use it often.
- Finding health-care when you’re self-employed sucks.
- It’s better to have a few really good friendships than many shallow ones.
- Becoming comfortable in your own shoes is a difficult process (I’m totally not there).
- Believing that you have the best and only answer for something as complex as faith and spirituality is a fast way to becoming a total ass.
- If you struggle with your sexuality and/or aren’t 100% sure you can live an ethical life, you should not become a minister of any faith. Period.
- The end does not justify the means.
- Playing music is one of the most amazing ways to discover a totally different plane of existence and understanding. It’s like a portal to a new world waiting to be charted and explored.
- The capacity of a person to be deceived knows almost no bounds.
- Principles are incredibly important.
- The journey is far more important than the destination (** cliché alert! But it’s true!)