wonder.

this world is a wonder.

and it makes me wonder.

i wonder about the past… it just seems to happen so fast. one day, two days turns into a week, a month. suddenly a few years have gone and i’m left remembering where we’ve been and wondering about where we’re going.

i wonder about today. i wonder how we got here.

social media blasts us with stories of ferguson, missouri in a blaze. an officer shoots an unarmed man in the head and doesn’t go to trial. i wonder about that. going to trial doesn’t mean guilt or innocence, it just means that more questions need to be asked. i wonder how the grand jury can decide that all necessary questions have been asked and answered.

the president puts forward an order regarding immigration.

the internet explodes.

i guess we have forgotten that almost all of us are not from here. we are the byproducts of immigration, some of us illegally. but that doesn’t seem to matter anymore. why bother with the truth of history?

the united states spends more on defense than the next twenty-six countries combined. somehow it’s justified. yet there are those who think cuts need to be made to education. as if we haven’t made life tough enough for kids. now the one place they are supposed to go specifically for learning, we cannot even sustain that? then we cannot figure out why kids are on the streets and crimes escalates. that makes me worry more than wonder.

i wonder about those who proclaim to know Jesus and celebrate his miracles and his life. many of these people are the ones who believe you must earn health care, that it’s not a right, that there then must be a premium on health and life. if being healthy and having access to health care is a privilege and not a right, i wonder how that works with your theology. what has any of us done to deserve Jesus? we christians like to say that Jesus is the ultimate healer right? yet the system in place for those who need it is only accessible for those who have earned it? i wonder how that can be possible to believe.

some headlines ask questions that we cannot possibly answer.

i hear that sex trafficking in this country is on the rise. why? how? who are the monsters that think this is okay?

 some questions have easy answers… at least in my mind…ISIS exists now because of an unnecessary war we started over a decade ago that ironically opened the floodgates for something we vowed to destroy.

this world is full of wonder. there is good in this world. i know too many good people who are doing so much good. there is also the opposite. people more concerned with bank accounts and power and image to worry about anything else. that is what concerns me.

it makes me wonder about the future.

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musings.

[ personal note: i haven’t done much writing since moving to chicago, which is somewhat surprising to me. the lack of writing is not due to any lack of inspiration, i’ve just been missing the key ingredient that mixes all my muses together in a cohesive unit. so i decided to just bust out a bunch of my random thoughts i’ve been grinding on the past few months. enjoy.]

being in a city as fierce and bold and busy and loud as chicago has taught me to slow down, relax and be stronger.

moving away is hard. and awesome. and painful. and rewarding. and empowering. whenever you dream about doing something and then do it, it makes you feel like anything is possible. the idea that dreams come true is somewhat true, but you have to work towards it, make it happen. and you need at least one person in your corner who also believes anything is possible.

i hate bad grammar. except when i’m writing my own stuff. then i just create my own grammar and label it creativity.

you can be whoever and whatever you want to be, but if you aren’t making this a conscious decision, whoever and whatever you surround yourself  with will take that decision from you.

i have so many friends and family who are pursuing passions. it inspires me to pursue mine. thank you for helping mold me into who i am supposed to be. keep grinding.

 chicago is building me into the best version of myself. as much as i love where i came from, i know that where i am now is where i’m supposed to be.

i find myself wondering where the years are going.  it makes me want to embrace everything about today. today creates our history.

when i was a kid, my mom told me not to rush growing up, to enjoy life’s stages. i see people today who are going as fast as they can to get places they don’t really want to be. i’d rather take my time getting where i want to be. the journey can be just as amazing as the destination.

few things are as satisfying to me as completing a writing assignment. few things are as frustrating as writers block.

in the past i’ve gotten frustrated when i was told no. obviously. who likes being told no? the older i get though, the more i realize that stop signs are for our protection and not discouragement.

when i get further and further away from good music, the less and less creative my writing life becomes. it’s amazing how much music triggers thought and action.

it’s true. my wife is the better part of me. when she is away for work, my life is only half as good as it could be. i love this life we have together. i’m more excited than words can display about what we are building in this city and what the future holds for us together. she is not simply my wife and best friend, she truly is my co-pilot, my rock, my inspiration.  this adventure of being in a new city has shown me that our home is where our hearts are. i’ve witnessed how strong she really is and how hard she works to be the woman God made her to be. there is no one i admire more. sometimes she puts on a brave face, but mostly she has a tenacious sense about her. nothing is outside her reach. we climb mountains together.

i think that about sums it up.

turn off the music and drive.

writing really hasn’t been my friend this year.

it’s not that there hasn’t been a lot to write about, there has. i’ve experienced more in the past year than in any year before. it’s just that this year has been overwhelming in so many different ways.

it’s been the best year of my life.

it’s been the hardest.

it’s been the saddest and the happiest.

it’s been the most stressful.

i’ve struggled with looking for the big picture and finding the little things.

i’ve seen the best and the worst in people.

i’ve seen tragedy strike more than once. the types of things that happen to people in the distance. not to people you love.

i’ve wanted to write books about this life and i’ve vowed to myself to never write again.

the thing is. this is life now. i realize with a nice swift punch to the gut that adulthood is not always easy. in fact it’s usually not easy. that’s what makes the good times so good.

yesterday i took the morning and afternoon to drive. i turned off the music. i didn’t even listen to sports talk radio. i just drove. i needed the silence. i recommend that you do this at least once a year. just shut up and drive. and not on the highway. i drove down to southern michigan and drove up the coast of lake michigan. two weeks ago my wife and i were driving along the coast of the pacific ocean. i almost like lake michigan more. anyway, i drove and drove. in silence. sometimes you have to shut off the noise. sometimes you just have to shut yourself up.

it’s not that life can be chaotic. life is chaotic. that’s how we do it. that’s how we like it. that’s how we drown out whatever is going on around us. when i was driving yesterday, i was reminded about the little things. i was reminded of how lucky (blessed) i am to live in this beautiful state of michigan. it truly is full of hidden gems. (detroit’s demise does not tell the real story of this state) how the breeze from the lake feels so refreshing. how driving through little coast towns that no one has heard of can remind you that there are people everywhere and you cannot possibly be the only one going through whatever it is you are going through.

that’s the key. perspective. the worst is feeling alone. like no one else has gone through what you are going through. the best is not that others are also struggling or have struggled or have seen the worst or ugliest in others just like you have. it’s knowing that you aren’t the only one with this story. it’s knowing that with all these little hidden gems around you, it’s quite impossible to truly be alone. sometimes we just have to turn off the music and drive.