This is a strange blog, I know. I’m sure the three readers I have puzzle over it often. Is this a Christian devotional Godblog? A software-centric Nerdblog? A personal diary? All three?
I’m not sure myself. I started to write another paean to how much fun I’m having developing Bloo and Phoo, because I had some major breakthroughs this morning on the bus (coming soon!). But that post morphed into this one.
Godblog? Nerdblog? Separation really isn’t necessary. I am a Christian nerd with a weblog. And I was a nerd before being a nerd was cool. Yes, I carried the status symbol of paleo-nerddom, the stack of computer punchcards, down the halls of my high school back in the heady days of 16 honkin’ kilobytes of RAM, baybeh.
Somehow athletics melded with my nerdness in high school. Was I a good athlete? Well . . . no. But as far as nerds go, I was Jim Thorpe. If there were a nerd Olympics I would have been positively Mark Spitzian in my triumph. The geek athletic bar is pretty low and I held my own with the jocks. I played high school football; I played in every practice and had a great seat for every game. And it was good. I wasn’t that interested, really, in glory. Just in finishing. I faced many battles in high school; battles of a spiritual, physical, and social nature. And they made me tough — I am sometimes proud of the kid I was, because I persevered.
Music also was added to the mix, so the nerdlete also became art-rock connoisseur, budding guitarist and drummer. My band White Wolf (go on, throw up your rawk fist!) won the high school talent show and I threw my sticks and a spare drumhead out in the audience after we finished playing our song “Rock Bottom”. The head smacked Diane Coldeway in the face and I’ve always felt bad for not apologizing to her. What can I say, it was my rock the mic moment. But I digress — I was building what I hoped was a well-rounded personality and was edging ever so slightly into the upper echelons of the second-tier social strata. Things were good, or at least looking up. High school ended and I went off to college to pursue the only degree I ever wanted, a degree in Computer Science. Yes, things were looking up.
I realized in College that I wasn’t looking high enough. A suspicion began to sink into me. It went something like this:
What happened after this is a long story. I have not the time to write it down, and you would not have the time to read it, but I will tell you this: it’s been good. Even on my worst days, there’s no way I would change what happened. God simply reached down and took hold of my heart, and convinced me of my need, and of my inability to save myself. And he showed me his Son, lifted high. The light went on. I’d tried many things in my life, so I didn’t know if Jesus would “work”. But I’d seen him change the lives of others, like my older brother Jim (who played a huge role in my conversion), and so I was willing to take the step, though it seemed risky. What I didn’t know was that God was simply not going to let me go, not going to let go of me. He still holds me. I quit wondering a long time ago if he was going to leave me or forsake me. I know he won’t. He’s promised, and his promises are always true. There is no risk.
Fast forward to today. This morning was a normal morning. I woke up, got up, said hi to Andrew as he was coming in from an early morning jog, talked to Jill for awhile in bed, and spent some time hanging out with Bethany and Blake, who also decided to hop in our bed. There’s nothing like a bed full of kiddos in the drowsy early morning with my wife in her cute, warm, pink heart pajamas. We watched a soccer video on our Mac that my obsessed wife has been putting together for Blake’s team, the Cypress Fury. It rocks!
I had to roust our freshman Molly awake a few times to get her moving, and I drove her to school. I love those drives; we always enjoy good, unhurried conversation. I dropped her off and as she walked in the building I thanked God for my precious daughter, and my other precious ones still back at home. It was a moment of clarity. I’m blessed beyond what I could ask or even think.
I never could have arrived at this state of blessedness on my own, with my own wisdom and work. It’s been a long time since my heart first cried out to God in college, and I marvel at where he’s taken me, how he’s brought me love, and light, and the oasis of my family and the ministry opportunities he’s given me. He’s even redeemed my time before Christ, providing the answer to the mystery of my interests and longings of those days. They were for him, to be used for him when the time was right. I await what’s coming next with great anticipation.
Life isn’t always easy, and I know beyond a shadow that ahead of me are heartache, loss, struggles, and eventually the final goodbyes to those I love should Jesus wait to return. We live in a broken world groaning to be made right. Often times we join it in its groaning.
But into the brokenness that was me God intervened, 22 years ago, and he made things right. And he made them good. He rescued me and I know that I will never have to say goodbye to Him, and I know that in Christ all goodbyes, hurts, and sorrows are truly temporary.
He has made me glad. Yes, he has. And he has made everything good. Because he is so good!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
– James 1:17 (ESV)