Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Setting Sun on the Longest Journey

Through all the hustle and bustle…I find the hopeless romantic within me yearning for something bigger then the motions of daily life that we all go through.

Perhaps it’s too far fetched of an idea to truly skip a class, or miss a meeting, or put off homework to truly go on an adventure. Yet I envision those types of nostalgic memories from my future. It plays back like an old movie…the yellow tainted film plays back the footage of oversized sunglasses, empty Starbucks cups, and driving by the ocean as the sunsets above the horizon.

We get caught up in saying that we don’t care enough about the big picture – the career goals, the grades, the final destination – and too often settle for the little things in life that become the daily grind of college life.

I see my life to be like loud explosion. Whether it’s realistic or not, often times I see myself coming into peoples lives with a bang…perhaps I’m too much, too loud, too real, too vulnerable with my heart on my sleeve. As loud as I enter I’d like to think I leave just as earnestly quiet and quickly, like the fleeting wind of a late winter storm – something Southern Californians simply don’t understand.

We constantly are rebelling one direction or the other – for those that hate the machine, they run off and don’t take life seriously, they become the hippies of today – hipsters or trendies as they like to be called.

For the others, makeup, suits, and solid jobs are the only thing that they wrap their efforts around. One day it will lead to a consistent living situation: family, work, and becoming a regular at their favorite Starbucks.

I don’t know what my future holds…and I’m starting to accept that. In fact, I’m starting to yearn for the unknown.

One thing I do know – often times my journey will bring people into my life that I can be apart of the ride…but when the sunsets to my story (again, purging the hopeless romantic out of me), I like to think I will leave my current state alone: driving with the windows down as the warm sunsets across the ocean….and gone before anyone knows what really happened.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tomorrowland

I recently stumbled on a letter I wrote a year ago. How ironic it is to read something that is completely applicable to today, even when a year brings so much change.

The years are certainly rolling by too fast for someone who still isn’t quite a completely adult, yet no longer a teenager. As I finished driving back from my 400 mile venture this weekend, my roommate pointed out that I was kind of quiet. When someone says I’m being quiet of all things, it gains my attention.

Often times, I get stuck on certain things that become my week’s obsession. This time it was a nostalgic look forward (if there is such a thing). As I get older, I appreciate home more, simplicity more genuinely, and the things of the heart become more complicated.

The thought of sitting on a balcony in a decade, with a pipe in one hand, the newspaper in the other, my Bible laid out in front of me, and my laptop playing ESPN highlights sounds delightful. Mind you this isn’t my whole life, it’s just one thing I envision me enjoying. I would love watching the city never sleep from the deck my apartment. I imagine me being able to be called at a moments notice to whatever remote part of the world God wants me to – and going. Perhaps alone, perhaps madly in love with an amazing woman God blesses my life with. Yet, I know, I will be satisfied and continually challenged to pursue His will. I think we get caught up too much in the grind of tomorrow and not realizing how to enjoy the simplicity of another day.

This one is short, it’s not very sweet, and I’m very tired.

Pretty Ricky

The next few blogs will be posts from my writings in The Chimes newspaper at Biola University. For more information or articles, go to The Chimes Online.

If you’ve been following this column series, you know I’m doing my best attempt to explain types of men that I’ve seen many Christian girls get into relationships with. Last week, I talked about Childish Chad.

Next up to the plate is Pretty Boy Ricky. He brings the feminist, vanity-filled bat with him to the plate. Hopefully, I can equip you with a few curveballs to throw at him next time he comes your way. Enough with the baseball analogy, right?

Meet Pretty Boy Ricky

Pretty Ricky is the type of guy who is into what he wears, what he looks like, and how you might be affecting his image.

As a side note: It’s OK for guys to desire to look good, but it shouldn’t be their priority … so before I get any letters, remember that. He’s the type of guy who “carries a mirror in his pocket” and a “comb up his sleeve” just in case that “extra hold gel” lets his hair fall out of place, with thanks to Shania Twain for the great reference.

More than likely, he’s probably telling you where he got his jeans, how expensive they were, or how fine his derrière looks in them. He might even tell you he looks better in your jeans than you do.

Ricky spends 20 minutes in the morning fixing his hair, while most guys don’t spend that much time in the bathroom all day.

Don’t step on his shoes when you’re out on the town, and definitely don’t try to cuddle up with him. You might wrinkle his shirt.

All in all, Pretty Boy Ricky is more of a girl than you are. He’s his own idol –– every reflection he sees of himself makes him smile, and it’s not because you’re with him — it’s because his hair is still in place and it’s 8 p.m.

Don’t fall for it girls

The downside to Rick is he uses his confidence in his looks — or should I say insecurities elsewhere — to win girls over. Between that and flirty banter, he can swoop up your heart in a minute.

He doesn’t tell you you’re beautiful – he wants to know he’s beautiful. He doesn’t take care of you because he’s too busy looking in his purse … err, jeans for that mirror.

It’s the suave, pretty boys that tend to live in their glory days. Maybe that was high school, maybe it’s college and — God forbid — it may carry into marriage. I have seen so many of my parents’ friends divorce because of affairs –– Pretty Boy Ricky may find another woman to fall for his tricks at the bar on that business trip.

Although by now you may know where I’m going, I’m going to say it anyways. Don’t give your heart away to this fool.

You don’t want to be his trophy girlfriend and, one day, trophy wife. Pretty Boy Rickys –– and all of us young men at that –– need to learn how to affectionately win a woman’s heart over with our hearts, which should first and foremost be hearts for God.

Ricky needs to grow out of his pair of size five Lucky jeans and grow enough to fit into big-boy pants.

So what if I’m already with Ricky?

It’s time to have that great DTR –– out of love for him as your brother in Christ, as someone’s potential husband, and out of love for someone you care for and respect. Perhaps breaking up isn’t the answer, but you could start challenging him to turn his heart to God and not to have any idols before him.

Maybe some time apart could help him grow up. If he rebounds into Childish Chad, you’ll get a real picture of where he’s at in life. Those who really want to grow into the man of God you desire will do so; those who can’t give themselves up will simply expose their hearts to you … and it won’t be pretty.

Don’t settle. Remember to hold those standards high and expect the best. You shouldn’t always be the one telling him who’s beautiful.

If you struggle giving up control of relationships and allowing him to serve you, then don’t worry, I’ll try my best to give my perspective on that in a few weeks. For now, evaluate your current state with Pretty Boy Ricky (or Childish Chad), and if his priorities are clearly not with God first, then it’s time to have that DTR.