Today we visited Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts, suburbs of Boston where the American Revolutionary War began. Ann is a bit of a revolutionary, which I think also fuels her Reformation spirit and anti-popery, and The Wife has always considered rules mere suggestions. So, it shouldn’t surprise you that the visit to Concord and Lexington was orchestrated by them.
I went along, but only after finding some eyewitness testimony to the Great Awakening in Concord. This took the form of an anonymous letter written to a minister in 1742, which is part of Jonas Bowen Clarke’s Collection of Papers at the Congregational Library in Boston. I wisely kept the content of the letter to myself until lunch, after The Wife and Ann had fully exercised their revolutionary impulses and were ready to get back to our trip’s theme.
On the drive to Lexington and Concord, I couldn’t help but try to provoke Ann and The Wife by asking if they thought a disagreement over taxation (i.e. taxation without representation) was a valid reason for revolting against authority.
Last year I came out of a desert experience, which I described in a previous post.
Here are the three things I learned.
1. “Focus on completion, not perfection.” This is what I heard in prayer one day, and it was a major breakthrough for me.
I’m a detail-oriented perfectionist, which is great when you have plenty of time, but the more successful one becomes, the busier one will become, and I came to the point where my desire for perfection met the limits of my time. This phrase I heard in prayer resonated in me in part because I believe it was customized for me, which is the beauty of the insight one gets in prayer because it comes from the One who knows you the best. After hearing this, I began to focus on getting things done instead of getting them perfect. Some things need to be perfect; some things just need to get done, but if you are a perfectionist, reversing the default from perfection to completion is liberating. Continue reading “What I Learned In The Desert—2”
In late 2013 and into early 2014, I went through a desert of sorts, and it was one of the most trying periods of my life.
I couldn’t write; it’s hard to think of art when you are gasping for air.
I don’t want to sound too dramatic. I wasn’t facing martyrdom or starvation. These were first world problems, although they were very real to me.
These problems were a combination of health problems, personnel problems at work, a heavy workload, and things outside my control going wrong on a daily basis. All this put me in a position of feeling completely overwhelmed, like I didn’t have enough time to do what I need to do and an inability to get anything done to minimize the burden. I felt frustrated, helpless and, over time, exhausted. Continue reading “What I Learned In The Desert—1”
The last few months I have been less consistent in blogging than at any time since I started this blog 3 1/2 years ago.
There is a reason–I have been busier than ever before.
It seems all I do is work and sleep and go to church on Sunday.
It has also been one of the most stressful times in my life. I have more on the line in more ways than at any time in my life while having seemingly less time to consider, manage and attempt to control those things.
I’m a detail-oriented, preparation freak. So lately I’ve felt like I’ve been behind the wheel of a very fast car with my hands on the steering wheel, but they are not steering, just holding on. Continue reading “What Grace Feels Like”
Well, my wife and I are now fully committed to an adventure that began nearly nine months ago.
We had been talking for some time about building our dream home in the suburbs, but in a moment of clarity decided to pray about it first.
After praying, we came to an unexpected conclusion: downsize and move from the suburbs to downtown.
Ten days ago we made the move, closing on the purchase of a condominium on Main Street, moving the next day and then closing on the sale of our house in the suburbs.
The move came with an abrupt lifestyle change. We left a house with a mahogany custom-built library, in-home fitness room, along with a swimming pool and tropically landscaped backyard for a condominium in the heart of one of the largest cities in the country—a condominium half the size of the house we left and 25% the size of the house we were planning on building. Continue reading “On The Other Side of Obedience”