It’s been a long time since the last blog post and life has moved more than briskly. We’ve started two companies, traveled to incredible parts of the world and have done (and am doing) things I never imagined I would do. It’s been the most enriching (and challenging) few years of my life. And yet there are things in my life that have not taken root the way I would have liked, goals and desires I thought would have been fulfilled by now. There’s this mix of happiness and heartbreak at this juncture of my life.
When I left college, I had a plan. Job, grad school, job, fortune. But as many others would attest, life didn’t turn out as planned. Things happened that were completely out of my control. And this is for the good and the bad.
My wife and I started a business (company #1) almost 3 years ago designing baby blankets that change the lives of marginalized women in India. That definitely was not in the plan (anything that’s not doctor, lawyer or engineer is not i the plan). We’ve been to some of the most destitute parts of the world and have met some of the most courageous people. Our work is challenging, fun and meaningful. It’s been a privilege and joy to do the work we’re doing.
But as I sit here reflecting on this Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of my mom’s pre-mature passing almost 8 years ago. She had so much more life to live. I’m sad I only had her for 32 years of my life and I miss her deeply. There were many moments where I needed her words of wisdom and unconditional love. It however does make heaven more real, the joy of seeing her again more palpable.
I’m 40 now and I want to write down a few things I’ve learned, reminders to myself as I move into this next season. Here we go:
- Seize opportunities – Opportunities come and go. And you have to seize them when they come. I think about the past 15 years (church planting, two companies, speaking opportunities, cable boxes, etc.), and the need to run with opportunities that presented themselves. I have many bruises, but no regrets.
- Failure is inevitable, so don’t fear it – My life is not defined by failure (it’s defined by Jesus), but I’ve failed at many things. I remember moments. Awkward, tragic moments where I said or did the wrong thing. There were many and there will be many more to come. Accept it and move on.
- No one has it figured out – On first glance, everyone seems like they have it figured out and I have nothing figured out. But that’s not true. No one really has it all figured out and I do know more than I give myself credit for. Have confidence in what I do know and move forward with an attitude to learn fast and learn well. The key is confidence (rooted in the Gospel and how God made me).
- Can’t do it alone – I don’t have everything I need to make it work. I need God. But I also need others – they’re talents, encouragement and critique. The sooner I give up on being the savior, the better.
- Relationships are important – This is both professionally and personally. As relational and pastoral as I am, I need to work on this more. I’m too focused on reaching goals and I need to spend more time just being friends.
- Take care of myself – Sleep, eat and exercise. This is actually faith in God. When I don’t take care of myself I am saying back to God that I’m not worth being taken care of. It’s a reflection of how I see myself and affront to all that God does to take care of me.
- Keep following the Father – There’s only one person to please. It’s hard because it will mean displeasing so many others. I wrestle with it constantly. But He knows the way and his way is always best.
Things I need to work on:
- Spend more meaningful time with my wife and family
- Read more full length books (and not tweets or FB updates)
- Improve my Chinese
- Exercise and sleep at 10pm
- Work on “new” additions
- Develop a hobby
Be back again soon.