What's something you did quite often five years ago that you don't do now?
When you were taking part in this activity back then, did you ever imagine a time when you'd either be doing it a heck of a lot more or a lot less? Did you ever think it would change?
Five years ago I was 27, smack dab in the middle of seminary and church planting in Chicago. If you're interested, here's one of my all-time favorite posts which just happens to be around this time five years ago: Blow Up Some of Your Memorial Stones. This was my life. I spent so much of my day reading, reflecting, writing, and considering what the church was going to be like. I was so interested in church planting and the movements that were popping up everywhere. I helped with one here in Chicago called The Line that's still going really strong today down in Lincoln Park.
Five years ago I never thought that I would be married with a kid, another on the way, and doing software sales. I for sure wanted to be married and hoped that I would have a family by this point. I even entertained at that time in my life the idea of going to business school for my MBA, so I think I knew even then that full-time paid ministry wasn't gonna be my thing either.
So I guess you can say I stopped doing the single thing. And I also stopped doing the paid church thing.
I've also continued and in some ways increased the time I spend reflecting and writing. Back then, the reflecting was in my Moleskine and the writing was often there or for class. But I didn't write everyday like this. This is different. I never thought then that I would be blogging everyday; though I could have predicted that I wouldn't have much of audience in terms of number of readers, but definitely great in terms of the quality of folk who read this bad boy. I see you!
But the one thing that's changed a ton, that I do much less of now, is read. I used to read so much back then. Most of it was for class of course as seminary piles on what you've got to read, but I also read for enjoyment quite a bit. If you told me then that I'd stop being such a reader, I'd take the stack of books I was reading at the time and smack you in the face one by one. Okay...probably not that, but I wouldn't believe you. I would have told you that when I got out of seminary I'd have all the time to read what I actually wanted to read and would do it with the force of a Class 5 hurricane!
Not so. Not now.
I still read today, but it's mostly on my phone or before bed or on a plane. Some is for pleasure, some is for work. I just finished a parenting book and may read Devil in the White City again. But it's all different.
I'm sure someday, when I'm old and gray, The Wifey and I will relax in rocking chairs and read together, most likely with those books that are all BIG PRINT and have like 15 words to a page.
But it's just interesting to reflect on the activities we take for granted today and assume we will continue to do for years, not knowing how other circumstances in life change what we do. I am married now. I do have kid(s) now. My job is very different now and doesn't require me to read as much. All of those factors play into what happens during the "open hours."
So while I lightly mourn tonight, this lessening of reading, I rejoice in the fact that my open hours consist of time with The Wifey and Boy and that most of the books I read are children's books.
How about you? What's changed?