Reflections on 2013
Ephesians 2:12 Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
It has become a cherished tradition of mine to spend the first few weeks of the new year reflecting on the past year. The bible encourages us to remember Christ (1 Corinthians 11:24), but also who we were before we had Christ (Ephesians 2:12). I find that remembering helps us cherish God more for what he has done, recenter our lives on what truly matters, repent for wasted time, and develop vision for the next year.
Remembering 2012 was tough. It was by all means a year of failure and leaving behind a lot of what I had known. 2013 on the other hand, was defined by resetting. Getting married, moving to a new area, going to a new small group, starting a new company, and working in new industries. The last two years for me then have been admittedly slow. Starting over and starting afresh takes a long time and is not the most exciting thing to do. I often wish that I stayed in finance, pursuing an industry that I already know so well.
This has been a joyful year despite my natural tendency to judge a year based on my accomplishments, that is only a result of my own pride. I praise God for the many many gifts he has showered on me this year and I feel more prepared than I have ever been to pursue the Lord.
Strangely enough, after getting rejected by the 3 business schools I applied to, I finally felt at peace. I am in Los Angeles for the long term, I am part of an amazing church, I just started working in an industry that I love, I found a hardworking, God-fearing business partner, and Carolyn and I have an amazing home and an amazing marriage. Being at peace, can often lead to living a peacetime lifestyle though and Christianity is a life of war. This year I’m finally ready for war. As John Piper says, “I hear so many Christians murmuring about their imperfections and their failures and their addictions and their short-comings, And I see so little war! ‘Murmur, murmur, murmur… Why am I this way?’ MAKE WAR!”
As I write this, my family is preparing to hold a memorial service for my grandpa. 89 years and it was time to go home at the end of 2013. As the last grandfather in my family passed away, I felt the Lord telling me to grow up and take responsibility for the calling to which I have been called.
I’m grateful for the joy that comes from knowing God and being called his son. There is no need to prove myself anymore, and no anxiousness in taking risks.
Here are my 10 favorite quotes in 2013:
– People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort… We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated. -DA Carson
– The greatest organization in human history was twelve humble men, picked up along the shores of an inland lake.
– The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to him is not to believe that he loves you. -John Owen
– “Resolved: to live with all my might while I do live” -Jonathan Edwards
– “Gain all you can, save all you can, and give all you can” -John Wesley
– “Our greatest fear should not be fear of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter” -Francis Chan
– “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” -Salvador Dali
– “Nothing you have not given away will ever really be yours.” -CS Lewis
– “I want to believe there’s a heaven. But I can’t not believe there’s a hell.”” -Vince Gilligan
– “We don’t get a chance to do that many things and every one should be really excellent.” -Steve Jobs