December 18, 2005


That's the first line of a song called "Happy Is A Yuppie Word" by Switchfoot. The title is taken from a quote from Bob Dylan in 1991. Rolling Stone asked him, on his 50th birthday, whether or not he was happy. He fell silent for a few moments and stared at his hands. "You know," he said, "these are yuppie words, happiness and unhappiness. It's not happiness or unhappiness, it's either blessed or unblessed."

I think that's pretty much the gist of everything going on in my life.

(btw, this CD (Nothing Is Sound) totally rocks. Totally, totally rocks. Near the top in terms of best birthday presents ever for sure!)

I've been incredibly, incredibly blessed. My family, my friendships, my career and possessions. I am so thankful for the many relationships I've built over this past year.

And I can tell you without a sliver of doubt in my mind that I am completely, and utterly "blessed". There isn't a single thing I would change (okay, maybe..) and I am satisfied with each and every one of my blessings. I think God gives us blessings, that come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, they're devastating from our point of view because God is this great big force and we really have no way of knowing that something so devastating is actually something amazing and wonderful.

And even if we try to look at the "bigger picture", that picture is tiny compared to what He is seeing. So while we sit there and cry, and say "Why God, WHY??", He's sits there smugly and says "You'll see". And then some where along the road, it hits you like a ton of bricks, BLAM. And there it is. God smacks you in the face and you sit there completely awestruck, wondering how in the world you didn't see it coming. And then you realize, it's because He's GOD.

Off the top of my head, a few blessings from this past year:

  • I went on my first missions trip, which opened my eyes to the amazing works God is doing. And the incredible need for people to know Him. And I made new 12 friends -- 12 amazing, beautiful, God-loving people. We shared something that many may never get the chance to experience. And the First Nations people -- God bless them.

  • This is the first year where I can say that I've built genuine relationships with a couple of my co-workers. And hey, I got a full-time job!

  • I co-leaded (or is it co-lead or co-led?) a small group. It was a great learning experience for me. I learned about the challenge of satisfying the thirsts of different people who were on very different spiritual walks. I learned about myself a lot too, my strengths and weaknesses (a lot more of the latter than the former).

  • My brother moved back to Toronto. This is an amazing gift from God. Having lived up here alone for the past 2 years and having a family member (my closest family) up here with me. It was such a great blessing to have him here with me, and watching him grow into a man.

  • Serving on a worship team has allowed me to use the talents God has given me to serve Him in capacity that I truly enjoy. I'm thankful for friends who urged me to volunteer and those who encouraged me to go for it. I've finally reached the point where I'm not longer completely petrified about going up on stage and singing in front of hundreds of people. At least my knees aren't buckling anymore :P

  • I'm particularly thankful for my "core" group of friends. We've had an amazing year together. Jammings, movies, dinners, lunches, shoppings, marriages and funerals, prayer meetings, games. We've been through a TON this year. I doubt we'll have as much fun ever again as we did this year.

  • Making a plan for myself and feeling as if I have some sort of a purpose or goal to work towards.

    Very single

    I had this funny conversation with the new guy at work on Friday. We were talking about The Apprentice, about the one contestant named Adam, a 26 year old Jewish businessman. He was incredulated by the fact that Adam was a virgin. He was chuckling to himself and shaking his head, the idea that there could be a 26 year old guy who had never had sex before.

    I found it hilarious because when he said "virgin", he whispered it as if it was some kind of bad word. I told him I that I was a virgin, and, being older than Adam, that it wasn't a big deal. I'm a Christian and I believe in "no sex before marriage".

    Bewildered, he looked at me and said "you need to get a girl."

    Um.. yeah.

    Presents and chickening out

    I bought gifts for many people but never gave them out. It's like I had them, and then I thought about it whether or not they'd appreciate it. And I guess I just thought too hard about them and never gave them out. They're just sitting there, in my living room. And it doesn't stop there. I have other gifts too, I have a cute stuffed animal that I bought for someone and never had the nerve to give it that person, and then I have this cute little doggy thing which I also never gave out. Boxes of chocolates, books, little trinkets and what not. I even have birthday cards where I wrote a really meaningful message to the recipients, and then for one reason or another, never gave the card out. They sit in a drawer, gathering dust. I think I've got one from like 1993.

    I'm a compulsive-buyer-of-gifts-and-afraid-to-them-give-away-er. I'm weird. I'm weird and it doesn't make sense. Why do I do these things? I'm Sick. What am I supposed to do with them all now? Today was supposed to be the day I'd give them out. I won't see anyone until next year, AFTER Christmas, AFTER New Years. What a fool.

    michellejl said...

    This has got to be my favourite post of yours yet, Brian! :D

    I did have to chuckle at the "compulsive-buyer-of-gifts-and-afraid-to-them-give-away-er".... You should just send them all out, don't think about it any longer, don't wait until you see them. A surprise card or gift in the mail is always a nice surprise,especially when it's meaningful. It will feel great! Even the one from '93 haha

    I'm glad it's been a good year for you Brian, made me smile. :)
    Take care.

    michellejl said...

    Oh yeah, and my friend who isn't capable of keeping a surprise :P, told me she bought me a switchfoot c.d for Christmas! yey! I hope that's the one!I can't wait to hear it now!

    akt said...

    You're not weird. I do that too! Or I'm weird too. I have tonnes of gifts that I haven't given to people. And I have Chrismtas cards from 1993 too. I think for me, it's not that I was afraid to give them out, but I think of the person, I get them a gift, but then I never get to see them, and then the occasion or the moment passes by. Sigh.