Monday, July 26, 2010

The love of many will wax cold

Wednesday evening found me at a religion class learning about the signs preceding the second coming of Christ. One sign, which I have never quite understood, is that the love of many will wax cold. See Matt. 24:12. What does this mean? We all get bugged, ticked off, and irked over things in life. It doesn't matter how serious these problems actually are, at the time they always seem HUGE to us. I believe that the love of man waxing cold is becoming consumed in our own problems to the point that we don't overlook and forgive others' offenses to us.

It is easier to forgive and overlook others offenses to us when we are young. When I was around 8-10, I would get mad at lots of people: babysitters, brothers, dad, etc. But I was too positive to remain mad at anyone for very long. I remember trying to consciously hold my grudges for long periods of time to get even. But at that age, I always quickly bounced back, even from very serious things done to me.

We can't stay kids forever, but the principle of getting over others' offenses is still relevant. In the masses of thoughts that course through our minds each day, there are bound to be positive feelings that seek to resolve conflicts, forget offenses, and walk the higher road. I think this is the love trying to manifest itself in our lives. The problem is that there may be so many more opposing thoughts that may be more convenient and satisfying to endorse. As you allow these negative thoughts to "fester" in your mind, however, your love waxes cold to your fellow humans.

How to avoid getting sucked in to the festering thoughts syndrome? It's easier said than done, no doubt about it. But one key is to maintain the big picture. Squabbling and getting worked up over trivialities will probably not be the game-changing life experience that you expect it to be. Let the problem go. Let it go down memory lane. And wish it good riddance while you're at it.

I guess my take-home message is that problems we face give us unique opportunities for us to grow our love. It also lets us draw closer to One who was offended much more than He deserved. But He understood the big picture, and by walking the higher road and disregarding undeserved pain and suffering, preserved a legacy that has lasted, and will continue to last a long time. His love did not wax cold, will ours?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Random musings and recent developments

I love Jazz music, more than any other genre. I like the slower and more rhythmic variety the most. Jazz is always appropriate and leaves you feeling at peace afterwards.

Tomatoes are the perfect food. I love eating them when I feel I've overdosed on either sugar or salt.

I doubt I'll ever fully understand my dad. He loves spending money in interesting ways. Take the other day, for instance. We had some ice cream after dinner (we actually had 5 good cartons of ice cream in the freezer). I then got home later that evening (around 10:45 pm) and my dad asks, "Do you wanna go to the creamery for a milkshake?" I love my dad, but wow.

I am well on my way to making my first iPhone app. After banging my head against the computer for quite a few hours yesterday, I made a little something called headway.

It's easy to critique other people in different situations. I sometimes think to myself, "Oh yeah, I would handle their issues so much better if I was in their shoes." Then you get yourself into some comparable situations, you see yourself react, and then you think to yourself, "Who am I?"

Sometimes, you get sucked into the mind trap that you are just a reactant in a chemical equation. Guess what though? You don't have to be. That's right. You can change the reaction to whatever you want in life.

This summer has got to be the busiest summer of all time. I never have time to sit back, open up a cold one, and just chill. But I'm not complaining. Instead, I'm laying the groundwork for a great next year.

Sometimes you wish that you could marry your girlfriend sooner than you plan on doing so. Why? Part of it may be impatience. The other part may have something to do with this phrase: "Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry the person you can't live without." A particular long-distance relationship is highlighting the truthfulness of that phrase.

Yes, I'm becoming a publicly cheesy person. I'm fine with it though.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Song of the Day

Every once in a while, a song comes along that you can't get sick of, regardless of how many times you play it. Back in high school, Self-Esteem by The Offspring was that song for me. I heard it today and had to share it with the world.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Balance and Moderation, A Key to Happiness

I am not always balanced and moderate. In fact, I was just thinking back to a few distinct times in my life when my life's balance was whacked.

About 10 months into my mission, I was having a difficult time reaching goals, so I determined I was going to take my determination and hard work to the next level. My new resolve took on the form of waking up at 5:30 AM, talking to everyone and their dog, not taking lunches at home (or if we did take lunches, making them super short), and sacrificing time on p-days for preparing lessons and working. I think back to one particular time, my poor junior companion and I were in a remote part of our area lunchtime. I remember eating our lunch of crabsticks standing up because I couldn't justify taking a little relaxing break sitting down. After we finished eating our food, we continued contacting. It is clear to me now that I had taken the work aspect of missionary work to the extreme.

When I was a junior in college, I was determined to do well in an advanced computer programming class--CS 240. That semester, I can't remember going on a date or even hanging out with friends that much. Instead, I spent an inordinate amount of time in the catacombs of the Talmage building. The final project was intense. We had to write up a chess program basically from scratch using a very low level language. The week leading up to the final deadline I probably spent 60 hours on the project. This is while I was enrolled in other classes and even working part time. My desire to do well in this one class led me to become an extreme computer geek.

Another unbalanced time was law school. The truth of law school is that if you really want to get good grades, there isn't a way around making your life unbalanced. There is just too much work to do and too much competition to let you get by without focusing all your energy on law school. I sacrificed balance for good grades.

Looking back, I can tell that when I get out of balance, it inevitably leads to an unhappy, unsettled feeling. Some unbalanced times can be justified because they are temporary (like a deadline for a big project), but focusing so much time and effort into one thing is not sustainable. Knowing this, I still take things to the extreme. Take for instance this past week. I was determined that I would make a boatload of money through web development and cellphone apps. Even though I did a good job of working hard and my desire did not get burnt out, I realized I was a less happy individual because I was being stretched too thin by competing tasks I had going on.

It's easy for me to take things to the extreme. I have a somewhat proactive disposition--I believe that if something needs to be done, I have the power and ability to do it myself. So it's natural for me to take things to the extreme, especially when I feel like drastic changes are in order. Also, it's good to get fired up in a particular resolve because that draws a lot of attention to the problem. However, working like a maniac is unsustainable, and it makes me realize that when I become unbalanced, red flags should go off in my head.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Girl I Would One Day Marry

When I was 22, I sold satellites in Vancouver, Washington door-to-door. I remember talking to one woman who was not interested in a Dish, but was interested in talking with me. She found out I was Mormon and we started talking religion (She turned out to be Episcopalian). The conversation strangely enough drifted into marriage. I told her I was not married and that I was on the lookout for that special someone. She talked about how I should get married, but because her tone was a little too holier-than-thou I couldn't take her completely seriously. Because I hated knocking doors at this point in the summer, however, and because she seemed very willing to talk to me, I continued the conversation by asking her where I would find my companion. I asked this more out of curiosity of what she'd say rather than because I believed she would provide me an answer I could rely on. Her answer was very succinct and without hesitation: "You'll find her at church."

It took me about 280 church services (over 5 and a half years), but that is exactly how I "found" the girl I will marry. I had met Amy long before the church meeting over last Christmas break, but that meeting was the catalyst that started our relationship. As many of you already may know, a couple weeks ago, I proposed to my girlfriend Amy at her cabin in Idaho and she said yes. We will be getting married in the Draper temple December 29th. I am really happy in this stage of my life, a stage that I had doubts I would ever experience. It's fun to be engaged and to plan the future with someone else that you love. I look forward to and feel very good about the future with my little Blueberry.

Because I don't believe in ending blog posts on cheesy notes, here are some pictures of us that are too awkward to post on facebook, but funny enough that I couldn't stand with a clear conscience before Amy for not publishing them somewhere.

This is us driving across the country. Here, Amy is pretending like she's sleeping and here is me doing a very poor job of focusing on the road.

This is Amy's birthday night. As we were getting ready to begin our Provo Canyon date, we decided to do a picture to resemble high school dance pictures. Did we do a good job?

Here, Amy is looking cute (nothing unusual about that) and I seem to be starting a campfire rap: "Hook a brother up with a peach, yeah!"

Amy insisted on this picture, much to my dismay, but now I'm glad this picture happened. It paints a very real picture of my backyard. The collapsed basketball standard, one of the many motorcycle tires, the peeling white paint, the unkempt patio all contribute greatly to the aesthetics of this photo.