Friday, November 23, 2007


The snow crunched softly under my feet as I moved down the driveway. I tightened the scarf around my neck. The air was cold, but there was no wind. The lights reflected over the snow, and the whitened street seemed almost to glow, as if the winter had brought with her a different kingdom, a place of dreams and possibility. Up ahead, smoke curled lazily from one of the houses into the night and a sense of peace flooded over me as I jammed my hands into my parka. I breathed deep the crisp air and whispered a prayer of thanks into the quiet, not wanting to break the stillness of the moment or the deep sense of being that sifted through my emotions. Small tears began to form in my eyes, unexpected and unexplained, but instead of wiping them away I let gather and slide down my cheek, the cold marking their trail across my skin like a gentle caress.

In a few minutes I would go inside and attempt to write my story, I would break down the small but seemingly momentous happenings inside me this past week. I would try to explain what I felt and what God had done, not because my story was different or special, but because it was the same story that others had experienced. That others needed to experience. The kind of story that, when you looked back on it, was an event that ultimately shifted the direction of your life. For now however, I just wanted to enjoy the quietness of the moment. To breathe deep the night air and thank God for doing something I hadn't expected. Of course, I should have known that He'd be there...

...the house was quiet. My housemates were all gone, at school or at work. I could hear the rain patter against the glass of my window, and gray light filtered into my room. I lay beneath my covers, my mind racing, my body almost sore with the effort of moving into another position. It was all so ridiculous, I thought, that I was still lying here. I had so many things going for me, all I had to do was get up and head to school. The thought, however lucid, drifted away from me and disappeared into the four blank walls that hedged me in as I shifted deeper under the covers.
"Maybe tomorrow." I murmured to myself, over and over, like a soft mantra. "Maybe tomorrow." I looked at the window, at the tiny rivulets of rain trickling down the glass like tears. I tried to squeeze into a more positive frame of mind, but somehow I couldn't think of anything, and I could feel myself shut down as my eyes closed and I drifted back to sleep.

When I'd first left Ottawa three months ago, I'd come to Toronto with the hopes and excitement of someone in pursuit of their dreams. I'd do my Masters, focus on my writing, and hopefully accomplish the things I'd always believed I was capable of doing. Now, only three months later, I lay beneath my covers on a rainy afternoon, broke, behind in my school, and wondering just where things had gone wrong. I knew that God loved me, but it felt like I'd lost Him somewhere. Or that He'd lost me, as if I'd been dropped off at the corner somewhere along the way. I hadn't slept much lately, and the nights were filled with worries and tightened fists.

Was this it? Was this the end of my pursuit of something greater?
I'd taken a year's leave, but the thought of going back to my life in Ottawa filled me with an unexplainable sadness. I wasn't sure anyone would understand why I was sad or struggling, in as much as I was in a new city and should just wait, things would get better, wouldn't they? Yes, yes, the pursuit of dreams was a good thing, and the advanced degree was practical, especially if you wanted to teach. Why was I getting so uptight? Relax, it'll get better. And if you lose a course, so what?

What most people didn't understand, was that while I told people I'd come to Toronto to pursue my dreams, it wasn't the whole truth. For two years on my balcony in Ottawa, during my quiet times, there was a Scripture that had arrested me so completely that I hadn't been able to shake it. "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matt 10:39) Somehow, in some way, if there was one thing I was sure of during my quiet times on the balcony, it was the understanding that to lose my life, I needed to move. And so while my dreams forged an inspiration for me to pack up and leave, it wasn't simply for them that I'd left. No, I'd left in pursuit of something else.

I'd left my life in pursuit of the God I loved, the God I longed to serve with every fiber of my being. And now, He'd disappeared...

The clock flashed the red numbers in the darkness. 11:06pm. I was immobile on my bed. It'd been hours since I moved, but it felt like days. I could feel myself breaking inside, and I swallowed hard. People would never understand this if I told them or tried to explain it, and suddenly I didn't care. I didn't care if people thought I was crazy or dramatic. I didn't care if I couldn't rationalize what I was doing or how I felt when it came to my faith. I was tired of supporting thought structures that purported to the idea of Christianity but left out the reality of a supernatural God. I was tired of having to explain in a reasonable way this idea of Jesus, this idea that God 'made sense.' Mostly though, I was just tired of bouncing between the "rational Steve" and the "God-seeking Steve". I could no longer buy into modernity's idea that we could organize God into a part of our life.
Either He was real, or he wasn't. Either He was life, or He wasn't.

The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. So where was He? Why had He left me here in this position... like this! I slipped over on to my knees, and I poured out my anger and frustration, that somehow began to mix with sobs and tears of frustration.

"Either you do something tomorrow, or I will never trust you again!" I said finally. I meant it. I was done. I sprawled onto my face and lay prone in prayer for another thirty minutes. It wasn't as if my struggles were simply emotional, they were finite as well. School. Finances. Job.
Somewhere along the way, I passed out. When I opened my eyes again, it was 2am. I was wide awake. I didn't feel any different, but I showered and dressed and started working on my papers. My emotions were spent. The hours passed, and I thought about the previous night, but only in passing. I stayed up the rest of the day and went to bed early. For the past week I'd been unable to sleep before 5am, so this was a pleasant surprise, but not a big deal.

I began to hope that things had turned around, that God had answered my prayer, but things started getting worse. The news from school wasn't good, and the check I'd been expecting for the past two weeks would be a month late. I hadn't heard back from any of the jobs I'd applied for, and while each day I was up early now, hopeful that something good would happen, each day I was dealt at least one body blow that would suck the wind out of me.

The night before I'd gone to sleep with my face still wet with tears. I hadn't been broken just once, but shattered into a thousand pieces. And yet, the more I felt myself breaking, the more I opened myself up to my friends about the tearing inside my heart, the more I sensed something else squeezed into the newly formed cracks. Love. Hope.

Everyone likes to be the strong one. The wise one. But I could no longer do that, no longer pretend that I was strong or wise. My friends rallied around me, and I felt an emasculated fool. Somewhere along the way, however, even that began to drift. I didn't care any more. When I went out, I began to see things. I noticed the old lady on the street, struggling against the cold wind. I noticed the woman with red eyes in the checkout line. I noticed the man with dingy pants and dirty hair standing outside the mall.

It wasn't that I was blind to these things before, or maybe I was, but it was hitting me in a new way. I thought about all my pretensions and ideals, my smugness and arrogance about 'certain' people, and I could feel my heart break a little bit more. And like a laser, God cut through my selfishness and showed me what I'd neglected to see. And I cried and whispered into the cold night air when I realized why God had 'left me.'

"God, forgive me. Your world is dying, and I am more worried about MY pedigree, about MY dreams, than I am about serving you."

He hadn't left me at all. It'd been me all along. I was the one who had left.

The sun is bright this morning, but the air is icy and cold. I can't help but think about this past week, and about God's faithfulness. Even now, my eyes fill with tears as I dwell on what I've learned.

I spent many years going to churches that promised the world, that if people just came forward, God would change their life. I grew bitter over time because those changes never happened, that God never made my life 'great' the way I'd been promised, so I'm hesitant to even write my story. I am convinced that God works slowly in us, because it is what we can handle, what can be permanent. But I do still believe there are moments when God asks us to respond, when he moves in a way that can change us forever. If we let Him.

No, even now I knew this was different, because it was less about me, and more about Him. I'd learned something about myself, and something about God. As long as my dreams merely included Him, there would always be something missing in my life. But if my dreams were ABOUT Him, then I would never have to worry.

God wants to move in our daily lives. He wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to grab the 'horns of the altar' and not let go. He wants to give us joy. For many of us, however, we must first be broken.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

A New Diet (trying to get control)

When I was 23, I weighed 192lbs, with a BMI of %10.5. I was in the best shape of my life. For the last ten years however, I've hovered between 204 and 220lbs. These past few weeks I've grown tired of carrying the extra weight around and I've longed to get rid of it, but I've developed some bad habits through the years. My biggest difficulty is portion control. I still tend to put heaping mounds of food on my plate. Now, with a sister who is a personal trainer, and having trained some others myself, I am completely aware of the fact that smaller portions and more meals means a higher metabolic rate. Our body burns it quicker. Most of the time however, it doesn't matter for me. Too often however, I still stuff my face with great quantities of food, wasting all the good effort I put in at the gym.

So I've decided to try a new diet, well, not a diet so much as a portion control plan. I call it the Bowl Diet. Whatever i can put into a regular bowl, I can eat. And that's it for at least two and a half hours. I know it doesn't sound like much (if you're eating a heavy beef-slop you can fit a lot into a single bowl) but for me it will be a marked improvement.
The issue for me, as much as I'd like to lose weight, is about both control and temperance. In our society, we tend not to think of food or managing our diet as being spiritual, but it is. Not in the sense where women try to look like the stick, air brushed pictures on the cover of magazines (gross, unreal, and dangerous) but in the sense of being under control. I can feel it when I'm at the table or out for dinner, and I want more even though I'm not hungry. Sometimes you just want to spoil yourself. But too often, for me at least, I CAN'T stop myself. That implies something else entirely.

I have great encouragement around me to give this a try. Two of my housemates, Keti and Syzmon, 20 and 26 years old respectively, have started running and getting in shape these past two months. Keti, who, it should be known, looked great before, has dropped to 50 Kilograms (from 56) by running and working out and not eating late. Szymon started running, and now runs 5-6 times a week, has controlled his portions, and doesn't eat before bed. He's dropped ten pounds in six weeks.

Granted, my friends are younger. (When I was twenty I could eat styrofoam and it didn't matter) But after three days, I can tell you I feel the difference. I don't feel so heavy. Even more, I feel like I'm in control. I'll be posting a column on the side of my blog with my weight, which currently stands at 210lbs, and updating it weekly. My goal is 199lbs. (I haven't been there in ten years) I'm doing this as a public check on myself, and hopefully for some encouragement along the way. If anyone would like to join me, I'd be happy to add your name to the roll so we can do it together.

IMPORTANT: Our society places far too much emphasis on how we look. I am not only aware of that, but frankly, it disgusts me. This diet is about control and feel and health. If we set our diet goals to be ONLY about a measurable number (such as our weight or BMI) we're missing the point, and it can affect our spirituality in a negative way (all about me). But if we're looking to get healthy and take control of what we put in our mouths, I believe this can be a good thing. If you think I'm wrong, feel free to comment, I'd love to hear from you. Especially the women, the ones in our society who have to face this super ridiculous ideal of how they're "supposed" to look every day.


P.S. This isn't a particularly deep post, I know. On Thursday this past week the stress reached an all-time high for me. I stayed in bed the entire day. At night, I ended up flat on my face before God. I was done. And then, something happened...

I will be writing about this when I have more time to process it later in the week.

All Right, Guys, you asked for more Sports...

When I started this blog, I promised the occasional trip through the world of sports. (I even included it in the headline) And I was also told that if I wanted to appeal to more men, I needed to more "men's" blogs about things like sports. This falls under that category, except that I won't be posting those articles here.

I've accepted the position of head basketball writer for a new sports website called Downtown Sports. I'll also be writing articles about other things in the sports world, with an alternate focus on baseball, the two sports I feel most qualified to write about. The position is unpaid to start, but after so many years of coaching and playing, I thought it was time to start writing about one of my other passions. My first article will be posted on Monday (about the Raptors).

I'll put a link on the side here for those who are interested. I'd also love to hear your thoughts about it, guys. Give me your opinions. Is there something in the basketball world you want me to talk about? Amateur. Pro. College ball. Here's a chance to push your own ideas and issues in the world of sports, so don't be shy.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Dark Side of Happyland

(No Country For Old Men... or young men either. What we think is a game, as it is on the website, is really indicative of a truth that we're missing) --->

My room was getting smaller. I'd been sitting on my chair with my feet propped up for the past five hours, taking a much needed break to watch some Sunday football, and I found myself fidgeting in my chair. The room hadn't changed, or had it. I looked over at my corner desk and the stacked pile of boxes outside the closet door. My room was about ten feet by ten feet, most of it taken up by my desk. There was no room to walk, and room for only a single chair.

I turned back to the game. What was I thinking? Had I left it all back in Ottawa for this? A commercial came on, I didn't see what it was advertising, but a young family was playing in the front yard, the dad smiling confidently as he leaned on a silver Mercedes. I abruptly clicked off the TV. I hadn't watched much television since I'd moved to Toronto, I didn't have time. I'd grown used to going days without seeing any commercials, and after basking in them for the past five hours, I could feel the change. It wasn't as if the commercials were negative. It was exactly the opposite. Everyone was so happy in them, and the guys seemed to have the perfect life. Wife. Kids. Dog. House. Car. Clothes. I looked at my tiny closet, which was jammed open because of the lack of space. Three dress shirts. One pair of casual shoes. Five pairs of pants. And this tiny room.

I flipped on my jacket and decided to go for a walk. Watching five hours of Happyland commercials had produced nothing but sadness and a strange sense of emasculation, especially as a single guy who DID like and hope for a family one day. "Yeah, I know I only have a room, but I'm a really good guy!" Whatever women tell you, including Christian women, stability is important. And it should be. For me, however, it was another sour reminder of what I'd left behind.

The problem with commercialism is that it is so infectious we don't even see it. Studies reveal that once people reach $10,000 GDP (when we're basically able to feed ourselves without too much difficulty) our level of happiness is directly correlated to the people around us. In other words, if we don't look at what other people got, we're much happier. In our world however, we're forced to look at what other people have when we expose ourselves to too much media. And even the best of people don't realize how much they're being influenced.

For example, in the Coen brothers new movie, No Country for Old Men (based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy), they tell the tale of a cowboy, a good man, who comes across the scene of a massacre. A suitcase of two million sits with a dying man who's asking for water. What do we do? What would we do? Take the money and give the dying man some water, right? Isn't that the North American way? (We can have our cake, and have it served in a marble dish.)

Well, he does just that, and than all hell breaks loose as an assassin comes looking for him. Now McCarthy is a uniquely American writer, and he layers his simple tales with moral complexities. Well, for him at least, taking the money IS a complexity. For some of us, and I include myself, there are days when I'm not sure it would be all that complex. Maybe God wants us to have the money. Maybe we tithed and this is our reward.

I stroll down the sidewalk. The air is warmer than I expected. The sun is fading, and I breathe deep the quiet stillness of the street. The whole experience has reminded me of a story I heard two weeks ago at a seminar on The Emergent Church.

The presenter told us about a church plant in Michigan that had sprung to life in a downtown bar. The bar owner thought it was a cool idea, and every Sunday night he closed the bar and let the people in the neighbourhood have 'church.' A big denomination saw the growing young church, and offered three hundred thousand (yes, thousand!) to the young church. There was one condition. They were uncomfortable with the idea of church in a bar. So, in order for the church plant to get the money (and the young church had just $37 in their account at the time) they would have to move to the suburbs.

Despite the temptation, the church refused the money.

There is a very dark side to Happyland. Sometimes, great filmmakers and writers need to show just how vividly dark it can be. Sometimes we get lost in the commercials and it helps us feel good about the extra purchase we just made, the new car or the new sound system or the new clothes. But maybe all this purchasing isn't such a good thing. It isn't to say that we can't treat ourselves, or that we can't celebrate hard work, but it does mean that we should think twice about the idea that money is an automatic sign of God's blessing.

An assassin probably won't rip apart my life, but when the years are passed, when I've worked so hard on the things that don't last, when I've spent all of my energy working overtime and storing up treasures in my downtown bank, will all my time spent building my own Happyland be worth it? Will I be able say thank you for more than just a bigger room.

May God remind us this week that the world we see on 2D is not the real world, that the good life is made up of the friends and family around us, and that while Happyland may be a nice place to visit, you don't want to live there.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

RAOK: Church leaders, here's a GREAT idea

Most of the time I am offended by the North American idea of mission and outreach. Too often it seems that we're more interested in selling Jesus than being Jesus. With that in mind, I stumbled across this ministry idea, and I think it reflects the beauty of what it means to be a missional church. If you're a pastor or church leader or just want to get involved in something other than the tired blitz of propaganda we hand out sometimes, here's a chance to do something different. Awesome.

RAOK: Random Acts of Kindness

An article about this ministry can be found on the Christianity Today website.


Slow Death: How Dreams can Kill You

It's cold out tonight. Thankfully, there's no wind. The stars hang against the clear backdrop of velvet. Frost covers the ground and the crisp air speaks of a new season.

Winter is here again.

I should be in bed, but I cannot sleep. I'm thinking about all the things I would like to accomplish, all the things I planned to do when I moved here just two short months ago in pursuit of my dream, and the little I've accomplished in that time. Oh, I've heard my friends advice to be patient, to not expect so much so quickly, to hang in there, to keep believing and that it eventually it will happen. However, I am struck with the inevitable truth that every dreamer must face, not once or twice, but the one we face every day when we put our entire lives behind the vision of our life's ultimate desire.

What if it doesn't happen?

What if I'm wrong and I'm not good enough to make it as a writer? What if I can't focus enough to finish Grad school or become as skilled as I need to be in the film industry? What if I never get a chance to work as an actor? What if my pursuit of these dreams costs me the chance at a family? (What woman wants to be with a poor writer/scholar/student?) Most importantly, what if I'm wrong about making a difference for God, that this is where I'm supposed to be?

Moreover, every day I do not move closer to these goals or see anything happening I can hear the clock ticking. I hear the countdown. Soon the seconds turn into hours, the hours turn into months, and the months turn into years. I can feel time bursting the seams of my life, waiting to leap forward with only the miserable groans of a broken heart to guide its path.

And some nights, like tonight, it pulls me from my bed, an aching zombie filled with dread and uttering my own mantra of perseverance and positivism. For now, I can neither write nor sleep, I can only stand and look at the stars and the quiet street and feel the crisp winter air whispering about the upcoming Christmas season, a season I'd rather not spend alone again.

Many books have been sold on the pursuit of our passions, and many speakers have spent their entire careers selling the same product. It sounds sooooo good, doesn't it? In their fancy suits and million dollar smiles, they tap into the sacred part of us that longs to be special. We buy the books, listen to the lectures, read their materials, and yet, most of us leave our dreams aside for the 'normal life' after a short time, although we still listen to their words, as if somehow their words alone can remind us what it was like when we used to dream.

Pastors and preachers do this as well, only they use phrases like 'God has made you special' or 'finding your gift'. What amazes me is not that people leave their ideas and dreams behind so often, but that we still love to hear someone talk about it. This never made sense to me. How could we sit there in the pew or in the seminar and listen to this stuff and not do anything? How could so many people prefer the misery of routine and sameness to the excitement of a spontaneous and passionate life?

Having left everything, having put aside one life for another, I think I know the answer.

The truth is that the pursuit of dreams kills us, and it does so slowly.

Humans can live in the most abject misery, can adapt to the most difficult environments, and can face whatever comes, so long as the seeds of hope remain. So long as the seeds of mystery and future and potential remain alive, even if it's an imagined future, we find ways to cope. However, once we remove that ideal, once we take away that dream, life suddenly becomes a vast, barren wasteland. An endless trek upon the burning sands of time. Unless we find new joy in the mystery and hand of God, unless we realize that the journey has made us stronger, our lives are effectively over.

Because there's no getting around this one simple fact, the one thing they always leave out of most inspirational stories. And that fact is this: if you pursue your dreams, eventually you are going to have to face the truth. About yourself. About the world. And about where you fit on this planet.

You can no longer fool yourself about what you could've been or should've been. Somewhere along the way, the life and hope and endless possibilities you dreamed about will reveal themselves to be nothing more than a bunch of glossy cardboard cutouts.

Perhaps we don't pursue our dreams because, in some manner, we all realize this. That even if we win, there's a good chance we'll lose. Maybe we get the dream, but it turns out the dream isn't as we imagined, that being a writer isn't that great after all. There's actually a lot of work involved, and the publishers keep rejecting our stuff. We have so many deadlines, and all the critics do is criticize. Or even worse, we pursue our dreams and never get there. We get rejection slip after rejection slip, and one day come to the realization that our writing will never be good enough. The days and years pass, and we become bitter and cynical.

Self-awareness isn't easy, and it isn't pretty, but as far as I know, it's the truest path to God. Which is what makes all the propaganda of positive thinking and 'victory' marches we get from the Christian bookstore so frustrating. Too many churches are more interested in selling seats via the 'Catch Your Dream tonight' seminar than telling it like it is. How about this for a billboard?

The Truth about Dreams

Your dream is going to cost you. You can't have it all. The world isn't God's fantasy playground, and at some point, you're going to have to face the truth of who you are and why you're here. People will disappoint you. The world will let you down. Nothing will happen the way you imagined. God will disappear in key moments. You will feel alone more times than you will remember. For every step forward, you will be knocked down. Loving people means they will use you. The world will shrink even as gets bigger. At times, you will feel insignificant. (Don't worry, that's supposed to happen. God is almost ready to use you.) Just remember, there is no ultimate life, there is only life. Expect to be bloodied.

Wednesdays, 7pm, in the Fellowship Hall. Refreshments at 6:45.

I am back on the front stoop. It's still dark, but the sun will be up soon. I haven't seen my raccoon friends lately, and I wonder if they're okay. It hasn't been easy these past two weeks, but the thought of giving up is not an option. To do anything less than that which I feel called to do, to do anything less than pursue my passions, is not to live. Of course, there are days when I wrestle with the truth, with self-awareness, when I'd like to go back to a time not too long ago when being a writer held some sort of mystic quality to it. When I held up in esteem this idea of a writer's life. What I have learned however, that while the pursuit of dreams brings a certain type of death, the lack of their pursuit brings something much worse.

Cowardice seems a strong word, but it is the right one when we talk about our culture's biggest character flaw. Men talk down to women. Women are not honest with men. Families avoid confrontation. Most of us refuse to look in the mirror, to admit our mistakes. We scuttle and scrabble through our life trying not to be stepped on, and fear permeates our entire being. The same fear that keeps us from pursuing our dreams is the one that corrupts our daily lives. If we're not willing to face the truth, if we're not willing to step out and take a chance that we will not succeed as we hoped, that the journey will kill us, that our lives may end up poorly, if we're not willing to take the risk of living, than why should we expect life?

The pursuit of dreams may bring with it death, but only in our dying can we come to understand what it means to truly live.

May God give us the courage this week to face ourselves, to look again at the dreams we had as a kid and reach once more for the passionate life, and to remember that the struggles along a winding and difficult path are better than the empty barrenness of a desert road.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Hero Indeed

I have written often about the need for heroes, about the need for our culture to redefine success and what it means, and about the importance of setting our values on the things that really matter. This video is a reminder of that even today, if we're willing to look, we can still find heroes...

(YouTube Writeup)

Randy Pausch set the tone early on yesterday at his farewell lecture at Carnegie Mellon University.

"If I don't seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you," said Dr. Pausch.

It is probably the last public speech Dr. Pausch will give anywhere. The 46-year-old computer science professor and father of three preschoolers has incurable pancreatic cancer. Doctors have given him months to live.

Yet, standing at the podium in McConomy Auditorium on the campus yesterday, Randy Pausch did not focus on impending death. Instead, he celebrated the chance he had been given to live the life he always had dreamed of.

Note: You can find all ten videos on my video channel:

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Close to Home

It's human nature to take things for granted. So when something happens somewhere else in the world, its easy to blow it off or ignore it. I moved here a few months ago, and I've become close with my housemates. One of them is from Georgia, a small country south of Russia. Today she received disturbing news. The capital city is under Marshall Law. Soldiers patrol the street. There is a 7pm curfew. No one can go outside.

It is the nightmare we see in movies, except this time its real. Take a look at the video and see for yourself.

Please pray for my friend and her family and friends back home...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Rich? I'm Completely Broke?!

They say everything is a matter of perspective, which may be true, unless you don't like your perspective. This is especially true when it comes to money. Even more so when you've vacated a secure life in pursuit of your dreams of making it as a writer/scholar/minister.
Yes. Especially then.

I was thinking about that yesterday while I sent off yet another article from my tiny room here in Toronto. School work needed to get done, but the bank balance had dipped below $30.00, so it was now or never.
If I didn't publish something in the next six days it'd be back to the daily grind of a part-time job at Starbucks or wherever to help make ends meet while my writing aspirations floundered and dried up after only two months in the big city. What time would be left with school and work to write? Graduate school, for those who have never been, is really a case of professors foistering as much reading as possible on you as they can. )Think English lit. on steroids) And while I love Theology, I eagerly await each week's issue of Entertainment Weekly, where for two hours I can bury my head in pop culture.

Now, however, my circumstances have changed. School is second to, uh, money. Which means I have five days left to sell another article. Which means another week (or at least until the cheque from my last article comes) of not spending any money or even thinking about how broke I am. The truth is that I'm not a big fan of people who say they want to pursue their dreams but do nothing but talk about it. Of course, I probably don't like them so much because for the last number of years, that was me. Oh, I wrote, nothing would ever stop me from writing, but it was nothing like this. No, back then I could put days into a thoughtful blog, and wait to hear from my friends and readers, take my time answering emails and criticisms.

Not any more.

Now I must push and push the publishing industry, scour the websites for the latest news to write about, push and promote my new company (, continue to develop film editing skills by learning professional programs which will someday be helpful, and find time to read scours of books like The Contours of Old Testament Theology along with scrabbling along in beginning Greek. "What case is this verb? What's a case?" All of this work, and less than $30 in the bank account, with only the vaguest of hopes that I will see anything any time soon that isn't the inside of a coffee cup.

In light of all this, I managed to wake up early this morning and bring my clothes down to the washing machine to do my laundry. My housemate, newly immigrated from Poland, looked at my overflowing basket.

"Wow. That's a lot of laundry."

"Yeah, I haven't done it in a couple of weeks." I said. "I have too many clothes."

He laughed.

"I can put all of my possessions in two suitcases. I wish I had your problem."


Despite my low funds, despite the work and busy-ness, despite my occasional longing for the "TV life"(wife, kids, front yard, barbecue, income) I've never been this happy. I've never been so present in my own life. Following your dreams is worth it, even if your account balance disagrees. And sometimes God uses someone else to point out just how rich us broke people are in this country.

Maybe its time to take another look at the two accounts, the one with the numbers on it, and the ones where we've engraved our passions, and reconsider which one is more important.