Impatience, Joseph, and Trusting God

I don’t like to wait.

The thing is, though, I’m constantly waiting on things. Waiting in traffic, in lines, on my wife to get ready, on load times, on my beard to grow in evenly (not sure if I’ll ever be done waiting on that one), waiting on my career to move forward, on opportunity to knock, on a chance to chase a dream.

Right now I’m primarily concerned with the last half of that list. No, not the beard thing, the career and life thing. I want a lot of things that just aren’t happening right now, and by the looks of it, they won’t be happening for a while. That’s very frustrating for me on a personal satisfaction level, and on a spiritual level it makes me wonder what God is doing with me.

Sometimes, it takes a lot of discernment and patience for me to hear what God is trying to say to me. Other times, he just punches me in the face with stuff, like he has been lately. I probably haven’t heard a sermon on Joseph for a few solid years, but in the last month I’ve heard two different sermon series on the life of Joseph, with the addition of a friend suggesting I write about him. OK God, I get it…. read about Joseph.

Well I did read about Joseph, and my life doesn’t parallel his very well. I wasn’t betrayed by my family, sold into slavery, framed, or thrown in prison, but there is a lot I can learn from him. Joseph waited a lot, and did it far better than I do. In fact, Genesis 41:1 says that he waited in prison (for something he didn’t do) for two years. What’s awesome about Joseph, is that while he was in prison, and then when he finally got out, he was constantly pointing to God. Even when his life sucked, and it sucked a lot from what we read in the Bible, Joseph trusted in the Lord. I’ve only been out of college for a little over 5 months, and I’m already questioning the direction God has me pointed in. Luckily for me, the good and gracious Lord continues to be the good and gracious Lord regardless of how well I’m trusting him.

I’ve always secretly patted myself on the back for not worrying about certain things. In Luke 12:22-31, Jesus tells us not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear. Well, I’ve never really worried about things like money or clothing or food, so I usually just give myself a mental high-five after reading those verses and move on with my day. But I don’t think I can get off the hook so easily. Scripture is pretty clear that trusting in God is more than just not worrying about what’s for dinner. I think I need to take a cue from Joseph, and remember to trust God with the bigger picture.

The best times in my life have been the times where I was truly focused on trusting Him. I still don’t like waiting, but I know that God’s timing is perfect, so waiting and trusting might just go hand in hand.

Here’s to putting our trust where it belongs.


The Opportunistic Morality of a Nation

Has anyone else noticed how swiftly the fires of rage and controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood died down? I have; at the beginning of the month it was the topic on the tip of everyone’s tongue, and over the last week I’ve heard almost nothing about it. Apparently our government was dangerously close to closing up shop not too long ago, and today everyone is going about their business as if nothing out of the ordinary has been happening. I think this points to a larger issue in our society, but I’ll get to that in a second.

I’d also like to point out that when the PP videos were first released, the great majority in secular society didn’t bat an eye. Conservative’s were appalled at this, but I don’t think the reaction of Planned Parenthood supporters should surprise anyone. In fact, I have what I imagine is a fairly controversial view of this issue….
I don’t think it matters that Planned Parenthood was selling baby parts. It doesn’t make a difference, at least, not in comparison to what they were already doing; performing abortions. I happen to be of the opinion that abortion is murder, which is heinous enough as it is. The fact that an organization is profiting off of abortion is small potatoes compared to the crime itself. I recognize that this analogy may be a little extreme, but this would be like America not doing anything about the holocaust until we heard that Hitler was selling the ashes of those he burned alive, and then we got outraged.

But, that didn’t stop the nation (well, half of it) from going into an uproar. Let me be clear; I absolutely think that we ought to be outraged at the selling of baby parts, but my point is that we ought to have been outraged already. Maybe I’m wrong, and just too cynical about this… I hope that’s the case. But, I can’t help but feel that the reaction of conservative society, and consequently the republican party, is suspiciously opportunistic. I feel like this issue is being treated as a convenient hot-button talking point during election season, and as soon as voters the nation is bored with it, we’ll stop hearing about it.

I think this pattern is common in our society. We are fickle and shallow creatures, happily forgetting about everything that doesn’t immediately concern us until something exciting happens, and then suddenly its time to stand up for our morals. We’ll make our angry social media posts, and then go about our business. I think too many people are just looking for a good fight, instead of looking for ways to make a positive change.

This entire issue boils down to one thing: the morality of abortion. Abortion is either horribly wrong, or completely acceptable. The cavalier attitudes with which Planned Parenthood executives and supporters discussed the sale of baby parts doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. To them, they’re not selling baby parts, they’re selling fetal tissue. Much like my point earlier; if abortion is fine, then so is selling fetal tissue.

Defunding Planned Parenthood is akin to putting a band-aid on someone’s arm when they’re suffering from internal bleeding; we’re not addressing the real issue. As unfortunate as it is, PP is far from the only organization that provides abortions, and even if the move to defund them is successful, another organization will soon take their place. Abortion is legal right now, and until that changes, there is little we can do to stop organizations like Planned Parenthood. I think its time to stop bailing water out of the ship and just patch the hole; Roe v. Wade needs to be overturned. We need to push our congressional representatives to push legislation that will force the issue. If we are truly interested in protecting the unborn, this should be our priority. Its time to stop worrying about talking-points, and start dealing with the problem.

I’m sure I’ll hear all sorts of arguments from all sorts of people over this post, and I’m happy to address any of them. In fact, I will probably write more in-depth about abortion in a later post, but I wanted to stick with the topic at hand. 
Thanks for reading, feel free to leave comments!

A Short [Part of a Long] Story

I’ve decided to give some variety to the type of posts I make and let you all read some fiction that I’ve written. But first let me preface a few things. 
1. I’m a HUGE sci-fi nerd, and this is a sci-fi story. Based far in the distant, scientifically malleable future.
2. This story really is a small part of a much larger story. I’ve been toying around with this universe for some time, and this is just a snapshot, which is why there’s almost no exposition.
3. Sharp-eyed sci-fi fans will notice that I’ve used several common terms in the story that would likely not be used in a futuristic setting like this (one example would be keeping track of time by months, which would really only make sense on Earth…). I haven’t come up with a better idea, so deal with it. 
4. Its been a long time since I gave any sort of serious effort to fiction writing, so there’s a fair chance that this story will be super duper lame. Feel free to let me know if it is, so that I don’t embarrass myself by posting things like this in the future.
Anyways, I think that’s about all I have to say, so here goes…

The door hissed open, and Corrin stepped inside the dimly lit hallway. Control centers for most private space docks were small, and fortunately this one was no different. The hallway led straight to the observation and control room, with a small bunk room to the right. Corrin switched his shoulder lights on and immediately wondered why he’d needed to. It was the middle of the day in a busy city sector, and the control center should have been manned.

“P-Tec, where are all the people?” He wondered into his comm.

P-Tec quipped back, “Couldn’t tell ya, boss. How about we just find what we came here for.”

Corrin continued, “It’s just a little weird, is all. And considering what we’re looking for it gives me a bad feeling about this situation.”

Corrin made his way down the hall towards the observation room, the rustling of his armor and soft clunking of his boots echoing against the bare metal walls. He paused at the entry to the bunk room and peered inside. The beds were messy, and clothes and personal items were scattered on the desks and floor. Someone had certainly been here recently, but they left without giving much thought to cleaning the place.

A spectacular view of the city greeted Corrin has he entered the observation room. The far wall was made of three rows of paneled glass windows, with the bottom and top rows protruding outwards at an angle. This placed the middle row of glass several feet away from the main building structure, giving the control workers a visual of docked ships below and incoming ships above. It was a beautiful day; only a few puffy clouds dotted the deep blue sky, pushed around by a cool, slow breeze. Sunlight poured into the room, and Corrin turned off his lights as he walked towards the center control consol.

“Alright boss, hang tight while I get us into the system.” P-Tec instructed.

Corrin meandered around the room for a while, waiting for P-Tec to extract the data they had been seeking for months. After a few minutes he made his way towards the windowed wall, and gazed down to his left at the ship docked in the upper deck. The deck sat directly below the observation room, and the occupied ship-dock was roughly one hundred meters away. The cruiser was several hundred meters long; its sleek metal hull gleaming in the sunlight. Weapon ports were visible along much of the ship, as were several heavy shield projectors.

“P-Tec, I think that ship is military. I’m seeing a lot firepower here. Is the Union stationed in this sector again?”

“Not sure, but they patrol here pretty regularly, what’s the ID mark?”

Corrin paused, “I don’t see one…”

“Well I’ll check it out. I need you to go over to the control panel and activate the auxiliary data cache, use the protocols I uploaded to your suit.”

For the large part Corrin was essentially useless on this mission. The only reason he was down in the control room at all was to ensure a secure connection to the building’s data drives. He didn’t mind the slow pace though; he’d seen plenty of excitement recently. The holo-display opened up around him as he sat down at the console. He read the codes off of his HUD and entered them where he’d been told.

P-Tec offered a positive sounding grunt through the comm., and they were in. Corrin got up and continued to look around the observation room. The city below was massive, fueled by the tourism attracted to the region’s picturesque mountain range. For one reason or another, this planet had also become a haven for creative-types and technological development. Even though the Union didn’t hold a very strong presence here anymore, there was obviously enough security in this galactic sector to keep the economy relatively stable. This left little mystery as to how the data Corrin and his team had been so desperately seeking ended up here.

P-Tec’s panicked voice broke through the silence, “Ok, yeah, that’s not a Union ship. I’ve got all the data we need; you need to get out of there.”

“Why, what is it? The Remnant’s too proud to field an unmarked cruiser, and they never travel this far in-galaxy.”

“You’re right, it’s not Remnant. I scanned the ship and nothing came up, they’re internally cloaked. Corrin, I think that’s our guy from the outpost last month. The visual drone caught some scorch marks on the lower hull, looks like plasma damage.”

Plasma damage, the memory of firing those parting shots was as vivid as it was enraging. It was no wonder that Corrin hadn’t recognized the ship. He had never seen more than its lower hull as it took off from the burning resource outpost in a sector that had seen more than its fair share of piracy and poverty. As if on cue, he heard the ship’s engines begin to fire. The low hum of the anti-gravity docking locks releasing was audible even from inside the control room. He turned and started to jog back down the hall, initializing his P-JAPS suit modification.

“Is there any way to confirm? Is this really the same ship?”

“I can’t give a one hundred percent, but I’m pretty positive that it’s him.”

“Got it.” Corrin’s legs tightened as he launched himself down the hall. The building doors barely had enough time to open before he burst through the entry way. If this was really the ship that had destroyed the outpost, then Corrin had to get in before it left atmosphere. Once the ship jumped, P-Tec would have no way to track its destination, especially with the cloaking abilities it had already displayed more than once.

Corrin turned the corner around the building and sprinted down the docking platform. An automated voice cheerfully informed him that his P-JAPS was activated. Corrin couldn’t hold back a small whoop of excitement. The accelerators on his suit flung him towards the ship, and a smile played at the corners of his lips. This was by far the best part of what he did; the thrill of adventure.

P-Tec shouted into his communicator, “Corrin, what are you doing? Get back to our ship! You’re not fitted for out-of-atmosphere right now; your suit’s not pressurized.”

“I’ll be fine! I’ve got breaching gear.” Corrin huffed back.

“Low-grade breaching gear, I don’t think you’ll make it through that hull, boss.”

“You’re so negative!” Corrin yelled over the roar of the ships engines. He was close enough to feel the platform beneath him shake from the force of the ship pushing away. Time was short. He made it to the open dock, which sat several hundred feet above the city buildings below, the massive gravity anchors hanging onto the ledge to his right.

The ship began to separate from the dock, and the gap was growing quickly. Corrin’s P-JAPS wasn’t outfitted for sustained flight, but he could make a substantial jump if he timed his bursts right. By the time he reached the edge of the platform, the ship was already thirty meters away and beginning to accelerate forward. He planted his foot, fired every accelerator on his suit, and leapt towards his next target…

Welp, there it was! Like I said, if it was horrible, please let me know in the comments! If it wasn’t horrible, I suppose you could tell me that as well. Not sure what my next post will be about; maybe something serious and polarizing. Maybe I’ll also try to post sooner than in two weeks.You’ll just have to come back and see!

For now, though, grace be with you all. 


A short essay on why this blog is here in the first place.

There are few things that will motivate a person like desperation. Desperation drives people to the very limit of their abilities, pushes them to make decisions they’ve been afraid of making, forces them to try alternative solutions to a persistant problem. In a word, that is how I’ve felt as of late: desperate.

Truthfully I have little reason to feel desperate. I’m blessed with a lot of things that I’ve done nothing to deserve, and first and foremost is the saving grace of Jesus Christ. That alone makes me feel foolish for being unsatisfied. On top of that, I have an awesome wife, a nice apartment, a family that loves me, and a bunch of great friends. And yet, there’s still this gnawing feeling in the back of my mind that I’m in danger of wasting my life; hence, the desperate feeling.

To clarify, I’m not unsatisfied with where I live, how much money I make, or any of my relationships; I’m unsatisfied with what I’m doing. By that, I mean what I’m doing as a career. When I first started college, I was a music education major, and I spent my days happily studying and playing music. I eventually realized, however, that my heart wasn’t in the educational aspect (fairly important, if you’re going to be a teacher), and I decided to change course. I’ve always known that I wanted a family, and I determined that as long as I had a loving family it didn’t matter what I did for a living. Two years and one business degree later, and I’m now working in a warehouse as a sales trainee. Whoopie…

In all fairness I thoroughly enjoyed business school, but if I had known that this was my trajectory before I started two years ago, I would probably have run the other way. Clearly my earlier determination that I would be happy regardless of my occupation was misguided. I loved music school so much because it satisfied my creative itch. For as long as I can remember, from a slightly unhealthy childhood obsession with LEGOs to writing short stories to editing my desktop background for three hours, I’ve always had a driving need to create. Not to shock anyone, but sales isn’t a particularly creative field.

I feel like a spoiled child for complaining about what job I have when there are plenty of people who can’t find one at all, but at a certain point I don’t much care if I sound spoiled. I won’t be satisfied with a career as a salesman; I refuse to be. Perhaps I’m just arrogant, but I feel like I would be wasting my creativity and intelligence if that’s all I did with my life. I can do more and be more. I want to wake up in the morning -happy with what I do every day; I want to tell stories, contribute to important discussions, make music, and create experiences for people. Or at the very least be something other than a desk jockey ’till I turn 65.

The terrifying, desperation inducing fact though, is that I’m headed for exactly what I fear if I don’t do something to change it. Thus, I started this blog; I know its not much (I haven’t exactly quit my job to launch a startup…yet), but my hope is that my writing here will be the beginning to a different direction in my life. My hope is that this blog will be the catalyst for a life unwasted.

So, dear reader, please read on. If you’ve read the About the Brink page (which you ought to do), then you’ll know that I’ve got big plans for this blog! I’ll be writing about a plethora of topics, and I’ll likely be taking input for topics as well. I’ll try to post on a somewhat regular schedule, but the frequency of that schedule has yet to be determined. In the meantime, I thank you for reading, and in the words of the apostle Paul, grace be with you.